Game Over for Students Surfing the Web at Luca Pacioli Institute; WatchGuard Helps IT Secure Educational Networks

WatchGuard security appliances help manage more than 1,800 network and mobile devices; monitor students' digital behavior including peer-to-peer messaging and online games

SEATTLE, WA – June 9, 2015 — Recent research shows that 75 percent of teens have a smartphone and 92 percent of them go online daily, with 24 percent classifying their usage as constant.¹ For educational institutions like Luca Pacioli Institute in Crema, Italy, controlling inappropriate Internet usage such as online gaming, peer-to-peer messaging and social media is vital to ensuring student safety and the integrity of the learning process. To help overcome these challenges and deliver a secure, high-performance educational network, Luca Pacioli has deployed WatchGuard's XTM security appliances and Wireless Access Points (APs).

In addition to the massive influx of personal devices on campus networks, social media has also created a huge distraction for today's student, with more than 71 percent of teens using at least one social networking site.² WatchGuard allows school administrators to completely control Internet and data usage by user, and granularly control device access to the network. For example, the institute can monitor students' digital behavior and usage of unauthorized applications, such as Instagram and Facebook, and apply policies to prevent such behavior in the future.

"Prior to WatchGuard, our networks were fairly open to students and faculty. But, with the rise of mobile devices and the ever-increasing distraction of online gaming and other cyber activities, we realized that student behavior needed to be focused inward toward the classroom, and that we need to ensure the security of our networks to keep students and faculty safe," said Fabio Bassi, IT manager at Luca Pacioli Institute. "WatchGuard's security appliances have been fantastic. With tools like WatchGuard Dimension, we can instantly see what's happening on our network and implement policies to control usage and ensure performance. In addition to helping us protect those inside the firewall, it also keeps cyber criminals out, so vulnerabilities and threats don't impact those within our walls."

Luca Pacioli also uses WatchGuard's latest Wireless APs to extend the full-featured security across the school's entire WLAN. This allows the institute to control Wi-Fi access and monitor performance across several campus locations, and implement policies for unique user IDs, password authentication and browsing filtering. Luca Pacioli can also extend new levels of access and security to parents with remote login credentials so they can view electronic record files, including curriculum, performance and attendance.

For the IT administrators at Luca Pacioli, WatchGuard is more than just managing student and faculty network usage. It delivers ongoing real-time performance monitoring and alerts for cyber threats or vulnerabilities on the network. With centralized management of all the WatchGuard devices, the institute can pull in the key information necessary to identify trends and vulnerabilities so it can quickly modify or create new policies across the network in real-time. This centralized approach saves the institute time and money.

"Our institute attracts students from neighboring provinces as far as 60 miles away, such as Milan, Bergamo and Brescia. We have more than 1,500 students that are split across five buildings tethered by a virtual infrastructure and network-attached storage servers. These sites include roughly 1,800 devices, such as PCs, tablets and multimedia interactive whiteboards, which are used as learning tools across the different grade levels," said Bassi. "Without WatchGuard's help to monitor and secure these networks, students and faculty could not focus on the task at hand – educating and learning in a fun, safe environment."

To read the complete Luca Pacioli Institute case study click here.