Digitization and Internet access within its schools were urgent priorities for the Department of Seine-et-Marne, a region in Northern France. This government department provides services for a growing population, including many young people who see Internet usage at school as a basic necessity. In addition, staff at the department’s 129 state secondary schools serving teenagers need secure, reliable internet connectivity in order to complete their work and keep malicious and unwanted content away from students.
Faced with these needs, the department began to look for a suitable cyber security solution that would enable them to offer WiFi access without putting their networks at risk.
Much of the Internet usage in the department’s schools takes place on personal mobile devices, which presents a host of security risks. The department needed a network security service that would protect the network from public Internet usage on any device. In addition, the department wanted an out-of-the-box solution that would not only optimize WiFi hotspots with enough capacity to support guest traffic, but would also be easy to manage and updated regularly. The scalability of the solution was another key selection criteria, as the local authorities were already anticipating a growth in Internet traffic and associated cyber risks.
To address these issues, Cloudflare Gateway — a secure web gateway with DNS filtering capabilities to protect users from harmful content — was deployed across The Department of Seine-et-Marne, with the help of a partner DC Communication. Upon completion of a proof-of-concept phase, the department, DC Communication, Cambium Networks and Cloudflare were able to roll out the solution across every school within a very short timeframe.
Cloudflare Gateway users log in through a firewall via Active Directory, from a dedicated Stormshield captive portal. Malicious sites and cyberattacks are blocked effectively with no admin time required.
For the secondary schools themselves, their traffic is managed by teams from the department with the support of DC Communication, and they work to operate the solutions from Cambium Networks and Cloudflare. As Olivier Millien, Deputy Director of Digital Learning explains, "This comprehensive solution allows us to guarantee connectivity and access to information for our students, teachers and staff, allowing our internal teams to work more efficiently while avoiding potential cyber security issues."
For DC Communication, the solutions from Cambium Networks and Cloudflare allow them to ensure a long-term, high-end service. Rémy Millescamps, CEO of DC Communication, explains, "The Cloudflare points of presence are capable of handling large volumes of simultaneous connections, allowing us to respond to the growth in connected terminals with an easy-to-manage solution."
By installing WiFi hotspots in secondary schools, the department has helped improve mobile device usage. As a result, students and teachers benefit from dedicated WiFi access, as do administrative teams.
Today, the WiFi hotspots available across the department's secondary schools allow students and teachers to connect to the Internet from anywhere within the building from any device. Accelerated connectivity supported by Cloudflare Gateway ensures online access for up to 300 tablets or laptops per school.
In addition, teachers can also connect their personal computers to the school WiFi without compromising the security of the network. This enhances the user experience and provides a better working environment.
For the department, secure web browsing and DNS filtering protection against cyber attacks have not been the only advantages gained from rolling out the solution offered by DC Communication and Cloudflare. It was also important to implement a solution that was quick to install, as well as adaptable, responsive and long-lasting.
The majority of solutions available on the market would not have guaranteed the same level of security and responsiveness to such a wide variety of threats as Cloudflare Gateway does. Rémy Millescamps explains, "Cloudflare Gateway ensures security for a wide variety of applications used on the school WiFi network, including a wide range of educational software as well as video platforms. We wouldn’t be able to operate as securely as we do without Gateway."
Cloudflare Gateway provided internal team with secure, reliable connectivity to the public Internet
Cloudflare Gateway made the internal teams operate more efficiently
Cloudflare Gateway accelerated online access for 300 devices per school
“Cloudflare Gateway allows us to guarantee connectivity and access to information for students, teachers and staff, all without any security concerns or additional work for our internal teams.”
Deputy Director of Digital Learning, Department of Seine-et-Marne
“The Cloudflare global edge network is capable of handling large volumes of simultaneous connections, which allows us respond to the growth in the number of connected terminals with an easy-to-manage solution.”
CEO, DC Communication