Story image

Fortinet: Protecting your students, teachers and staff in the cloud, at your school and online

14 Mar 16

It’s your responsibility to protect your students, teachers and staff whenever, however and wherever they log onto your school’s network. When you started your career in education, you probably didn’t anticipate becoming a network security expert, digital communications specialist or a technology advocate. But, in today’s switched-on world, you have to be all of those – and more – to deliver a safe and secure learning environment at your school.

Regardless of where your school’s network infrastructure is physically housed, it’s your responsibility to ensure that it is available to those who need it in a secure manner. “Many schools are taking advantage of ‘cloud-based’ computing,” says Andrew Khan, Fortinet Senior Business Manager at Ingram Micro, New Zealand’s largest distributor of Fortinet’s cyber-security solutions, “in which your administration’s records and applications are hosted by a third-party provider. Similarly, many of your educational resources have been developed centrally and are available on-line. This approach is popular because most of the support tasks are handled by trained experts, costs are clearly delineated at the outset and you have a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees access and availability.”

The cloud is secure – it’s everything else is risky

But that very access and availability represents a risk that has to be addressed. “You have to assume that data and applications hosted in the cloud are secure,” says Khan. “Most reputable datacentres take their responsibilities very seriously and spare no expense in securing their infrastructure. It’s the pathway between the end-users (students, teachers and staff) and the datacentre that can cause problems. And, increasingly, it’s the proliferation of individual devices – desktop PCs and terminals, laptops and smartphones – that are adding an element of risk into your school’s network.”

“Without getting into the details of protecting your network infrastructure - this is best undertaken by the experts – there are a number of initiatives you can take to protect your network users,” continues Khan. “Firstly you need to ensure that any device that can connect to the network has adequate security installed on it. This includes any student or staff mobile devices and your school’s laptops and PCs. Similarly you need a strong access policy that explicitly details what constitutes acceptable network use. And then you need to ensure that everyone – including students and their families, staff and teachers – knows what they should and shouldn’t do. All too often it is human error that causes network outages.”

Security policy enforcement – a necessary measure

But you can’t expect everyone to follow the rules to the letter all the time. “All it takes is one mis-step to bring an otherwise secure system down,” says Khan. “So you need to back up your policy with a fail-safe mechanism that catches any unauthorised activity before it causes any problems. This is where your end-point security – on devices mobile and fixed – is invaluable. Fortinet’s client-side security provides that extra protection that ensures that any unauthorised activity – including hacking, dodgy websites or malware - will set off alarms and trigger automated responses.”

Your vocation is education. But your duties include cyber-security. You can’t – and shouldn’t – avoid taking responsibility for your student’s online safety. The tools are there. It’s just a case of doing your homework and making the right decisions.”

For further information, please contact:
Hugo Hutchinson, Business Development Manager
Mobile :021 245 8276

Marc Brunzel, Business Development Manager
Mobile:  021 241 6946

Andrew Khan, Senior Business Manager
Mobile : 021 819 793

IDC: Smartphone shipments ready to stabilise in 2019
IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019, while the world's largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
New app conducts background checks on potential tenants
Landlords and house owners need to obtain a tenant’s full name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number in order to conduct the search. And most importantly, they have to get the tenant’s permission first.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”