In This Case Study

Challenge

When the pandemic shifted the classroom setting from in-person to remote learning, schools needed to get technology into the hands of students quickly -- but with thousands of students using technology on both their home and school networks, the school districts' attack surfaces widened, presenting higher security risks. In addition to solving technology and security challenges, school districts that received federal funding also needed to undergo audits and address any concerns before a mandated deadline or else incur a $5 million penalty. 

After reviewing the results of a security penetration test, one large public school district's chief information officer (CIO) and director of security sought to find an endpoint security solution that would protect the district from potential cyber threats and ensure a safe virtual learning environment for its students and staff. However, with the audit deadline quickly approaching and without knowing which endpoint security solution to invest in, the decision-making process stalled.

To help them choose the solution that would best fit the district's network security infrastructure, the CIO and security staff turned to WWT for our endpoint security expertise and to leverage the resources and testing capabilities offered through our Advanced Technology Center (ATC)

Solution

Based on a recommendation from Gartner, the school district wanted to test the following endpoint security solutions:

In order execute the proof of concept (POC), our ATC engineers and technical solutions architects provided a disconnected, air-gapped environment (a network security measure that physically isolates a computer network from unsecured networks) within our malware lab that supported three different architectures for each original equipment manufacturer (OEM) simultaneously. Our ATC team then led the initial setup and baselining of the district's environment per the recommended best practices from each OEM and ran the initial demos. Next, the stakeholders were provided remote, secure access to run tests on their own terms without any outside pressure. 

The POC was performed over three weeks, and during those weeks, the CIO and security staff had access to direct training with the OEMs and were able to leverage our resources and engineers. 

Once the school district decided on which solution to invest in, our EA+ team worked with the district to choose the best licensing option that was in line with its growth plans, budget and overall strategic goals, and one that would maximize its return on investment. This service resulted in a five-year structured enterprise license agreement. 

Outcome

WWT's testing environment, dedicated architects and evaluation methodology allowed the district's CIO and security staff to come together to quickly make an informed decision about its endpoint security investment, which resulted in a rapid deployment and the ability to quickly minimize security risks. In addition, partnering with WWT enabled the school district to complete and meet the audit deadline and allowed the district to expand its current environment by coming under budget.

Technologies