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Safety resilience from the classroom to the cloud

A dialog with Shawnee Heights College District  

You might have seemingly heard us speaking extra about safety resilience in current weeks. Resilience has at all times been a key a part of cybersecurity, however the previous few years have actually highlighted its significance.  

At Cisco, we outline safety resilience as: The flexibility to guard the integrity of each facet of your online business to face up to unpredictable threats or modifications, after which emerge stronger. Relying on the enterprise, this may look a bit completely different for each group.  

For the Shawnee Heights College District in Kansas, it means empowering roughly 3,700 Okay-12 college students with fashionable schooling know-how together with laptops and iPads, whereas nonetheless sustaining the safety and integrity of the district’s knowledge and infrastructure. Shawnee Heights has about 5,500 gadgets on its community each day, three-quarters of which go dwelling with employees and college students every evening.  

We just lately spoke with Shawnee Heights IT Director and Cisco Gateway Cybersecurity Ambassador, Blair Anderson, to listen to about how the district retains these instructional gadgets safe as they journey backwards and forwards to unprotected networks.  

Q: How can you let so many gadgets depart your community every day and nonetheless really feel protected? 

Blair: With Cisco, we’ve the safety in place to maintain our gadgets secured irrespective of the place they go. I do know that after they depart, we nonetheless have visibility into what’s taking place and the threats they could possibly be bringing into our district. We are able to remediate the threats earlier than they even hit our community the subsequent day.  

Q: How have current modifications in know-how impacted your safety? 

Blair: Digitalization has had a huge effect on Shawnee Heights. We have now moved away from textbooks and deployed gadgets to all our college students. That’s an enormous change. We’ve additionally seen a considerable enhance within the quantity of paperwork and knowledge going up into the cloud. That creates a necessity for us to ensure all this data is safe, and that our customers don’t get compromised.  

Q: What precisely had been you in search of in a safety answer? 

Blair: A number of years in the past, we didn’t have the safety in place to maintain these gadgets protected. They had been coming again into the district with all types of threats, and we needed to always reimage them. After we began a safety structure, we wished one thing that was within the cloud and that might hold our employees and college students protected 24/7, 12 months a yr. 

We additionally wished one thing that will run within the background. We didn’t need safety pop-ups and alerts impacting our customers and their day-to-day routine. On the similar time, it was essential for our IT employees to have in-depth visibility into what was taking place on every system to simply detect, monitor, and mitigate assaults.  

Q: How does Cisco provide help to safeguard the transition to digital studying? 

Blair: Via a mixture of applied sciences together with Cisco Safe Endpoint and Cisco Umbrella, we will see and block assaults from a number of vectors together with the web and e-mail whether or not a tool is on or off the community. Most significantly, it’s all built-in by the Cisco SecureX platform, so we get a unified view into our techniques and potential dangers, and may automate and speed up our response. Cisco Talos is the brains behind all of it. We be taught a lot from Cisco and the assets they make out there to us. 

Q: How has Cisco helped you grow to be extra cyber resilient? 

Blair: Earlier than Cisco, we didn’t know whether or not malware was on our gadgets till employees and college students introduced it to our consideration. We didn’t have the perception to be proactive and forestall vital harm. Our employees and college students had been slowed down with continuous safety disruptions, and it was very aggravating as a result of it took away from what they wanted to get accomplished within the classroom. 

Now, we all know precisely when threats hit our district, and might hold our employees and college students protected earlier than they even discover one thing has occurred. Since integrating Cisco safety merchandise, we haven’t had any main threats have an effect on our employees and college students.  

In safety, you at all times must be eager about what’s subsequent. Cisco frees up time for our IT employees to give attention to higher-level initiatives that may transfer us ahead from a know-how standpoint. 

Q: Along with deploying the precise know-how, what else can organizations do to be extra safety resilient?  

Blair: Everybody has a job to play in safety. My colleagues and I typically talk with employees and college students about what we’re seeing and the safety we’ve in place. It’s essential that everybody is aware of what we’re doing and why, to allow them to work alongside us to guard themselves, one another, and the district from cyberattacks.  

I’m at all times studying too. Being concerned within the Cisco Gateway neighborhood has allowed me to realize beneficial data to assist hold Shawnee Heights cyber resilient whereas additionally sharing my expertise with others.

Watch the brand new video for extra safety insights from Shawnee Heights:

Go to our safety resilience web page to find how one can defend your online business towards present and future disruptions.  


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