Grand Island Public Schools Deploys Centrify to Improve Security and Policy Management across Heterogeneous Platforms for more than 10,000 Users
Large pre-K-12 Public School District Selects Centrify Citing Superior Authentication and Authorization, Centralized Management and Support Expertise
October 02, 2013
SUNNYVALE, Calif. — Centrify Corporation, the leader in Unified Identity Services across data center, cloud and mobile, today announced that Grand Island Public Schools has deployed its Centrify Suite 2013 solution to improve security and policy management across its 21-building school system. As a result, the more than 10,000-user pre-K-12 school district has centralized its user and computer account management in Active Directory across its heterogeneous Mac, PC and Linux environment.
Grand Island Public Schools (GIPS) is a pre-K-12 school district located in Grand Island, Neb., offering education to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The 9,000-student district includes 14 elementary schools, three middle schools, an alternative middle school, one senior high school, and an alternative high school. The district also employs approximately 1,300 staff and faculty members. For more information on the school district, see the case study IDC published at: https://edge.centrify.com/public/centrify-mac-for-grand-island-case-study.pdf
“With Centrify, we now have centralized user account management which has allowed us to serve our more than 10,000 users while keeping tight control on authorization and abandoned accounts,” said Cory Gearhart, executive director of IT at Grand Island Public Schools. “Centrify provides management of our Macs, PCs and other platforms within Active Directory, which has reduced the learning curve for IT staff and allows our Mac and PC specialists to converge on a common toolset. Overall, we have much better account control and security, and our users appreciate the Single Sign-On to their systems and applications.”
Prior to Centrify, GIPS had individual Open LDAP implementations handling both user account information and computer account preferences across each of its 21 buildings. It had no redundancy, trusts, or federation between directories, making the strategy of Single Sign-on to all applications nearly impossible. Since accounts were not centrally managed, each building had its own user directory, resulting in poor visibility and ineffective auditing of abandoned accounts and users with elevated privileges.
“At GIPS a vast majority of our users do not have dedicated equipment, and we needed the ability to enforce policies per user on every computer they used,” said Gearhart. “We also needed the ability for policies to carry across physical locations since extra-curricular activities would often send students to different schools, and unsecured local accounts were being used previously to accommodate these students and staff.”
According to Gearhart, GIPS evaluated a number of competing solutions, but ultimately selected Centrify based on its superior authentication and authorization functionalities, and more attractive pricing.
“One of the issues with large scale Mac or Linux deployments is that most of the cross platform solutions are piece meal, but Centrify stands out in its ability to serve all platforms,” he said. “Multiple scenarios were developed and evaluated, but only Centrify proved to be a turnkey solution.”
In addition, GIPS has benefited from the expertise of Centrify’s Support Team. “Centrify has been exceptionally responsive to our support needs,” he added. “Their access to competent engineers has been unmatched in the industry.”
“Grand Island Public Schools is a decorated pre-K-12 school district, and we are pleased to team with them to address their unique identity authorization and authentication needs across their more than 10,000 students, faculty and staff users,” said Gary Taggart, Centrify VP of Sales. “Centrify is growing its business significantly in all markets, and pre-K-12 education represents yet another important market for how the Centrify Suite consolidates identities and centralizes management of user accounts for more effective access security and policy controls.”
About Centrify Suite
The Centrify Suite lets organizations centrally control, secure and audit access to cross-platform systems, mobile devices, and applications by leveraging an infrastructure they already own — Microsoft Active Directory. Built on an integrated architecture, the Centrify Suite strengthens security, enhances regulatory compliance initiatives, and reduces IT expense and complexity. The Centrify Suite — consisting of DirectControl DirectAuthorize, DirectAudit , DirectSecure and DirectManage — delivers secure authentication and single sign-on, role-based access control, privileged identity management, mobile security management, user-level auditing for Windows and UNIX systems, server isolation, and encryption of data-in-motion for the industry’s broadest set of heterogeneous systems and applications on premise and in the cloud.
Centrify provides Unified Identity Services across the data center, cloud and mobile that results in one single login for users and one unified identity infrastructure for IT. Centrify’s solutions reduce costs and increase agility and security by leveraging an organization’s existing identity infrastructure to enable centralized authentication, access control, privilege management, policy enforcement and compliance. Centrify customers typically reduce their costs associated with identity lifecycle management and compliance by more than 50 percent. With more than 5,000 customers worldwide, including 40 percent of the Fortune 50 and more than 60 Federal agencies, Centrify is deployed on more than one million server, application and mobile device resources on-premise and in the cloud. For more information about Centrify and its solutions, call (408) 542-7500, or visit http://www.centrify.com/ .
Centrify, DirectAudit, DirectControl and DirectSecure are registered trademarks and DirectAuthorize and DirectManage are trademarks of Centrify Corporation in the United States and other countries.