A dialog with Shawnee Heights Faculty District
You’ve gotten possible heard us speaking extra about safety resilience in latest weeks. Resilience has all the time 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 power to guard the integrity of each side of what you are promoting to resist unpredictable threats or modifications, after which emerge stronger. Relying on the enterprise, this can look a bit totally different for each group.
For the Shawnee Heights Faculty District in Kansas, it means empowering roughly 3,700 Ok-12 college students with trendy training know-how together with laptops and iPads, whereas nonetheless sustaining the safety and integrity of the district’s information and infrastructure. Shawnee Heights has about 5,500 units on its community every single day, three-quarters of which go house 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 protected?
Blair: With Cisco, we’ve the safety in place to maintain our units secured regardless 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 big impact on Shawnee Heights. We now have moved away from textbooks and deployed units to all our college students. That’s an enormous change. We’ve additionally seen a considerable enhance within the quantity of paperwork and information going up into the cloud. That creates a necessity for us to verify 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 answer?
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 consistently reimage them. After we began taking a look at a safety structure, we needed one thing that was within the cloud and that would preserve our workers and college students protected 24/7, 12 months a yr.
We additionally needed one thing that might 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 system 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 sources they make obtainable 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 forestall important harm. Our workers and college students had been slowed down with continuous safety disruptions, and it was very worrying as a result of it took away from what they wanted to get achieved within the classroom.
Now, we all know precisely when threats hit our district, and may preserve our workers 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 workers and college students.
In safety, you all the time should be desirous about what’s subsequent. Cisco frees up time for our IT workers to concentrate on higher-level tasks that may transfer us ahead from a know-how standpoint.
Q: Along with deploying the appropriate 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 usually talk with workers and college students about what we’re seeing and the safety we’ve in place. It’s important 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 all the time studying too. Being concerned within the Cisco Gateway group has allowed me to realize invaluable 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 find out how to defend what you are promoting in opposition to present and future disruptions.
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