Industry Focus > Education

Combatting Malware Exploits and Securing Campus Networks, Databases, and Privacy with Real-Time Threat Management Monitoring

5 Industry Needs

  • High-risk security breaches, including ransomeware and malware threats, are a growing concern and becoming an everyday issue.
  • Due to the highly decentralized systems within educational institutions, a scalable network security solution is needed to ensure consistent security across all networks as well as protect sensitive information and intellectual property from both external and insider threats.
  • IT departments are experiencing mounting pressures to improve operational efficiency, secure networks, and reduce security overhead cost. How to do more with less?
  • Situational awareness is needed to increase visibility among all networks, identify and investigate anomalous behaviors, and mitigate security risks.
  • Educational Institutions often have minimal budgets to allocate for network security technology and invest in modern cybersecurity.

Infosec Needs for Educational Institutions

Industry Briefs

Our Education Industry Focus Solutions Guide in one downloadable document.

» Aanval Education Industry Focus Solutions Guide (PDF)

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» Risk Management Solutions Brief (PDF)

Perspective

The threat landscape in the education sector is more dangerous than ever as the U.S. education system is ill-equipped to face the mounting threats posed by cyber criminals. The question is not if the education sector will experience an information breach, but how large and bad the effect of the damage will be. This year alone the education sector jumped to the number 2 most targeted sector sliding up from the number 3 spot last year. Educational institutions overall have become a lucrative target for both malicious hackers and insider thieves alike because of the wealth of personally identifiable (PII) and intellectual property data stored on campus servers and network databases. Most educational institutions’ administrative departments, healthcare systems, research centers, and financial services are accessible through a campus network. As a result, the abundance of sensitive data is vulnerable to security threats that can compromise confidential records and exploit the university to security risks, leading to the loss of both crucial information and privacy for student bodies, faculty, and staff members. Recent reports illustrate that higher educations have lost control of more than 22 million files of sensitive information that include birth dates, social security numbers, identification numbers, as well as other personal, financial, employment, medical, professional, and confidential research information.

In recent years, school districts have been the target of sophisticated cyber attacks from outside threats, political activist groups, and students who want to stir up trouble as they rely more on technology and the internet for day-to-day operations. K-12 school systems across the country are also being targeted by Ransomeware which forces them to spend money outside of their budget and also puts their operations at risk. Security breaches surrounding universities and colleges are also becoming commonly publicized cyber crime incidents as the digital world of higher education is victimized by a substantial number of alarming data breaches each year. Higher educational institutions conducting advanced research has moved into the crosshairs of state-based hackers trying to gain access to cutting-edge ideas. Many foreign governments target universities and affiliated hospitals and medical centers to aid their own business. It’s a fact that the majority of the world’s leading hospitals are run by top universities and also suffer from a high rate of data breaches. Furthermore, medical record are a hot commodity and the value of these records is worth up to 60 times more than stolen credit card numbers.

The large volume of security threats can be attributed to a number of unique threat factors and vulnerabilities in academia: network systems and their databases are highly decentralized, resulting in inconsistent security protocols across all computer networks; IT departments are plagued with budgetary and resource constraints; data-rich information systems are commonly outdated, and often not safeguarded, which can be used to exploit and spread malicious softwares. In addition, studies show that academia is the industry sector most impacted by malware and the malware exploits used to infects schools and colleges often exhibit complex, distributed, and diverse infrastructures. Furthermore, the prevalence of tech-savvy students causing intentional breaches and intruders including insiders with criminal intent to misuse sensitive information are also adding to the volume of security threats.

Why leading educational institutions rely upon Aanval

  • To proactively monitor and respond to both external and internal security breaches including malware exploits to minimize security risks and loss of privacy.
  • To improve network security posture across all campus networks including WLAN network devices, thereby protecting sensitive information and intellectual property.
  • To maximize operational efficiency and lower security overhead costs by automating the time-consuming task of monitoring and managing both network and user activities and delivering crucial security alerts and reports.
  • To obtain real-time situational awareness to quickly summarize network event information and provide analysts with the resources they need to identify actual risks and make critical decisions.
  • To effectively adapt to any network-sized environment, deliver crucial scalability to accommodate additional growth, and to efficiently store, manage, and archive more than 1 billion events.
  • Secure a successful and comprehensive network security solution that will also deliver a significant cost savings in return.

Tactical FLEX, Inc. Solution

The networking systems at educational institutions overall present a unique and content challenge because of the large computing environment and evolving new users that appear each year requiring access to the Internet. A typical higher education institution is comprised of various departments with a long list of faculty members and staff members, a large number of transient students and numerous servers, databases, computing devices, university-owned websites, distance-learning web technologies, web applications, and WLAN network devices.

By investing in security improvements and modernization, the education sector can greatly reduce the threats they face. Tactical FLEX, Inc. understands that safety lies in both monitoring network systems and improving network visibility around the clock and offers affordable, scalable, and reliable intelligent security solutions that provide control, true situational awareness, and complete threat management. Aanval’s comprehensive SIEM and IDS security solutions will help network administrators become more proactive in mitigating security risks and detecting and combatting both inbound malware infections and outbound bonnet communications while maximizing operational efficiency. In addition, Aanval’s next-generation technology features deliver multiple source event collection, correlation and archiving, and false positive-reducing event validation which further enhances event analyses, making it easier to investigate and halt anomalous behaviors that could also signify advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Additionally, Tactical FLEX, Inc. is a trusted security vendor, with its product and services at the core of dozens of educational networks throughout the U.S. and world.

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