SOURCE: Bradford Networks

Bradford Networks

August 19, 2013 09:00 ET

The School District of Lancaster Uses Bradford Networks to Prepare for BYOD

The School District Is Using the Summer to Define and Rollout a Staff BYOD Strategy Prior to the New School Year; Bradford Networks Outlines Tips for Schools to Prepare for the BYOD Invasion

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - Aug 19, 2013) - Bradford Networks today announced that The School District of Lancaster in the state of Pennsylvania is leveraging Network Sentry to support its Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiative. Bradford Networks also released a 7-point BYOD checklist to help schools prepare for the fall influx of personally owned devices.

The School District of Lancaster, which includes 11,500 students at 21 schools, is using Bradford Networks' Network Sentry Network Access Control (NAC) as the foundation of its BYOD strategy. It is using the summer months to rollout its BYOD strategy, initially for district-owned devices that are provided to staff for teaching purposes. The school district is using Network Sentry to define and test role-based network access policies to support them. Once policies are in place, The School District of Lancaster will be able to significantly reduce the number of SSIDs that have to be managed to one or two, while staff will be able to simply connect their devices and Network Sentry will automatically assign the right network access without the need for any manual configuration. In the future, The School District of Lancaster hopes expand its BYOD initiative to students and guests across the school district.

"The Summer is a great time to prepare for the rollout of the BYOD strategy. Network Sentry helps us find the right balance between securing our network and providing staff with the flexibility to use their mobile devices at school to enhance the educational experience," said Matt Shindel, Network Engineer at The School District of Lancaster. "In addition, Network Sentry provides us with complete visibility into every device on our network. It's great for helping us track down everything and everyone that's connected to the network so that we can secure the network for the new school year."

BYOD in Education - Preparing for the New School Year
According to Bradford Networks' recent 'Impact of BYOD on Education' global survey, 85 percent of education institutions allow some form of BYOD. To help schools prepare for BYOD prior to the September influx of students, Bradford Networks created a 7-point checklist to align BYOD strategies with security needs, while enabling greater student and faculty productivity:

  • Analyze Network Visibility and Security: Rogue devices are one of the biggest security concerns of BYOD. Bradford Networks recommends an in-depth analysis of the visibility the school has into who and what is connecting to the network. Schools should be able to identify all endpoint devices that connect to the network, as well as who is using those devices, to ensure security.
  • Assess, Create, Update Existing BYOD Policies: Once network visibility is gained, schools need to create or update BYOD policies that address their specific campus security requirements. Key considerations include: which devices to support, which OS to support, what AV software will be required, which application are prohibited or restricted, what role-based policies are needed for faculty, etc.
  • Phased BYOD Implementation: Bradford Networks recommends using the summer months to roll out new and updated policies in phases -- targeting the high-risk areas first. Residence halls, which traditionally have the greatest network demands, are a good place to start.
  • Enable Remote Registration: IT staff can significantly ease their burden by enabling remote registration of student devices. Enabling students to register their devices onto the campus network from their home prior to getting to school significantly eases the onboarding process for students and staff and reduces potential backlogs of connectivity demands.
  • Provide BYOD Solution for Guests: Most campuses have a high number of guests and visitors. Ensure that the BYOD policy provides a solution for guest access that makes it easy for guests to connect and for IT to manage. 
  • Communicate the Policy Prior to Semester Start: Ensure that all stakeholders know the new policy prior to the start of the semester. Keep the message simple, a little communication goes along way. For example, letting students know about what devices are supported might help them make purchase decisions during the summer.
  • Assess Continuously: BYOD is an on-going process. It's important to continuously check for the changing needs of users and modify policies accordingly.

"The education market is continually at the forefront of the BYOD movement, driven by tech-savvy students demanding to use their latest gadgets and personal devices," said Tom Murphy, CMO, Bradford Networks. "The Summer provides a great opportunity for campus IT staff to leverage the connection information from the previous year to calibrate their BYOD strategies."

Bradford Networks is the NAC vendor of choice for education institutions worldwide who are embracing BYOD, 1-to-1, or Eduroam. Bradford Networks' customer, Las Virgenes Unified School District, recently presented a webinar on how they enabled secure BYOD across the 17 schools in their district. The webinar can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1bK8hgs.

About Bradford Networks
Bradford Networks offers the best solution to enable secure network access for corporate issued and personal mobile devices. The company's patented Network Sentry solution is the first network security offering that can automatically identify all devices and all users on a network, providing complete visibility and control. Unlike vendor-specific network security products, Network Sentry provides a view across all brands of network equipment and connecting devices eliminating the network blind spots that can introduce risk. Network Sentry is used by more than 900 enterprise customers worldwide in markets such as healthcare, financial services, retail, government, education and more. For more information, please visit www.bradfordnetworks.com.

Bradford Networks and Network Sentry are trademarks of Bradford Networks, Inc. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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