Consolidated High School District 230

Consolidated High School District 230

Case Study

Configuring BYODs for WPA2-Enterprise

The continuous growth of mobile computing has led to stronger calls for secure wireless network access, especially in education. For many schools, there has been a natural progression to use more technology to benefit a student’s learning. As more schools use BYOD to supplement classroom learning, there has been increased demand for secure wireless access.

Marce Gonzalez, Operations Manager for the Technology Department at Consolidated High School District 230 (D230), realized knew that providing secure and user-friendly W-Fi access would be a challenge given the volume and diversity in mobile devices.

“BYOD is growing and not going anywhere. In the past, our students were allowed to bring their personal laptop or other device to school, but were not allowed to connect to the network. We needed to change that,” Gonzalez says.

Web-based educational tools and materials have become the norm for K-12 districts, so providing secure access for BYOD and district-owned devices is imperative for students and staff.

We started trying to figure out how we were going to be able to easily onboard our students. it was really a nightmare. Once we found SecureW2’s JoinNow, the lights went on. We were really impressed, and it works great for us

Marce Gonzalez

Operations manager, technology

Configuring WPA2-Enterprise Manually Poses a Risk

The district had previously offered wireless to staff members using a pre-shared key. Despite their best efforts, the students obtained the staff wireless key, leading to unauthorized access and security issues.

“We would change the password on a Friday, and the students would have it on Monday,” Gonzalez says.

Moving forward, D230 decided that enforcing security standards, such as encryption and individual user authentication, were critical requirements for the revamped wireless network.

The decision was made to deploy secure wireless using WPA2-Enterprise and 802.1x authentication to offer the highest level of security to students. A challenge arose because access to their secure network would require end user manual configuration. The manual process is complex and those without a technical background will not understand the high-level steps. Adding to the challenge is the fact that students and staff demand access from a wide range of devices and operating systems, each requiring different steps for configuring and connecting to secure wireless.

Secure and Automated WPA2-Enterprise Configuration

D230 set out to find an affordable solution that would allow students to easily access the WPA2-Enterprise network from their BYOD devices without the need for lengthy configuration guides or requiring the service desk to touch each device.

“Once we found JoinNow, the lights went on. We were really impressed, and it works great for us,” Gonzalez says.

Today, when a student or staff member wants to connect to the WPA2-Enterprise network for the first time from their personal device, they are effortlessly directed to D230’s JoinNow deployment. After confirming their identity, the device is securely configured for WPA2-Enterprise and is distributed a certificate for network authentication. No additional IT help is necessary since the end user is connected automatically going forward.

Easily Configure WPA2-Enterprise Network with JoinNow

Using JoinNow helps free up precious IT resources and countless man-hours that would otherwise be spent connecting users or troubleshooting issues with the wireless network.

JoinNow removes the complexities of 802.1x and WPA2-Enterprise onboarding. Eliminating manual configuration takes the burden off the end user and prevents wasted time at the IT help desk.

“We were really worried about how much traffic getting people connected was going to generate for our tech staff. With JoinNow, it’s just really easy for them to connect,” Gonzalez says.

Today, Gonzalez and D230 can rest assured knowing students and staff can onboard BYOD quickly and securely. SecureW2 offers cost-effective solutions for high-quality network security, check out our pricing page.

We started trying to figure out how we were going to be able to easily onboard our students. it was really a nightmare. Once we found SecureW2’s JoinNow, the lights went on. We were really impressed, and it works great for us

Marce Gonzalez

Operations manager, technology