Business & Technology

How FortiSIEM Works to Keep Schools Safe

By Susan Biddle | July 28, 2017

Networks used by educational institutions benefit from being open and promoting a limitless flow of information and ideas. However, much like the student-teacher relationship, the user-network relationship is one that must be built on trust. The extent of personal information and intellectual data that is often housed on these networks requires a reliable cyber security platform. That’s where FortiSIEM enters the discussion.

As an all-in-one platform, FortiSIEM provides networks with the opportunity to rapidly find and fix security threats, while simultaneously managing compliance standards, reducing complexity, and much more. For schools, there is boundless value in this type of umbrella protection.

Building Trust in the School at All Levels

The need for a cyber security platform that can keep up with a demanding educational network goes beyond simply making sure the information is safe. Schools have to be confident that their reputation is being protected.

Trusting a school with personal information has led to the increasing importance of curating user profiles. FortiSIEM has the ability to combine user identity, network identity, and geo-identity in a real-time, distributed in-memory database. As a result, schools have the opportunity to create and alter policies for users and perform investigations based on user profiles rather than IP addresses. This comprehensive approach gives them the capacity to react to situations rapidly and with confidence.

Users ultimately make up these networks, and they’ve become a preferred target for cyber-attacks. Without their trust, the network loses its data and the school loses its user base. While maintaining a highly secured network with strict limitations on access and movement would be easier, such an approach simply isn’t sustainable in an educational environment. Students and faculty tend to flourish when they are free to collaborate and share intellectual property at their own discretion.

Developing and Executing an Effective Security Plan

FortiSIEM emphasizes the importance of speed and precision. When combating breaches, it’s important to act swiftly, as damages compound the longer the network is left vulnerable. The education sector is in the midst of a technology boom. In fact, the global education technology market is predicted to grow 17 percent per year, eventually hitting as much as $252 billion by 2020. As a result, when faced with a potential threat, time is precious.

By deploying a security platform that values reaction time, schools can guarantee that the new technology and the extensive collection of sensitive data they have invested in will remain secure. At the same time, a platform that can quickly identify the source of an attack with precision simplifies the rest of the preparation, defense, and response process.

FortiSIEM is capable of operating with a large number of rules at high event rates while providing real-time oversight of even the most complex and freeform educational networks. Such an approach ultimately increases detection timeframes. In addition, advanced system and application performance analytics are provided, along with the delivery of contextual inter-relationship data, for the rapid triaging of security issues the moment they present themselves. It is also well equipped to absorb the responsibility of tracking, securing, and updating the applications and devices that have become the norm in today’s educational environments.

For example, there has been a focus on developing applications and services optimized for educational purposes that enable, and require, an open network. As a result, many traditional network resources and functions are being strained by being asked to do more without being granted improved capabilities. Due to a number of factors, from budget restraints to the growing IT skills gap, the education sector has been slow to embrace widespread improvements, an issue that is being amplified by the growing occurrence of cyber attacks targeting educational institutions. As a result, open networks have become the standard. And while these new open environments provide the flexibility that educational institutions require, they also make security more challenging. As we move forward, advanced security strategies and solutions will need to adapt in real time.

The Bottom Line

Schools can benefit greatly by fostering an open environment. Keeping it secure is the real issue. They need a security platform that can detect unauthorized devices, applications, and configuration changes, monitor and detect unusual or unauthorized behavior, and automatically respond when a security event is detected. FortiSIEM is purpose-built to carry this weight, while doing so much more. In addition, its multi-tenancy and scalability makes it ideal as educational networks begin to adopt cloud environments.

For education institutions to meet their evolving goals, security requirements must be treated as a priority at every level, and be designed to automatically adapt as these critical environments evolve. FortiSIEM makes this possible. Learn more about this all-in-one platform today.