August 27, 2015 at 9:32 AM EDT

As Security Incidents Rise at Education Facilities Nationwide, Multiple K-12 Institutions Choose Fortinet to Protect Against Cyber Attacks

SUNNYVALE, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/15 -- Fortinet® (NASDAQ: FTNT) -- the global leader in high-performance cybersecurity solutions, announced today that a number of K-12 school districts and educational institutions across the country are entrusting Fortinet and its partners with the security of their students, teachers and faculty as well as their ability to take leaps forward with new technologies to enrich learning. Working with Fortinet, school districts in Hillsborough County, Florida; Merced County high school district in California; Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Texas; as well as Central Catholic High School in Pennsylvania, are now able to launch successful technologies and tools to expand the learning environment, while protecting important student and faculty data, and monitoring online activity via multiple devices to block actions that could be harmful to students or lead to a security compromise.

Fortinet's End-to-End Network Security Platform Uniquely Addresses the Toughest Challenges in Education

Fortinet's security platform is ideally suited for educational environments, which are increasingly finding themselves the targets of cyber criminals. According to a recent Ponemon Institute report, as many as 15% of all recorded security breaches have occurred at an education institution, and the education industry has the second highest per capita data breach cost of all industries.

Fortinet's flexible and extensive product portfolio enables customers to deploy an array of security solutions that meet their specific needs -- whether in large or small, wired or wireless environments. The company's flagship FortiGate appliances integrate a broad array of security and networking functions designed to protect data, applications, and users from network- and content-level security threats. These functions include firewall, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, application control, virtual private network, web-based malware prevention, and anti-spam. Fortinet's custom FortiASIC processors and FortiGuard portfolio of integrated subscription-based security services provide customers the lowest total cost of ownership with the highest levels of performance and security. Using Fortinet solutions, educators globally can support BYOD, guard against an array of malware and viruses, and completely control application usage -- all from a single platform.

"The task of keeping a business network secure can be a daunting one," said Bryan Wood, vice president of education at Fortinet. "Add to it the complexities schools face in protecting students of all ages, as well as teachers and faculty in a world that is exposed to more and more cyber threats, and network security is no longer an option, it's a necessity. We are very proud to be protecting a number of schools and school districts across the country, enabling them to focus on the real objective at hand -- providing students with the best learning environments possible and a safer environment for uninterrupted learning."

Educators Nationwide Take New Measures to Protect Against Cyber Threats

As network traffic increases and schools worldwide become more reliant on technology for a robust learning experience, schools and districts must replace or expand their security infrastructure and maximize web-based malware prevention, in addition to guarding against increasingly sophisticated external attacks. Many educators have reevaluated their security strategies and chosen Fortinet to upgrade their networks to enterprise-grade solutions.

Fortinet Web-Based Malware Prevention Stops Threats and Malicious Traffic for Merced Union High School District and Hillsborough County School District:

When leaders at Merced Union High School District in California wanted to onboard 10,000 Google Chromebooks for their 10,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff, they began by thinking about what the ideal learning environment would look like. They modeled their design on what they saw on college campuses, looking to give students freedom to explore and use web-based resources in a secure environment. Yet, when the district began adding Chromebooks to the network, their existing firewall and web-based malware prevention were unable to meet the increased demands. So their IT team, along with partner CDW, evaluated six different security providers on four criteria: cost, consolidation, ease of management, and scalability. They selected Fortinet because it could easily sustain the number of required concurrent sessions while also providing robust content filtering and granular reporting. Fortinet also scaled with the district's projected bandwidth growth for the next four years. In the end, Fortinet provided additional security features and redundancy, and saved the district more than $30,000 a year in subscription costs.

Hillsborough County Public School district in Florida is the 8th largest school district in the U.S. with roughly 200,000 students attending more than 200 school locations for their elementary, middle and high school education. Like many other public school districts, Hillsborough has relatively limited IT resources and tight budget constraints. As a result, when the Phantom iBoss web-based malware prevention solution the district was using to protect against viruses and threats came up for renewal the county's IT department solicited competitive bids in hopes of expanding their capabilities. Not only did Fortinet win the tender by meeting the county's web-based malware prevention requirements at the best price, it also delivered a network security platform that is helping Hillsborough meet new requirements over time and proactively comply with CIPA and FERPA regulations.

FortiGate Network Security Platform with FortiAP Access Points Enables Cypress-Fairbanks ISD to Manage Wired and Wireless LAN Security for Thousands of Students without Adding Additional Point Security Products:

Cypress-Fairbanks independent school district (ISD) in Texas wanted to build a network that would support a BYOD culture for 113,000 students in 87 schools. Due to the scale of this comprehensive technology upgrade, the district knew it would have to adopt an enterprise-level security solution. More than 100 people over six months were involved in the long-term planning phase for the comprehensive network upgrade. Cypress-Fairbanks wanted to both support the initial volume of devices to be deployed, while scaling the network for increasing demands through 2020. Working with partner M&S Technologies, the district sent out an RFP for best-in-breed solutions that focused on capacity, reliability, ubiquity, security, redundancy, resiliency, and mobility. They chose Fortinet as it provided one system to manage the entire network and maximum processing power to avoid traffic bottlenecks with students logging in and out all day. Today, given the upgrades they made, the Cypress-Fairbanks network can support 500,000 simultaneous sessions while ensuring the network and its users are protected from cyber threats.

Fortinet'sRobust Unified Network Security Platform and Security Management Provides Central Catholic High School Control Over Its Network as well as Cost and Time Savings:

Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. has been educating young men since 1927. While students and teachers at the school are committed to the cause of advancing knowledge, their previous network was letting them down. Malware, virus attacks, botnets and mismanaged legitimate traffic slowed the network to a crawl. Working with Network Access, Central Catholic's technology partner, the school chose Fortinet's end-to-end security platform featuring firewall protection, as well as analysis and reporting. With Fortinet successfully blocking potential threats and watching the school's network traffic, Central Catholic has far greater visibility into problems that may arise and has had no major security issues since implementation. Fortinet has helped the school IT department to reduce time spent on network management by 90%, while also eliminating three separate appliances that the Fortinet platform can manage on its own, saving Central Catholic nearly $10,000 per year in support costs. Students, staff and faculty can now access data flawlessly without the worry of security threats.

"The goal of educators across the country is to keep students safe and prepare them to be successful in school and career," said Wood. "Both of these are at risk if our school and district networks cannot support the demands of a digital learning environment while protecting our students and their personal data. Fortinet features enterprise level security to help educators balance content and collaboration, content filtering and threat management, as well as meet federal and state compliance requirements all from a single platform."

To view the full Fortinet K-12 use cases and corresponding video interviews, please visit:

About Fortinet
Fortinet(NASDAQ: FTNT) protects the most valuable assets of some of the largest enterprise, service provider and government organizations across the globe. The company's fast, secure and global cyber security solutions provide broad, high-performance protection against dynamic security threats while simplifying the IT infrastructure. They are strengthened by the industry's highest level of threat research, intelligence and analytics. Unlike pure-play network security providers, Fortinet can solve organizations' most important security challenges, whether in networked, application or mobile environments - be it virtualized/cloud or physical. More than 210,000 customers worldwide, including some of the largest and most complex organizations, trust Fortinet to protect their brands. Learn more at, the Fortinet Blog or FortiGuard Labs.

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