Case Study - Christian Life School

Christian Life School: Building A Secure Learning Environment

Christian Life School (CLS), a preschool-through-K-12 private institution, is dedicated to fostering academic excellence, vibrant arts programs, and a strong moral foundation. With three campuses and over 1,000 remote users, their technology infrastructure is crucial in daily operations and student learning. CLS partners with QPC Security to balance the need to provide a modern, engaging learning environment while ensuring the utmost security for students, staff, and vital data. This case study delves into CLS's technology landscape, from its diverse software ecosystem to network security solutions. It also explores how it achieves its educational goals while maintaining robust cybersecurity within budgetary limitations.


CLS utilizes a mix of on-premises and Cloud-based solutions, including firewalls, access points, VOIP PBX, IP security cameras/speakers/door controllers, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Internet-connected building management systems. Resources need to be segmented and isolated, and security is further complicated by the varied requirements for web content filtering and wireless access across different user groups and devices. For instance, Chromebooks used by students, staff, and faculty are treated differently than parental or student cellular devices on the guest wireless network. School-owned assets require different rules when accessed from guest devices.

Navigating these challenges proved difficult when aligning security zone profiles and web content filtering profiles with the desired functionality. Compliance with federal protections such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) added complexity. For example, personnel investigating misconduct accusations required flexible and granular security profiles. The aim was to restrict access to select individuals for investigative purposes, preventing broad staff and faculty access. Additionally, preventing users from connecting school assets to insecure external networks posed a critical concern, necessitating additional layers of network security protection.


With guidance from partner QPC, CLS adopted two new policies: 

  1. A procurement policy that standardized their technology choices for lower support costs, faster problem resolution, and a focus on customer service. 
  2. A practical and comprehensive acceptable use policy. 

They implemented WatchGuard network security solutions to support these new policies and address CLS’s other challenges. WatchGuard provided the necessary segmentation, granular access control, and compliance features. WatchGuard's partnership with QPC Security also ensured expert implementation and ongoing support.

“Our decision to purchase WatchGuard solutions was based upon the value proposition as conveyed by QPC”, says IT Director, Dawn LaMothe. “WatchGuard is economically viable for us, and the solutions are priced competitively. The hardware warranty options are very good, the service offerings in terms of security features were deemed to be complete for our needs. We have appreciated over the years how WatchGuard has continually added more value to the security solution and that QPC continues to stay at the leading edge of how to best employ WatchGuard technologies to deliver the largest return on our security investment.”


CLS’s network security has grown significantly. They now have multiple WatchGuard Fireboxes and WatchGuard wireless security across all three campuses and switched from Trend Micro to WatchGuard EPDR for endpoint protection. 

“WatchGuard solutions are financially accessible, the technical documentation is publicly available, and end customers are still able to submit support tickets even if they purchase through their consulting partner (like our technology partner QPC)," LaMothe noted. “We appreciate WatchGuard’s strong partner support network and that they offer a broad set of effective technologies that complement and integrate with each other. When CLS needed MFA for a VPN, WatchGuard had an MFA solution. When we were ready for an advanced endpoint protection product that had a zero trust posture, vulnerability management, and patch management, WatchGuard had a solution. At the point that we needed a modernized Cloud controller wireless solution, WatchGuard had a solution for us. WatchGuard has consistently stayed relatively ahead of the pack with regards to having a solution available when we needed that technology.”

For CLS, WatchGuard firewalls have proven to be reliable, delivering enterprise-grade network security with features like segmentation, detailed audit logs, customizable security zones, and web content filtering. Since partnering with QPC, they haven't experienced any major security breaches, ransomware attacks, or outages caused by malware. This translates to a protected reputation, lower cyber insurance costs, and a safe and reliable computing environment for everyone. 

WatchGuard's wireless technology has proved to be a significant upgrade from their previous system, offering several advantages to CLS’s IT team:

  • Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) utilizing airspace monitoring for enhanced security
  • Improved diagnostics and data collection for easier troubleshooting
  • Automated firmware updates for reduced maintenance
  • Reliable hardware with strong antennas

Thanks to these features, they rarely need QPC's assistance with the wireless network.

With WatchGuard EPDR, CLS has modernized its approach to endpoint protection by following a zero trust model. It thoroughly analyzes files before allowing them to run, protecting them from potential threats. Additionally, it provides valuable insights:

  • Vulnerability reports on software inventory, patch status, and end-of-life software
  • 365 days of event logging for comprehensive endpoint monitoring
  • Patch management for a vast library of software titles

EPDR has significantly improved endpoint protection for CLS while automating vulnerability management. 

QPC recommended WatchGuard as a solution that addresses their needs effectively, offering cost-effectiveness, comprehensive security features, continual improvement, and expert guidance, ensuring maximum value for their investment. Since implementing WatchGuard, CLS has experienced improved network security, reduced operational costs, and increased compliance. The school is now better equipped to protect its users, data, and devices from cyber threats.

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