Business & Technology

Join Fortinet at the 2017 Internet2 Global Summit: Industry Experts Will Examine the Importance of Cybersecurity in Higher Education.

By Susan Biddle | April 20, 2017

The 2017 Internet2 Global Summit is scheduled to take place at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel from April 23–26. Internet2, a consortium that operates the nation’s largest coast-to-coast research and education network, has developed the Global Summit event to provide attendees with an opportunity to connect with the world’s preeminent leaders in research and education.

Fortinet will be in attendance as a platinum sponsor and will be sponsoring the Internet2 Opening General Session on Monday, April 24th. This session will be led by our Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Phil Quade, which will be followed by a meet-and-greet at Fortinet’s booth later in the afternoon.

After spending three decades working in the network intelligence community, Quade brings unparalleled experience with him to the Internet2 Global Summit. In his role as CISO, he has been tasked with overseeing Fortinet’s digital defenses as well as its federal and critical infrastructure business. With experience working across foreign, government, critical infrastructure, and commercial and industry sectors, Quade previously worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Department before making his way to the Fortinet executive leadership team. Quade, as well as other industry leaders, will be in attendance to help connect people, technology, and security with research and education.

Fortinet will also be hosting a summit-long educational booth (#B8) with information about the Fortinet Security Fabric and Fortinet Network Security Academy (FNSA).

Why Security is Needed in Higher Education

In the education industry, institutions must provide a certain level of security in order to incubate an environment that promotes growth at both the individual and institutional levels.

However, places of higher learning can be a playground for potential cyber threats because servers are loaded with private data of students, staff, and faculty. With a constant rotation of devices on the network, security must be a priority.

Dating back to 2003, the U.S. National Strategy to Cyber Space called for higher education institutions (as well as critical infrastructure) to make IT security a top priority. Taking into consideration the rate that the digital environment has grown in the years following this government report, it’s reasonable to think that the importance of IT security has only compounded.

Fostering a strong reputation for protecting the private information of students and faculty is widely recognized as a driving force behind the need for institutions of higher education to pour resources into IT security. But, this isn’t the only motivating factor.

Many higher education institutions also conduct research (and collaborate with others) that’s used by organizations like the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy to improve the world we live in. A breach in this data could lead to damages to reputation, and have a severe impact on the bottom line.

As networks at institutions of higher education grow by stacking new data, devices, and compatible applications, it becomes challenging to keep everything secure. The attack surface, which has been growing rapidly, becomes increasingly vulnerable as the platform grows congested while communication between security devices remains limited.

Preparing Higher Education for the Future

In order to effectively respond to the increasing threat landscape and protect the amount of data being put in motion, cybersecurity must be more flexible and powerful than ever before. Devices and networks at institutions of higher education are becoming more open and compatible, while private data is being stored via cloud computing services. As a result, the number of unknown variables makes everything a little more complicated. Simplifying the process of protecting critical data requires employing a service that can read and react to the threat at hand without sacrificing network performance.

For more on the issues that educational institutions face and how they can be overcome, visit Fortinet's Solutions for Education.