Safety resilience from the classroom to the cloud
6 mins read

Safety resilience from the classroom to the cloud

A dialog with Shawnee Heights College District  

You have got doubtless heard us speaking extra about safety resilience in latest 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 side of your online business to resist unpredictable threats or modifications, after which emerge stronger. Relying on the enterprise, this can 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 units on its community on daily basis, three-quarters of which go dwelling with workers and college students every night time.  

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 academic units safe as they journey backwards and forwards to unprotected networks.  

Q: How can you let so many units go away your community every day and nonetheless really feel secure? 

Blair: With Cisco, we’ve the safety in place to maintain our units secured irrespective of the place they go. I do know that once they go away, we nonetheless have visibility into what’s occurring and the threats they could possibly be bringing into our district. We will remediate the threats earlier than they even hit our community the following day.  

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

Blair: Digitalization has had a huge effect on Shawnee Heights. We now have moved away from textbooks and deployed units to all our college students. That’s a giant 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 info is safe, and that our customers don’t get compromised.  

Q: What precisely had been you on the lookout for in a safety resolution? 

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

We additionally wished one thing that may 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 workers to have in-depth visibility into what was occurring on every machine to simply detect, monitor, and mitigate assaults.  

Q: How does Cisco show you how to safeguard the transition to digital studying? 

Blair: Via a mix 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 electronic mail whether or not a tool is on or off the community. Most significantly, it’s all built-in via the Cisco SecureX platform, so we get a unified view into our methods 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 accessible to us. 

Q: How has Cisco helped you turn into extra cyber resilient? 

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

Now, we all know precisely when threats hit our district, and might preserve our workers and college students secure 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 workers and college students.  

In safety, you at all times should be fascinated with what’s subsequent. Cisco frees up time for our IT workers 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 task to play in safety. My colleagues and I usually talk with workers 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 priceless information to assist preserve 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 the best way to defend your online business towards present and future disruptions.  


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