Cache County School District

View the Cache County School District Case Study

Cache County School District Secures Network with ForeScout CounterACT

“We’re really pleased with how easily everything fell into place. We brought in expertise from system integrator Konsultek, and it made all the difference in the world. The training helped us get everything installed and set up advanced functions within a single week.”

–  Alan Gibbons, Technology Director, Cache County School District

Challenge:
  • Cache County School District is located in North Logan Utah. The district has over 1,000 teachers and serves approximately 16,000 students in grades K-12. The network provides wired and wireless access for a variety of devices, including classroom computers, laptops, smart phones and tablets.
  • Prevent unauthorized network access, which could jeopardize CIPA compliance.
  • Reduce the risk of virus attacks coming from student, faculty, or guest computers.
  • Find an easy-to-manage, easy-to-install network access control solution.
Solution:—
  • The Cache County School District evaluated several different NAC products, including products from Cisco, McAfee, Bradford Networks, Enterasys and several open-source solutions. They selected ForeScout CounterACT because it was the easiest to implement. Specifically, ForeScout CounterACT did not require agents, it installed out-of-band, and it integrated with Cache County’s existing infrastructure without disrupting the network. Other positive considerations were the facts that ForeScout CounterACT was vendor-independent and easy to use and manage.
  • One ForeScout CounterACT appliance protects and manages all devices located across the 25 schools, the district office and the transportation center.
  • “The schools in our district have a lot of latitude on acquiring technology, so it was important that the NAC solution be vendor-independent, expandable and flexible. Cisco’s product was well over $100k. Once we saw the price we stopped looking at it. ForeScout CounterACT was reasonably priced. We were pleased that it didn’t require a client and worked with our Cisco equipment. ForeScout CounterACT also gave us other unexpected information, such as what kinds of machines are on the network and who is connecting. Once we saw the information that it provided, we were immediately impressed and decided to buy.”
Results:
  • Endpoint Compliance
    ForeScout CounterACT ensures that Cache County School District’s endpoints are compliant with policies and that antivirus software is up-to-date. “With the arrival of the iPad, it was essential that we provide a way to manage access from many different mobile devices. We needed a way to identify them and make sure they didn’t bring any unwanted viruses with them. We view ForeScout CounterACT as a preventative cure in protecting the health of the network. If the machine doesn’t have antivirus, we send the user a link to allow him to update his antivirus software.”
  • Complete Visibility
    Cache County School District installed one ForeScout CounterACT appliance and gained full visibility to all devices, applications and processes running on the network. “ForeScout gave us visibility into what kinds of machines are on the network. The schools make their own technology purchase decisions, and we didn’t have a good idea of what was out there. Once ForeScout CounterACT was in place, we found things that we didn’t expect – for example, machines that we thought had been decommissioned. ForeScout CounterACT also provides a lot more detail than other solutions. For example, we didn’t have any way to identify the operating system and the patches, but now we can with ForeScout.”
  • Unified Network Access Policies
    ForeScout CounterACT provides unified network access control throughout the district. “The biggest thing is that we didn’t have any network access control. Since we have to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), it’s important that we prevent unauthorized access to our network. With ForeScout CounterACT, we can identify who is logging on and allow only county-owned devices on the network. ForeScout CounterACT also solved a problem that we didn’t know we had. Students were bringing in their own smart mobile devices. It surprised us to see that about 75% of the devices in our high schools were personal phones. To mitigate the traffic and avoid providing free wireless access, we now block smartphones from accessing the network. We do, however, allow over 200 iPads used by teachers and staff to gain access to the network. With ForeScout CounterACT’s guest networking capabilities, we can easily grant network access to staff and guests as long as they have a valid logon credential.”