Ada County, Idaho - 12400, 4600, and UTM-1 Appliances and Software Blades

Thanks in part to the flexibility afforded by the Software Blade Architecture, the capabilities of the 12400 and 4600 appliances may be endless. We run multiple software blades with a ton of traffic going through them and we have plenty of room to grow.
—Bret Lopeman, Network Security Administrator, Ada County


Ada County, Idaho

Ada County, Idaho was named after Ada Riggs, the daughter of H.C. Riggs, one of the founders of Boise. The county includes the cities of Boise, Eagle, Garden City, Kuna, Star, and Meridian. Ada County manages and maintains security for multiple departments including Emergency Management, Parks and Waterways, Juvenile Court, Paramedics, Waste Management, and more.

Business Challenge

With a multi-agency network comprised of several cities and multiple departments under its jurisdiction, Ada County has to maintain separate network zones for each agency as well as specific policies for departments and individuals. Robust integrated security, consolidation of technologies, and centralized management are the primary focus for the Ada County IT organization.

  • Integrate the latest network protection strategies for a strong security posture
  • Manage a large distributed security infrastructure
  • Eliminate administrative burden associated with operating a multi-vendor security solution
  • Simplify network security management, administration, and reporting


Check Point 12400 and 4600 Appliances Provide Robust Protection

With a large distributed network that spans six cities and numerous agencies, Ada County was looking for a robust, scalable solution to provide multiple layers of security protection for its network. The Check Point 12400 appliances sit at the county’s primary datacenter and provide robust security with up to 30 Gbps of throughput for the largest part of the county’s network. The 4600 appliances are located at the county’s secondary site and disaster recovery location which serves as a backup to the primary datacenter. Additionally, the county relies on Check Point UTM-1 appliances which are located throughout its agency’s including its main jail to secure all connectivity from police vehicles to the dispatch center and its criminal database. Ada County runs a comprehensive set of Software Blades on each appliance including Application Control, URL Filtering, Identity Awareness, IPS, DLP, and more for its layered security strategy.

Software Blade Architecture Brings 3D Security to Ada County

The Check Point Software Blade Architecture gives Ada County the ability to consolidate multiple technologies onto a single gateway. With DLP, Ada County is able to eliminate unintentional distribution of confidential information over email. And with UserCheck™, the county is able to educate its employees about email and network policies, involving them in the remediation process and greatly reducing the chance of an accidental data leak. Ada County also makes use of Application Control and URL Filtering Software Blades to block or limit access to web based applications and websites. And with Identity Awareness, the county provisions its network policy rules based on individual users and groups rather than the PC. Additionally, Ada County leverages Check Point, IPS, Mobile Access, Firewall, and IPsec VPN Software Blades for a layered and integrated security strategy. “The Software Blade Architecture is excellent; being able to turn on a technology with the click of mouse is extremely easy and because I don’t have to buy additional hardware, it’s cost-efficient.” – Bret Lopeman, Network Security Administrator, Ada County

Centralized Management Simplifies Administration

Bringing all these functionalities together might sound like a daunting task but since all Check Point Software Blades are managed centrally from a Smart-1 management appliance, Ada County is able to manage its entire security infrastructure with single security administrator. In addition to everyday management and reporting, the county is required to go through annual audits to ensure it complies with HIPPA and CJIS regulations. With the management solution, the county is able to show its entire network configuration and policies in a single dashboard as well as generate create custom reports, greatly reducing the audit cycle. “What used to be all-day meeting with an auditor now takes about an hour and a half. To me this is a huge time savings.” – Lopeman


Integrated Protection

  • Software Blade Architecture delivers excellent price performance.
  • Provides multi-tiered threat protection in an integrated package, at multi-gigabit speeds.
  • Identity Awareness enables Ada County to create rules based on users rather than PCs.

Robust Appliances

  • 2012 Appliances provide Ada County with the performance needed for a dynamic multi-agency environment.
  • “These are good strong boxes with plenty of throughput and performance.” – Lopeman
  • “I’m usually pretty open to whatever changes my CIO wants to bring into play as long as he doesn’t talk about changing my Check Point firewalls.” – Lopeman

Simplified Management

  • Simplified reporting streamlines audits
  • “We can see the entire county security infrastructure with just a click of a tab.”
  • “We used to do local management, when we brought in the Smart-1 management appliance it was a night and day difference. We can manage all routes, nodes, and gateways from one interface and one login.” – Lopeman
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