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Bloomington Public Schools Scores with Plixer NetFlow Analyzer Tool


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December 13, 2012

Bloomington Public Schools Scores with Plixer NetFlow Analyzer Tool

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Plixer International (News - Alert), which specializes in NetFlow-based network traffic reporting solutions, developed its robust toolset to help customers better protect their networks. Recently, the company revealed that Bloomington Public Schools has just deployed Scrutinizer in order to raise the bar on security and eliminate the risk of cyber attacks occurring that off-the-shelf firewalls and antivirus software fail to detect.

Scrutinizer is capable of amassing a network traffic view that can drill-down into virtually any type of traffic, anywhere on the network.

Touted as being a Web-based tool,  the intuitive offering provides detailed network utilization reports that show exactly what applications and users are generating the most network traffic

 “Our Scrutinizer NetFlow Analyzer is capable of amassing a network traffic view that typical firewalls and antivirus tools were not built to provide,” said Michael Patterson (News - Alert), CEO, Plixer International, in a statement. “We are able to provide a holistic view of the entire enterprise—regardless of equipment vendor—to quickly pinpoint the root cause of harmful behavior.”

Bloomington Public Schools has a complex IT infrastructure comprised of a central data center with metro TLS Ethernet links connecting each school via a Cisco (News - Alert) backbone as well as the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Server. 

In the past, the network has been frequently affected by viruses, but the antivirus software in place could not stop them. In total, more than 100 machines were affected and this prompted the school to turn to Scrutinizer for help.  

Jason Radford, system administrator at Bloomington Public Schools explains, “Our network is like the ‘Wild West,’ with traffic coming from every direction. This makes it very difficult for our team to effectively monitor and trace network activity.”

Further, Scrutinizer reports on which hosts, applications, and protocols are consuming network bandwidth and provides custom NetFlow reports to instantly sort data into useful information. 

Since it began leveraging this solution, the Bloomington IT team has been able to create filters for SMTP and specific subnets attempting to hit known BOTNET sites.  By using a Scrutinizer saved report as a threat detection algorithm, in less than one hour the team at Bloomington identified every single infected machine and stopped the virus.

“Scrutinizer permits us to drill-down into any type of traffic – anywhere on the network – so we can provide fast answers to potential problems.  It has completely changed the way we monitor network traffic,” Radford concluded.  

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Edited by Jamie Epstein

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