Chicago Public Schools Cyber Security Upgrades & Disaster Planning

Better IT Protection for the 2nd Largest School System in the U.S.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is the second-largest school district in the United States, serving 361,000 children, and the second-largest employer in Illinois with more than 45,000 employees. The CPS system operates more than 600 locations, including 500 pre-K–12 schools and alternative learning centers along with other support centers and administrative offices. With 75 percent of the student body coming from an economically disadvantaged background, CPS’ vision is that every student in every neighborhood will be engaged in a rigorous, well-rounded instructional program and graduate prepared for success in college, career, and life.

CPS’ Board of Education trusted Sentinel Technologies and Level-1 Global Solutions with system-wide technology and network security upgrades to help enhance their digital learning capabilities and communications and keep Chicago’s students safe. CPS also required a major network infrastructure overhaul to keep pace with rapid changes in technology and improve the security, reliability, and performance of its critical infrastructure and assets. Outdated network equipment at the schools needed upgrading to current Board of Education standards to ensure greater network stability, additional bandwidth, remote management capabilities, and increased WAN/LAN security and network performance.

Level-1’s team of cyber security experts collaborated with CPS to install a cyber security system to protect their critical infrastructure from unauthorized users and ensure secure remote access from smartphones and tablets. Level-1 provided managed security services (i.e. Firewall, IPS, and IDS), security architecture and design, attack and penetration testing/auditing, application design review, vulnerability assessment, security policy design and implementation and wireless network design, security, and implementation.

Level-1 also worked closely with CPS to identify all linkages and dependencies and then developed a corresponding Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan. Level-1’s holistic approach helped to ensure the continuity of CPS’ operations along with a competitive advantage and risk mitigation.





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