Wolf Creek in Alberta improves network security and integrity

To improve network security and integrity for users on its wired and wireless network, Wolf Creek Public Schools in Alberta, Canada selected a combined integrated security solution from InfoExpress and Alcatel-Lucent. The new security capabilities will protect the public school division’s distributed network and help its more than 30 schools provide staff and students with secure access to instructional tools and resources.

Wolf Creek Public Schools serves some 7,000 students in grades K–12. It is expanding its successful division-wide mobile computing project, which started by providing laptops to more than 100 junior high students and their teachers for use at school and at home. The mobile computing project will be expanded to allow students, faculty and staff throughout the division access to the school’s network via their own mobile devices. Once fully deployed, the solution will require devices to authenticate and pass compliance requirements in order to gain access to the network. The system will remediate non-compliant endpoints and alert network administrators when users attempt to run unapproved software.

Wolf Creek Public Schools has been providing laptops to enhance instruction as part of its one-to-one mobile computing program sponsored by Alberta Education. They wanted to expand the program, but it was not financially possible to provide every student with a laptop. They decided to have students bring their own devices; however, allowing students and staff to access the network using their own devices required a more robust security and integrity solution – one that would authenticate and pre-qualify laptops as they came on the network. InfoExpress CyberGatekeeper can detect, quarantine, and remediate unhealthy laptops that are not in compliance with Wolf Creek Public Schools security protocols.

Wolf Creek purchased the CyberGatekeeper network access control and host integrity check solution from Alcatel-Lucent partner SSP Converged Solutions, which also is providing management and maintenance support. Wolf Creek relies on Alcatel-Lucent for all voice, data, and wireless needs. Adding InfoExpress CyberGatekeeper’s ability to integrate easily into its Alcatel-Lucent environment was an important factor in the division’s decision to go with the combined InfoExpress Alcatel-Lucent solution.

The solution is the result of InfoExpress’ work to ensure the close integration between the InfoExpress CyberGatekeeper and the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch™ 6400 and OmniSwitch 6850 families of LAN and edge switches using the Alcatel-Lucent Operating System™ 6.3.4 or above.

Facts and Figures about Wolf Creek Public Schools:
* Approximately 7600 students, from Kindergarten to Grade 12, attend Wolf Creek Public Schools.
* The division employs approximately 475 teachers and 350 support staff.
* There are 33 schools in the division: 21 regular schools, 3 outreach schools, 5 Hutterite Colony schools, 2 district school programs for students with psychiatric and/or emotional/behavioral challenges, 1 patients' school located at the Centennial Centre in Ponoka, and 1 school program at the Twin Oaks group home.
* Wolf Creek Public Schools covers 5944 square kilometers and is located on both sides of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Highway 2) midway between Calgary and Edmonton. The City of Red Deer is our closest urban centre. * Residents of Wolf Creek Public Schools are represented by six trustees on the Board of Trustees. Each trustee represents a ward within the boundaries of the school division.
* The division's operating budget for the 2008-2009 school year is $65.2 million.
* Approximately 4800 students are transported to and from school on division-owned and contracted buses along 100 rural bus routes and 16 urban routes (Blackfalds, Lacombe, Ponoka).
* Wolf Creek Public Schools' high-speed computer network connects to the Alberta SuperNet and the Internet to serve the collaboration, communication, learning, and research needs of Wolf Creek students and staff.
* A comprehensive Student Services team assists schools in meeting the needs of all students in Wolf Creek with a special focus on students identified with special education needs.
* French Immersion programs are offered in four Town of Lacombe schools and Native Education programs are offered in four Town of Ponoka schools.