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Stopping VPN Use?

  • 1.  Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-09-2018 10:18

    We are a Chromebook 1:1 District with a state managed Firewall and Z-Scaler filter environment.  We have Chromebooks configured to authenticate through the Z-Scaler fiter even when they are on a network outside our control.

    We still see students circumventing these security controls. Some through VPN apps, some through VPN software they can access via USB ports on their Chromebooks.

    Does any school district have a good way of managing this security issue?  Does anyone know of a regularly updated list of Chrome apps that are used for VPN use?

    Your input is greatly appreciated.


    Todd E. Jones
    Chief Technology Officer
    Orange County Schools
    500 Orange High School Road
    Hillsborough, NC   27278

  • 2.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-10-2018 09:55
    How about looking at something like Securly - The Student Safety Company
    Securly remove preview
    Securly - The Student Safety Company
    Cloud-based web filtering and parental controls that work across schools and homes. Setup in minutes. Bullying & self-harm detection. Reports via Parent Portal.
    View this on Securly >
    as a cloud filter solution?

    Rolland Kornblau
    Director of Technology
    San Diego COE / TechSETS
    Pico Rivera CA
    (562) 801-5252

  • 3.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-11-2018 12:42
    We are about to do an internal pilot using the new Umbrella agent for Chrome OS. We have been using GoGuardian primarily at schools in local residential facilities, but have been impressed so far with Umbrella's categorization. We're hoping for a successful pilot and a smooth transition, and I think it may be more difficult to circumvent as it blocks via the initial DNS request.

    Jack Johnson
    Director IT Security
    Anchorage School District

  • 4.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-10-2018 14:02

    I'm wondering if you all have the option of blocking all Chrome apps other than the ones you allow or enable. This might be one way to mitigate the VPN issue since you wouldn't approve of the installation of these types of apps given the reasons described. Presently, we block all apps/extensions and only allow specific ones since the Chrome Web Store is a commercial space with apps that might not be of educational value. We have a process by which staff can request an app/extension be made available for students to add depending on the need. Hope this helps.

    Matt McGoldrick
    Assistant to the Chief Technology Officer
    Montgomery County Public Schools
    Rockville, MD

  • 5.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-15-2018 09:45
    Our Curriculum and Instruction Group wants a block only approach to apps and extensions - we can block specific apps/extensions, but by default, apps/extensions can be downloaded.  We're trying to block them as we find them, but it's a game of Whack-a-mole.

    If this issue gets out of hand, we may have to reconsider our block-only approach.

    Todd E. Jones
    Chief Technology Officer
    Orange County Schools
    500 Orange High School Road
    Hillsborough, NC   27278

  • 6.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-16-2018 09:25
    Edited by Matt Vande Slunt 10-16-2018 09:25
    Todd, being that you cannot use a block all method of preventing VPN/Proxy use, have you considered a content/web filter that allows for stronger reporting and more granular configuration?

    For instance, you could use granular filter configuration to block keywords/phrases such as "VPN, Proxy, Get around Filter, etc" to block the majority of sites/apps/extensions, setup real-time alerts for usage of these same keywords to create teachable moments for students attempting to find/use them, and then monitor detailed filter reporting to see if students are still finding ways around the filter.

    This approach could narrow your search and make it feel a lot less like whack a mole. One option for a paid solution capable of this is AristotleInsight::K12.

    Matt Vande Slunt
    Sergeant Laboratories
    Onalaska WI
    (608) 788-9143

  • 7.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-17-2018 06:57
    Yes, we use the state provided filter solution (Zscaler) and we're researching better ways to leverage it for VPN and proxy detection.

    Todd E. Jones
    Chief Technology Officer
    Orange County Schools
    500 Orange High School Road
    Hillsborough, NC   27278

  • 8.  RE: Stopping VPN Use?

    Posted 10-10-2018 14:23

    We have looked at both Securly and GoGuardian.  We've locked down what apps are allowed and only allow students to install apps through a WebStore we control.  We use GoGuardian for this purpose and Securly for other reasons.  Both companies have been solid so far and offer a good support.


    Christopher Thieme
    Senior Director of Educational Technology
    Oak Park and River Forest High School - District 200
    Oak Park IL
    (708) 434-3275