Utah district selects AirMagnet Enterprise to secure wireless networks

Fluke Networks today announced that the Jordan School District, a K-12 school district in West Jordan, Utah, has selected AirMagnet Enterprise as its wireless intrusion detection/prevention system (WIPS/WIDS) for monitoring, securing and troubleshooting its wireless local area networks (WLANs).

With more than 55 locations, 1,300 access points (APs) and 25,000 networking devices, the district's wireless network supports more than 50,000 students and faculty and is essential to the day-to-day operations of the district and individual schools. And with wireless devices being integrated into class curriculum regularly (for example, for test taking), and with students constantly bringing the latest gadgets to campus, it was vital that district IT staff have visibility into the network to determine whether devices are approved or unapproved.

"District users previously spent the majority of their time - 90 percent - on the wired network. After a complete overhaul of the wireless network last year, this has shifted dramatically, with users now spending more than 60 percent of their time on the wireless network," said Ron Bird, network and technical services manager at Jordan School District."This massive uptick in usage, combined with an explosion of wireless devices inside and outside the classroom, exposed many security and performance flaws, making us realize that we needed better visibility into what was happening on our WLAN."

To get this "visibility" into the network, Jordan School District selected AirMagnet Enterprise. The system provides dedicated 24x7 security and performance monitoring and remote troubleshooting, plus its intelligent spectrum analysis capability. Using dedicated radio hardware, AirMagnet Enterprise can quickly detect and specifically classify sources of RF interference that can severely impact the performance of the Wi-Fi network.

"In addition to standard district devices causing interference, such as mobile labs, wireless video cameras, A/V systems, temperature controls and more, we have thousands of students bringing in new gadgets that can affect network performance and security," said Bird. "The ability to remotely utilize the integrated spectrum analysis capability allows our team to pinpoint the exact physical location of the interference and deploy staff already onsite to help remediate. Being able to proactively understand the exact source and impact of these problems allows us to restore critical network service as quickly as possible to all users."

Jordan School District also selected AirMagnet Enterprise because it easily integrates with a variety of infrastructure technology.

"Most districts are a hodge-podge of wired and wireless networking technology, and we're no different. We needed a solution that would easily integrate with various infrastructure vendors. Enterprise is designed to be an overlay system, so this interoperability, so to speak, was not a problem," Bird added.