SOURCE: Fortinet

January 29, 2007 12:00 ET

Fortinet Secures 80,000+ Users at Second Largest School District in Alberta

Edmonton Public School Board Deploys FortiGate™ Systems to Protect Students and Administrators at Over 200 Education Sites

SUNNYVALE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 29, 2007 -- Fortinet -- the pioneer and leading provider of unified threat management (UTM) solutions -- today announced that the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB), the second largest school district in Alberta, Canada, has deployed more than 200 FortiGate™ systems, including two FortiGate-3600 high-end enterprise systems at its network core, to replace its aging, homegrown firewall and VPN solution. The high-performance FortiGate systems have been seamlessly installed in EPSB's existing network infrastructure to provide centrally managed and fully integrated firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention (IPS), VPN, routing, tunneling and NAT capabilities to help secure 80,200 students and 7,100 staff members across more than 200 education sites.

As the second largest school district in the province, EPSB's security needs rival those of Fortune 1000 enterprises. With that size of a network -- and with that many students -- the risk of viruses and malicious traffic and compromised network performance from peer-to-peer traffic is significant. For years, EPSB successfully secured its network from such threats and performance issues with a homegrown solution -- FreeBSD firewalls running on PCs -- which allowed for its critical needs of encryption and tunneling. Unfortunately, the district's security requirements were quickly outpacing the capabilities of its current security infrastructure and its allotted man hours.

"If we kept the old solution in place, we would have needed to make a significant investment in development work and new hardware," said Kirk Davis, senior network analyst for EPS. "It was more cost efficient for us to find a new solution -- preferably an appliance -- that could provide at least the amount of security functionality that we already had, that was easy to centrally manage and simple to deploy, and that was much more cost-effective to maintain than our old solution."

EPSB considered many factors when evaluating a new security solution, including price, performance, and support and maintenance costs. The new solution also had to be flexible enough to fit into its existing network architecture without any overhaul, as well as be scalable enough to adapt to future changes as the network continued to grow.

The district evaluated a number of security products with Alternetive Converged Solutions Inc (ACSI), a leading network security solution provider based in Calgary, which boasts a broad portfolio of advanced technology solutions. With ACSI's help, EPSB found the solution it needed in Fortinet's multi-threat security systems.

"We initially evaluated Fortinet because it was clear that it would be a more cost-efficient solution, from the initial purchase to long-term ROI," Davis said. "Fortinet provided all of the features and performance we required for less cost than its competitors."

The district purchased and deployed two FortiGate-3600 ASIC-accelerated enterprise multi-threat security systems at its network core in high-availability mode for redundancy. It also purchased and deployed 220 FortiGate-100 appliances at individual remote school sites using NAT directly to the Internet while the WAN traffic is tunneled via IPSec to and across the Alberta SuperNet to FortiGate-3600 systems at the headquarters.

"One of the key benefits of the FortiGate appliances is that antivirus and intrusion prevention capabilities can be turned on without having to deploy additional appliances," said Davis. "In addition, Fortinet's 24-hour FortiGuard security subscription services help ensure these functions are constantly and automatically updated which saves a considerable amount of management time."

The FortiGate systems immediately met the district's needs by providing integrated firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, VPN, routing, tunneling and NAT capabilities at an increased performance. The IT staff was able to easily drop in the FortiGate systems where its homegrown solution previously lived without needing to do any network configuration.

"Deploying security solutions at the network core requires very high performance, and large distributed site deployments require multi-functionality that is easy to implement, manage and maintain," said Karl Soderlund, vice president of sales, Americas, for Fortinet. "The Fortinet solution has been very well received by EPSB because of its ability to exceed these security demands while remaining very competitively priced."

About Fortinet (

Fortinet is the pioneer and leading provider of ASIC-accelerated multi-threat security systems, which are used by enterprises and service providers to increase their security while reducing total operating costs. Fortinet solutions were built from the ground up to integrate multiple levels of security protection -- including firewall, antivirus, intrusion prevention, VPN, spyware prevention and antispam -- providing customers a way to protect multiple threats as well as blended threats. Leveraging a custom ASIC and unified interface, Fortinet solutions offer advanced security functionality that scales from remote office to chassis-based solutions with integrated management and reporting. Fortinet solutions have won multiple awards around the world and are the only security products that are certified eight times over by ICSA Labs (firewall, antivirus, IPSec, SSL, IPS, client antivirus detection, cleaning and antispyware). Fortinet is privately held and based in Sunnyvale, California.

Fortinet is a registered trademark of Fortinet, Inc. Fortinet, FortiGate, FortiOS, FortiAnalyzer, FortiASIC, FortiCare, FortiManager, FortiWiFi, FortiGuard, FortiClient, and FortiReporter are trademarks of the Fortinet, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

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