Case Study - Sevenoaks School


Balancing Network Security with Innovation

With more than 1,020 day and boarding students from some 40 countries and over 200 staff, Sevenoaks School in Kent, England, offers a truly global dimension inspired by the International Baccalaureate. It also has a reputation for pioneering new ideas. The independent school's enthusiastic pupils achieve excellent academic results, with 43 students being offered places at Oxford and Cambridge in 2014, and over 100 offers received last year for US and Canadian universities.

The school's network infrastructure provides wired and WiFi connectivity to all buildings for learning, teaching, business and leisure activities. It needs to be flexible, yet secure enough to support the school's ambitious programme of innovative learning; for personal study or research; to communicate and access the school's online learning platform; and for a growing range of co­curricular activities. The infrastructure also needs to support a wide range of school-owned and personal devices, along with secure remote access for staff, students and governors who want to access school systems and data while they live and travel globally.

Constantly balancing the need for fast, flexible access with network security, the school's IT Service team has to guard against growing digital threats, while also protecting against potentially risky or inappropriate applications.

WatchGuard comes top of its class

The IT Service team at Sevenoaks evaluated a short-list of products against its clearly defined needs before finally selecting the WatchGuard XTM 850 unified threat management platform to replace its existing WatchGuard XTM 810.Their choice was reinforced by positive references from other sites using the XTM 850.

"We needed a solution that would plug into our existing IT infrastructure, provide long­ lasting robust network protection, was easy to install to minimise disruption for users and was straightforward for the IT Service Technicians to manage," said Simon Jiggins, IT Services Manager at Sevenoaks School. "With ever increasing activity and throughput, minimising latency for users was a vital requirement, while the increased range of ports allows integration for other networks. The flexibility to configure the ports and embed proxy settings has also proved very valuable."

The WatchGuard XTM 850 provides 8 Gbps firewaII throughput with best-in-class security services to boost protection in critical attack areas including gateway AV, URL and Web Content Filtering, Intrusion Prevention and Spam Blocking along with Application Filtering and Control.

For Sevenoaks School, the main benefits of the WatchGuard UTM include:

  • Boundary security that matches the type of activity supported by the school's network
  • Flexibility and versatility
  • Increased range of ports for integration of other networks
  • Ease of management
  • Good service and support

Looking ahead

The WatchGuard UTM was supplied by WatchGuard partner IML and supported by value added distribution partner, Wick Hill. "Having a WatchGuard engineer present during installation made sure that the process happened smoothly and correctly, whilst also transferring knowledge to the technical team for future reference," added Simon Jiggins. "The UTM gives us the confidence to manage our network and to meet ever-changing security challenges and to keep pace with the school's digital needs."



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The UTM gives us the confidence to manage our network and to meet ever-changing security challenges and to keep pace with the school's digital needs.

Simon Jiggins, IT Services Manager,
Sevenoaks School



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