This case study originally appeared in Secure Data at http://www.secdatacom.dk/files/images/barracuda/barracuda_css_bng_herlevgymnasium_en.pdf.
Herlev Gymnasium in Herlev, Denmark, with 800 students and 250 teaching staff, is pleased to be back to “business as usual”. Re-designing the school’s entire network in line with its BYOD policy has enabled the school to use digital learning techniques to further develop its education plans. Being able to research online in class is fast becoming essential to today’s teaching methods. To provide an optimal learning environment and give students constant wireless access for mobile devices, the school undertook an IT network project that would expand and strengthen its wireless network. At the time the IT infrastructure consisted of six local servers and external virtual servers that were accessed through unsecured VLAN and other large parts of unsecured network. The setup was diagnosed as far too complex for the onsite administration team consisting of two helpdesk workers. The whole network was in a need of a complete revamp and as the existing firewall didn’t scale to solve the school’s problems, a decision was taken to start there and work backwards. A firewall was an important consideration to ensure students were protected from malicious and unsuitable content online, whilst using their mobile devices.
First Priority: Streamline and Simplify
An external audit helped define the project. The school needed simple administration, followed by
secure (internal) FTP and DHCP servers and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) functionality for traffic shaping.
During the evaluation phase, firewall solutions from various manufacturers were trialed. Each had
their own advantages but only Barracuda NG Firewall met all the following requirements:
• Integrated Traffic Shaping
• Integrated VLAN Management
• Granular Routing
• Integrated FTP Server
• Integrated DHCP Server
• Integrated URL Filtering
• Clear Reporting
• Central Management for all security appliances
“The Barracuda NG Firewall gives the administrator a
very powerful tool, be it used for routing network traffic,
setting up firewall rules or simply setting up reports – and
the best part is: everything scales problem free.”
IT Manager, Herlev Gymnasium
The Next steps: Planning for the Future
The next step was to restructure and re-segment the LAN and WLAN, through which scalability possibilities for the future would be introduced. Due to the network not having been upgraded for six years, it was quickly concluded that it had to undergo a major IT network restructure.
Having an integrated URL filter allowed for the protection from undesired web-content, without further financial implications.
In addition to this, the Barracuda NG Firewall offered an optimised firewall rule works, which saves a large amount of staff time.
For secure data transfer, the FTP Server was configured through which access is controlled via a
connection to the school’s internal Active Directory. This ensured that pupils sign in before they can move files or download them from the internet, thus protecting the school bandwidth. Through the implementation of the traffic shaping feature in conjunction with the Application Control function in the NG Firewall the school was able to achieve much more consistency with bandwidth.Knowing who is using bandwidth when and how much is being consumed is especially beneficial in this situation with so many students using mobile devices on site.
Conclusion: Pupil safety ensured as well as cost and time savings
With the Barracuda product in place, the school can implement a BYOD policy allowing the
implementation of the latest digital learning techniques, safe in the knowledge that pupils and
school’s network are protected from the potential dangers of the Internet.
Another important outcome from this project, is the consistency and availability of bandwidth as well as reducing the number of required servers from six local to just two. Additionally, there is a huge reduction in admin hours that the network and firewall require. This has been cut from 60 hours per month to just 10 hours.