Solving Common K-12 Challenges with the Meraki MX

Stop worrying about how to optimize your network and gain confidence in your security solution.

How many times have you wondered what sites your students are visiting? Or if private student information is finding its way to the Internet? Or why your connectivity is slow?

It is often difficult to keep tabs on various aspects of network usage when school buildings are distributed or when overall visibility requires plugging directly into the network devices. The good news is that the Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliances provides granular analytics, simple troubleshooting, and secure Internet access you need, all from an intuitive, browser-based dashboard.

Scenario #1

Ensure student privacy and security without spending excessive amounts of time making configuration changes and keeping content filtering databases up to date.

Meraki MX Security Appliances support CIPA-compliant content filtering, providing admins with the power to easily prevent students from accessing unwanted or inappropriate content. Get rid of the hassle of manually downloading updates and instead set custom rules using simple drop-down menus, updated hourly by Webroot’s Brightcloud database, an industry-leading, cloud-based content filtering service.

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Keeping malicious traffic off your network and protecting your students’ information is also possible without expending countless hours or resources. Set up a first line of defense by restricting who can access various parts of your network by integrating Active Directory with group or user-based policies. Then, using granular reporting, manage possible security threats and watch the impact these changes make to your network. With features like integrated Sourcefire SNORT intrusion detection and prevention (IDS/IPS) and anti-virus/anti-phishing scanning available, you’ll be able to breath easy knowing your network is secure from the inside and the outside.

Scenario #2

Teachers are complaining that the Internet is slow and they can’t access certain sites, like YouTube for Schools.

Simply login to the Meraki dashboard to see granular details on how your network is being used and by whom, regardless of how many locations you have. You can quickly identify which applications are hogging bandwidth or if a particular device is running multiple applications, exceeding appropriate usage.

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Quickly identify applications and behavior which could potentially impact overall network experience.

Now establish group or site-wide policies that set limits what users have access to and how much bandwidth they are allowed to consume. Or quickly change those rules on the fly so devices like teacher iPads can stream videos for their students or entire classrooms can view content for certain periods of time. Leave the stress of optimizing your network bandwidth behind.

Scenario #3

You need to provide access to shared resources, make network configuration changes at distributed buildings, or handle network access for BYOD, but you don’t have time to make on-site visits.

Three clicks in the Meraki dashboard have never been so satisfying when that’s all it takes for you to establish secure, site-to-site IPsec VPN, between all of your locations. In minutes you can interconnect your entire deployment for access to shared resources and more.

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Establishing site-to-site VPN configuration is just three clicks from the overview page, and local subnets are automatically populated and distributed to the rest of the network.

The Meraki dashboard enables configuration and troubleshooting from just about anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection. If you need to make quick network changes for a special event, for example, you can easily push configuration changes across multiple sites and even use configuration templates to help.

With BYOD and 1:1 initiatives becoming more common in K-12, you’ll need to keep an eye on clients and what they’re doing when they join your network. The group policies discussed above before will come in handy in determining what content can be accessed, as well as network access via wired splash pages. In just a few mouse clicks you can create solutions to these and other network challenges you face, all using Meraki Security Appliances.

Find out what else the Cisco Meraki MX Security Appliance can do in the K-12 environment by attending one of our upcoming webinars.