Indiana Schools Deploy McAfee Network Security Solutions

McAfee Inc. recently announced that School City of Hammond in Indiana has deployed McAfee’s network security solutions to secure the district’s elementary, middle and high schools from cybercrime.

School City of Hammond deployed McAfee Email Gateway and McAfee Web Gateway appliances throughout the entire school system. McAfee Email Gateway prevents spam, viruses, and phishing attacks from clogging the school's e-mail system; and McAfee Web Gateway helps the school meet federal CIPA requirements by ensuring that inappropriate Web content cannot be viewed.

With more than 2,500 employees across 21 schools in northern Indiana, each employee with an e-mail account, spam had become a major problem.

Besides draining bandwidth and sapping productivity, spam e-mail may contain malware or phishing attacks. With a tremendous onslaught of spam, educators and administrators could not manage their e-mail effectively, and this took away time that could have been spent on the core educational mission.

Since the deployment, School City has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of spam and virus-laden e-mails that enter the network.

“McAfee Email Gateway blocks more than 99 percent of spam and viruses, said School City's network administrator, Curtis Jackson. “It also cuts down on bandwidth used by the e-mail system, since McAfee Email Gateway blocks the bad emails before they even get to the network.”

McAfee's multi-layered anti-spam strategy starts with the industry-leading TrustedSource technology. TrustedSource is a multi-protocol reputation-based technology that assigns scores to Internet hosts and devices, domains, URLs and messages based on their past behavior, much like a credit bureau assigns scores to consumers.

"TrustedSource is able to attack spam and other unwanted traffic at the outer edge of the network,” explained Jackson. “In combination with McAfee's other leading-edge technologies, School City educators no longer have to worry about the spam problem, giving them more valuable time to spend on their educational mission.”

A second challenge faced by the school, is that the more than 14,000 students --all with Web access -- would sometimes try to get around the filtering system using sophisticated tools like anonymizers and proxies, and the common “HTTPS security loophole.”

The loophole can be used by savvy students to access forbidden Web sites by using an encrypted connection that is typically beyond the reach of ordinary content filters.

"One of the main reasons we went with McAfee Web Gateway was because of the ability to scan SSL-encrypted content," Jackson said. "Students had been able to get around the filtering via SSL. After deployment, McAfee Web Gateway closed that loophole for good.”

The appliance-based solution afforded School City much easier administration as well.

“With McAfee's appliance-based solution, you just plug it in, set it up and let it go,” said Jackson. “It's an easy box to deal with and we don't have to worry about updates. And of course, it's not hackable.”

Besides eliminating more than 99 percent of spam and viruses, bandwidth usage has improved since the McAfee deployment. The appliance-based form factor has greatly simplified administration time, allowing the IT department and educators to make the best use of their time.

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