Wireless Network Security for K-12 Education

Scan and protect Wifi device traffic across schools and districts.

This brief was prepared for the unique network security issues facing K-12 education and written for administrators and IT managers engaged in the day-to-day management of network security for K-12 schools and school districts. It provides a deep-dive into issues associated with the deployment of Wireless Network Security solutions from SonicWall.

The new paradigm for K-12 education is that schools and districts must share student, faculty, and administrative data across local and wide area networks, wireless networks. For that reason, districts must provide secure, high-speed wireless access for students, faculty, and staff using either school-issued or personal devices – all without impeding academic performance and productivity.

Meeting the Challenge of Wireless Network Security for K-12 Education

SonicWall meets the challenges facing K-12 education with wireless network security solutions that combine the performance of SonicWall firewalls and SonicWave wireless access points. SonicWall firewalls feature an integrated wireless controller that automatically detects and configures SonicWaves across the network. Plus, SonicWaves have a plenum-rated chassis for safe installation in a wide variety of environments, such as air-handling spaces or above suspended ceilings.

The document provides details on how SonicWave appliances and systems comply with high data rate standards while offering higher performance levels at greater ranges. SonicWaves support a wide range of wireless standards and security protocols that allow organizations to leverage prior investments in devices incapable of supporting higher encryption standards and the capability for easy migration to new standards. Wireless network security is enhanced when fewer wireless devices are competing for airspace and injecting signal interference. Also, fast roaming on the SonicWave access points enables students and faculty to go from one room to another without dropping connectivity.

Features discussed:

  • Multi-RADIUS Authentication provides enterprise-class redundancy for multiple RADIUS servers. Authentication on each virtual access point supports WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, or WPA2-Auto-Enterprise mode.
  • Wireless guest services can be limited to internet-only access, separate from internal access, and requires guest users to authenticate to a virtual access point before access is securely granted.
  • SonicWall firewalls scan all inbound and outbound traffic on wired and wireless networks and eliminate intrusions, spyware, viruses, and other threats before entering the network.
  • Management and monitoring are security and centrally handled through the firewall or the SonicWall GMS, providing administrators with a single pane of glass to manage all aspects of the network — both wired and wireless.

The document provides diagrams and links to additional resources.