Business & Technology

Fortinet at the EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference

By Sowjanya O Neill | April 05, 2018

Colleges and universities are currently at a crossroads when it comes to technology, as they balance innovation and security.

Students and faculty expect open networks, which allow for the simple flow of information as well as easy collaboration regardless of the device being used or location on campus. In addition to facilitating the flow of information, tech adoption also gives higher education institutions a competitive edge. As prospective students select which school they will attend, some of the factors they consider are the tools available on campus that will translate to success after graduation. Being equipped with modern technologies such as high bandwidth AI, virtual reality, and more, makes universities more attractive to students, thereby helping to meet enrollment goals.

However, even as advanced technologies help universities meet key business goals, the growing number of endpoints connecting to these increasingly distributed environments are also opening up universities to cyberattacks. This broadened attack surface increases the potential entryways for cybercriminals to target critical systems and resources with ransomware, botnets, and new sophisticated malware. Cybercriminals also specifically target higher education networks aiming to steal the personal information of students and faculty, as well as original research and intellectual property. If universities do not have the necessary security controls and threat detection systems in place, cybercriminals can simply dwell in the network, finding and exfiltrating data.

Today, new technology deployments and robust cybersecurity controls are both necessary to the success of higher education institutions. The purpose of the Security Professionals Conference hosted by EDUCAUSE is to ensure educators that innovation is possible without compromising on network security.

Security Professionals Conference 2018

The Security Professionals Conference brings together information security professionals from across the higher education space to network, collaborate, and learn about ways to mitigate the impact of cyberattacks on their networks. Attendees bring a wide range backgrounds and experiences with them, giving this professional community the chance to learn from each other about new threat trends and security strategies to protect their networks in an age of sophisticated attacks.

This year’s conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland from April 10th-12th.

Over the course of the event there will be seminars and presentations that explain how to select secure tools for digital transformation, how to ensure and effective incident response, tools and strategies for meeting compliance regulations, and more.

Fortinet at the EDUCAUSE Security Professionals Conference

Fortinet is proud to be a sponsor of the Security Professionals Conference. We are also hosting an afternoon of roundtable discussions specifically designed to get conference attendees talking, collaborating, and sharing their experiences around a myriad of information security topics, including: creating a budget-conscious security program, how to spread security awareness, sharing threat intelligence, methods for breach detection, and more.

When: Wednesday, April 11th

Time: 12:00-1:00 pm

Where: Baltimore & Maryland Foyer, Fifth Floor

Below is a preview of one of the topics that will be discussed at the roundtable.

Methodologies for Breach Detection:

This conversation is based around the inevitability of an attack. Not only are threats constantly evolving and being executed by skilled cybercriminals, they are also being purchased as malware-as-a-service on the dark web. With an increasing number of endpoints and IoT devices attached to the network, along with progressive BYOD policies, universities should operate on the premise that a breach will occur and implement security tools designed to detect and neutralize these threats before damage is done to the network. Three useful tools for effective breach detection are sandboxing, next-generation firewalls, and centralized logging and reporting.

o       Sandboxing

Sandboxing is becoming increasingly important as attack surfaces grow through the adoption of IoT and the cloud. Sandboxing provides protection from unknown or derivative threats by allowing potentially malicious code to be executed in an isolated environment. Once detected, threat intelligence is automatically shared across the network to disrupt attacks at every entryway.

o   Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs)

NGFWs provide visibility into users, applications, and devices operating across the network. With real-time prevention and response based on shared threat intelligence, Next-Generation Firewalls can provide protection from attacks across any network vulnerability. 

o   Centralized Reporting

Centralized logging and reporting, such as that provided by FortiAnalyzer, provides a centralized view across security devices, enabling real-time incident alerts. This ensures that any compromise to the network can be discovered immediately, reducing dwell time and therefore the impact of a network compromise. 

As high-value targets, universities have to think of breaches and attacks as inevitable. This discussion will provide attendees with insight into the strategies and tools they need in order to minimize the impact these attacks can have.

Final Thoughts

This year’s Security Professionals Conference promises to provide the information security professionals in higher education with the resources, best practices, and strategies necessary to defend the privacy of their networks while enabling the technical innovation that attracts and excites students. We are excited to be attending and participating in these conversations and invite you to stop by and learn more about how partnering with Fortinet can help you meet your technology objectives.

Read more about how Fortinet is securing the future of education.