Our nation’s schools, colleges, and universities are responsible for our country’s most precious assets— our children. In addition to their physical security, these organizations are also charged with the task of keeping our students’ personal data secure. From test scores and health records to sensitive financial information—the list of invaluable data that today’s educational institutions are responsible for is extensive. Unlike credit and debit cards that can be easily replaced, our children’s identities are priceless, and their information is often more valuable on the black market than account numbers. That is why vArmour is teaming up with Education Networks of America (ENA), the industry leader in providing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions to K–12 schools, higher education institutions, and libraries, to help protect this sensitive information.
In our discussion with Michael McKerley, ENA’s CTO and a thought leader in the education technology space, Michael explained how K–12 school districts face a number of challenges when it comes to enabling anytime, anywhere learning while also providing robust network security and data privacy. Schools around the nation have been working overtime to provide sufficient bandwidth and student devices to enable 21st century learning.
With the explosion of digital learning, there has been a significant expansion in the attack vectors available to hack into schools. Although people tend to think of cyber bullying and online exploitation as the primary security risks students face in today’s online learning environments, identity and data theft also pose significant threats. Attacks can come from anywhere at any time—from misguided youths who want to test their skills to sophisticated hackers seeking to profit from the sale of stolen student identify data.
In the video, Michael explains how education is unlike many commercial industries – such as finance or retail -- that often have dedicated teams focused solely on security and compliance. K–12 technology departments wear many hats, and are often stretched thin trying to oversee their districts’ entire technology portfolio while also protecting sensitive information such as student test results, private health data, and other identifying information belonging to students and their parents.
For schools to protect themselves against advanced threats, they need security solutions that are simple, effective, and do not require a significant investment in underlying hardware or software infrastructure, which is where ENA comes in. ENA is focused on helping customers “shine a light” on the vulnerable spaces inside their data center and clouds, particularly when it comes to east-west traffic threats that usually go unseen. vArmour provides the continuous monitoring that schools need for their network, application, and user traffic to identify potential attackers… and then take control to stop any malicious activities using application-aware micro-segmentation— all delivered as an easy-to-use service from ENA. With ENA and vArmour, best-of-breed infrastructure with built-in security is now available to education institutions everywhere, enabling our schools to protect what’s most important in our communities—our kids— without breaking the bank.