The training should be complemented by access to, and use of, tools that allow IT administrators to monitor even the most vast and complex of school networks. Network monitoring solutions, which automate security and alert administrators when something is amiss, have become absolutely indispensable in providing complete visibility into network activity. Patch management solutions ensure that all software remains up to date and immune to the latest known viruses. User device tracking and monitoring helps scan for unauthorized devices that may be on the network – a useful tool on today’s ultra-connected campuses.

Perhaps most important to the security toolkit is the deployment of security and information management (SIEM) software to detect and mitigate suspicious network activity. With SIEM, administrators can log and manage events and equate them to potentially suspicious activity. This activity can be combined with detailed threat intelligence data to help identify and automatically thwart suspicious activity.

Having an automated system in place is essential in today’s environment, where network complexities and threats are growing but budgets and resources remain somewhat limited. Automation allows time and budget constrained IT administrators to focus on other essential things – such as ensuring their networks are equipped to handle the growing demand of online educational resources, such as video, digital text books, and more.

Access to and delivery of all of these materials will increase the potential for cyber threats – thus also increasing the need for a sound security posture. As important as it is, that’s not an initiative that is going to come from the office of the Dean. It’s going to fall under the purview of IT to ensure that their schools networks remain secure.

School IT professionals must work with the rest of the administration to make sure that security skills and knowledge are brought to the forefront throughout the organization, and supported by solutions that keep information safe.

About the Author:

Mav Turner is director of Product Strategy for SolarWinds

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