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Create a secure, safe and connected learning environment with Cisco

February 27, 2019

K–12 schools often face budget constraints and must try to do more with less. At the same time, they face attacks—both physical and cyber—that they must defend against, and new technology is a vital solution to their challenges. But, with so much to coordinate, educators find themselves in a difficult position. Integrating Cisco learning management tools with collaboration and security features offers a viable solution. And streamlining policy, identity and access privileges based on role and location ensures that students and data are protected continuously.

Why Umbrella’s the smart choice for your K–12 and higher education customers
With nothing to download or install, Umbrella is a top web security service for K–12 and higher education customers. As more schools embrace 1:1 programs, tablets and mobile devices, Umbrella enables IT administrators to seamlessly extend web filtering and internet security to all devices, even those who leave campus. Umbrella’s no-manual-required, easy deployment means the cloud-based web filtering service can be up and running district-wide in a day.
 
The Lewisville Independent School District (ISD) is an excellent case-in-point. The school was looking for an affordable way to safeguard its 53,000 students and 6,000 staff members from unsuitable content, ransomware, phishing attacks, command-and-control (CAC) callbacks and other threats. “We also wanted to ensure appropriate access to information for schoolwork everywhere in Lewisville’s digital learning environment, from the classrooms of the district’s 69 campuses to desks in students’ homes,” says Chris Langford, Lewisville ISD’s director of network, infrastructure and cybersecurity. “Within four weeks of deploying Umbrella, our BitSight score increased from 570 to 640; that’s the equivalent of raising a consumer credit score 70 points in less than a month. With Umbrella’s Active Directory (AD) integration, we can expedite investigations and pinpoint issues by user and device, which has cut our remediation time in half.”
 
Cloud apps and workloads must be protected, too
Like other industries, schools and universities are moving their apps, data and operations to cloud environments such as AWS Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. While public cloud offerings provide productivity improvement and cost savings, they also introduce new security challenges concerning protecting students' records, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI) or other sensitive information.
 
Cisco Cloudlock helps educators protect cloud data while enforcing regulatory, operational and security compliance. School districts use Cloudlock to reduce data exposure risk and increase staff and student productivity in the cloud.
 
Achieve faster campus network updates with DNA for education
Many college campuses are also engaged in R&D (research and development) and students and faculty are continually connecting and collaborating. Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA) is a software-driven platform that helps empower students and teachers to explore new forms of education with a network that's always learning, adapting and protecting users. Cisco DNA enables fast innovation with actionable insights; plus, it lowers costs via network automation, and it reduces security risks and lays the foundation for digital transformation on K–12 and higher learning campuses.
 
Through policy-based automation, Cisco partners can deploy and manage services across hundreds of devices and sites, meeting a university’s academic and research needs consistently. Through virtualization, partners can deliver a more dynamic network that can easily provision, expand and reallocate services quickly across different hardware platforms.
 
Utilizing the network’s intelligence, administrators can better understand patterns related to users, applications, and devices, improving operational efficiencies like lighting, room utilization and waste removal on campus.
 
To learn more about the connected campus, join Ingram Micro for a one-hour, instructor-led virtual event, “Connected Solutions: Safer Schools and Campus Connectivity,” on Thursday, April 4, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Today’s schools and universities can be the targets of physical threats as well as cyberattacks. Discover how Cisco cybersecurity solutions for schools help partners create a safe and secure learning environment both on and off campus.