Pascack Valley High School NJ, USA
Pascack Valley High School, 200 Piermont Avenue, Hillsdale, NJ 07642, USA
About Pascack Valley High School, Education

Pascack Valley Takes a Unified Approach to CIPA Compliance with Cyberoam Identity-based Security

Pascack Valley Regional High School District opened in 1955. It is a regional public high school district encompassing students from four communities in the Pascack Valley region of Bergen County, New Jersey serving students in grades 9 – 12 with an approximately 1,623 students.

Implementing Cyberoam’s UTM was the major cornerstone of Pascack Valley’s ability to comply with CIPA regulations, a crucial step in maintaining eligibility for E-Rate technology funding assistance

Mr. Willie Pico
(District Network Administrator)

Pascack Valley introduced laptops and wireless access to its students, and needed to implement an identity-based security system that would allow students to carry their own personal Internet access policies anywhere within the school network. The school district also wanted to be able to define access policies based on the student’s level of required Internet access -- no matter how or where they logged into the school’s network.

Like many other educational institutions, Pascack Valley’s students have computer access throughout their respective schools, and the school district has received a state-wide reputation for being technologically innovative with individual student tracking requirements.

“We needed a solution that would prevent unauthorized students from viewing inappropriate content, a step that is necessary for complying with the Children’s Information Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA, passed in 2000, addresses concerns about student access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers,” said Willie Pico, District NetworkAdministrator, Pascack Valley.

But in complying with CIPA, Pascack Valley did not want to implement multiple security appliances, as they involve high capital expense and high operational expenses with annual maintenance contracts. In addition, using multiple security appliances increases operational complexity with multiple upgrades and patches, and dealing with multiple vendors can be challenging. Day-to-day management and controls of multiple appliances is also very resource intensive.

The Cyberoam Solution

The Pascack Valley School District decided to implement Cyberoam UTM Model CR 1000i, which provides firewall/VPN, bandwidth management, multiple link management, anti-virus, anti-spam, intrusion detection and prevention, and content filtering.

Cyberoam’s unique identity-based security approach delivers real-time network protection against evolving Internet threats. Cyberoam applies security policies based on the individual user’s identity - advancing the school district ahead of conventional solutions that bind security to IP-addresses only.

Cyberoam’s identity-based security solution provides full academic flexibility while ensuring complete security in Pascack Valley’s multiple-user-shared PC environment, as well as DHCP and Wi-Fi environments, by identifying individual users within the network.

“In addition to creating user identity-based policies and unique identities for each student, faculty, and administration, we can track student traffic by the user name,
providing instant visibility into any student’s activity and allowing us to make proactive policy changes as needed,” said Pico.

The unique design of the Cyberoam solution ensures that students’ security policy settings are applied wherever they are on campus, and allows them to utilize Internet and network resources freely, while providing assurance that resource abuse will be not permitted. Any such attempts are properly logged. Doing so enables Pascack Valley to comply with CIPA regulations and maintain eligibility for E-Rate technology funding assistance.

Cyberoam’s granular reporting also provides Pascack Valley with an exact picture of Web trends and usage based on each individual student’s identity. This allows the school administration to track inappropriate and malicious activity and revise access policies if necessary. The Traffic Discovery module provides the school district with accurate, real-time details of the Internet activity on the network. Leveraging cyclic access and stipulated time-bound access per day, Cyberoam’s fullfunctioned bandwidth management feature ensures that the total Internet bandwidth is not monopolized by a particular user or application.

“I was particularly impressed by Cyberoam’s dashboard that provides me with a single screen, bird’s-eye-view of what is happening in my network, in real-time. I also love the real-time IDP alerts that tell me who is trying to access inappropriate content– and when and where they are doing it,” said Pico.

Implementing Cyberoam’s UTM solution provided Pascack Valley with the costeffective, centrally-managed solution with easy web-based controls over all the security features – all over a single platform.

“In a nutshell, Cyberoam’s UTM Model 1000i not only met our expectations, but well exceeded them,” Mr. Pico concluded. Pico also stated that the installation of Cyberoam’s solution was expected to save the school district $6,400 in the first year, and $30,000 in the second year.