As the 3rd largest school district, with over 25,000 students spread across 50 different locations the Chief Technology Officer at Worcester Public Schools, Bob Walton, understands more than most the challenges faced when in the market for a content filtering solution. There are numerous things to consider when scoping requirements for a web filter, by preparing these with careful consideration you can prevent a host of headaches post-deployment.
A key point from Bob when planning implementation of a new filtering solution is to ask questions – most importantly the right questions, a few examples he offered were;
Does it perform SSL content filtering?
Does it do true real-time filtering?
Can it effectively identify and block anonymous proxies?
Can I allow YouTube but restrict the bandwidth it consumes?
These are just a few of the points highlighted by Bob, when evaluating Bloxx he found the answers needed to deploy the correct filtering for the thousands of students and staff from Worcester Public Schools.
Bloxx measures up!
“Worcester needed a partner that evolves their technology as quickly as the Internet changes and one who invests heavily in their product development and support. In our search for a new provider, we tested many filters, and most didn’t pass our quick tests. Bloxx, however, excelled.”
Bob and his team took additional benefit from the Bloxx SSL Intercept functionality, summarizing the importance of filtering encrypted traffic, Bob states: “If you are not performing SSL filtering you are not filtering. SSL allows web traffic to be encrypted and if you cannot decrypt that traffic with your filter, you are blind to the traffic not to mention a myriad of threats!”
“Our standard test when we evaluated a filter was to try twenty daily anonymous proxy sites. Bloxx was the only one that blocked every one of them every time” Bob highlighted the success gained from trialling filters to perform the required tasks.
In addition to the functionality, Bob had to ensure the solution he selected would keep performance levels consistent. On this note – he recognised the unwavering power of Tru-View Techology (TVT)’s real-time analysis and categorization. “In a split second it [TVT] reads hundreds of pages going through it and decides on the spot what to do with the site. That is why most filters do not do real time content analysis because it requires some serious horsepower.”
Hear more at MassCUE
Bob has kindly agreed to join Bloxx at the latest education technology event in the US, MassCUE / M.A.S.S Conference 2015. Presenting alongside Bloxx’s very own Levi Smith, who heads up Sales in our Boston office, Bob will give an overview of the filtering market, best practices on deploying the correct solution to the benefits of filtering with genuine real-time. Watch this space for the insightful presentation slides, and some snaps of the show.