Secure Internet for Secondary Vocational School and Secondary Training College in Pisek, Czech Republic
"We required the content filtering solution used by ZyXEL for the reason of blocking web sites being in contradiction with education e.g. pornography or erotic. The resulting solution works better than I expected. Filtering is very efficient and practical."
Network Administrator, SVS and STC in Pisek
The Secondary Vocational School (SVS) and Secondary Training College (STC) in Písek focus their educational concept on three spheres. They include trade and public catering, building industries and services in joinery, auto-repair business and servicing. The subjects are taught theoretically in the school buildings and practically at the SVS and STC remote workplaces and in the centers of practical teaching connected to the sphere of business. In addition to it, both the methods of teaching are carried out at several places and require a high-quality, safe and reliable computer network. Regarding the boarding-school character of the institution, it concerns not only the school training but also the boarding and the education of the students in the time off the classes – mostly in the boarding houses in the Sovova street. Itall lays special emphasis on the school network architecture, maintenance and administration.
Training and education of young people is unthinkable without a high-quality access to the internet network nowadays. At the same time, it is necessary to regulate the use of internet by young people, at least in the premises of the school and other school facilities. It is desirable so that the pupils and students use the school network in a reasonable way, first of all to studies and related activities. Uncontrolled and unsecured use of internet entails, in addition, the increased risk of attacking the system by harmful codes of various kinds. Therefore, the Web Content Filtering was one of the basic requirements for the establishment of the uniform school network. The filter concerned, first of all, erotic and pornographic sites.
The connection to the internet was not solved centrally at the school up to that time, some of the workplaces used the dial-up connection that was not too stable and, furthermore, was rather expensive and, in fact, was suitable for e-mail downloading only. Any records of the students were kept in writing only and were delivered in person to the main building where they were registered and kept.
Solutions and Benefits
The school has, except for its main building, seven remote workplaces as e.g. various workshops for practical training or other schoolrooms. Therefore, their interconnection through a data line was not realistic. In spite of that, it was necessary to establish a uniform network, mainly for document sharing, work on the student register server, software and hardware audit, efficient user administration, etc.
Each of the localities is now connected to internet through the WiMAX modern technology. ZyWALL 35 and 5 firewalls used for the selected solution are interconnected through the VPN concentrator situated at the school headquarters. ZyWALL P1 mobile firewalls are then used by the administrators for the remote access to the network. Mail server, active directory domain controller and file server are also situated at the school headquarters.
Thanks to the solution, the users have access to documents as well as many programs saved on the terminal server at the headquarters. Regarding the fact that ZyXEL offers also high-quality ADSL modems, one of the school branches will be connected to the network through an ADSL modem. It will enable to establish the VPN connection to ZyWALL at the headquarters.
The environment for the access of educators to the terminal server for the work with registration programs is under construction now. When purchasing the ZyWALL equipment, the school invested into the Optim Access program used by the educators during the training and also for the interconnection of all branches to VPN. It enables the administrators to administer centrally all computers so to speak "from their chairs" without visiting all localities in person. It brings considerable saving of time and expenses for transport and the administrators consider it as the maximum benefit of the selected network solution.
The ban of erotic and pornographic sites was the first requirement for the Content Filtering. Thanks to the fact that the web filtering provided by ZyXEL is comparatively robust, the ban was soon extended to other web sites, for example guidelines for hacking, spyware, adware infection sources, and also web file sharing servers. They include the Rapid Share server ranking among the most popular ones nowadays, and many others. The ZyXEL Content Filtering system is very efficient according to Martin Vilim from NEOTECH that implemented the network solution in SVS and STC in Pisek. That is, it contains also the database of Czech sites and is updated daily.
"We are very satisfied with the solution after its starting and getting settled. It meets all our requirements. The centers may be now connected to the internal school network. Time-consuming paperwork does not take place any more; time is saved thanks to file sharing as files can be sent by e-mail or shared on the server. The only persisting limiting factor is the low speed of the connection of some small centers to internet," says Frantisek Benda, Information Technology System Administrator of SVS and STC in Pisek. Also Vaclav Hanus, School Director, is content with the newly installed school network. "The internet access is much better and quicker than ever before," stated Hanus.