It’s one of our favorite stats: 1 in 3 U.S. K-12 public schools use OpenDNS. But why do so many schools choose the service? In this edition of Field Reports, we talk to Houston Public Schools Information Technology Director Scott Gottfried, who joins the IT experts at thousands of other districts that use OpenDNS to help their schools meet CIPA compliance and keep kids safe online.
OpenDNS: You were searching for a new Web filtering solution when you found OpenDNS. What particularly were you searching for?
Scott: Our district, which is located in Rochester, Minnesota, was experiencing slow DNS resolution and frequent DNS outages that prevented students and teachers from accessing online learning tools. We went searching for a solution that would allow us to meet CIPA compliance without breaking the bank or demanding the constant attention of our overstretched team.
OpenDNS: What made you decide that OpenDNS Enterprise was the right fit for Houston Public Schools?
Scott: It was a variety of reasons, actually. First, cloud-based Web filtering eliminated the need for in-house hardware and associated time-intensive deployment and management. Second, OpenDNS Enterprise malware protection is updated automatically in real time, giving us the most up-to-date threat protection without additional monitoring and management. Finally, OpenDNS eliminated the DNS outages and slow-downs we were experiencing.
OpenDNS: Sounds like you made a great choice for your district. How does OpenDNS malware protection add value for your schools?
Scott: It ensures our users can’t access malicious sites and download malware in the first place. The additional security that OpenDNS Enterprise provides by blocking malware earlier in the threat model is a very important benefit of using the service.
OpenDNS: Any advice for other K-12 network administrators who may be considering OpenDNS?
Scott: Not only would I recommend using OpenDNS, it is incomprehensible to me that there are schools around not using it! To improve DNS performance, I recommend all schools get started with Premium DNS at the very least, and I encourage them to choose OpenDNS Enterprise for Web filtering and malware protection.