Balancing virtually wide-open access with the necessity to protect the integrity and privacy of grading systems, financial aid records, and other sensitive information is no small feat.
Sourcefire solutions are chosen by higher education IT professionals to:
- Manage a diverse set of devices and networks: Education networks must accommodate a very large and diverse population of unmanaged computing devices. The configuration and security state of these machines is typically unknown, and given that many of them migrate between multiple networks, a meaningful number are indeed infected with a wide variety of malware. “Wild” networks, such as unsanctioned WLANs and resident networks, add further fuel to the fire.
- Minimize legal liability as a result of misuse of computing resources: Liability is a persistent concern as curiosity and a mix of other, less altruistic, motivations inevitably lead to misuse of computer resources, which directly or indirectly affect other parties negatively. File swapping of copyrighted material has led to more than 100 educational institutions being subpoenaed to divulge the identities of file-sharing students. In addition, another liability concern is when open university networks are used as intermediary launching points by hackers for attacks against other organizations.
- Protect an organic and unwieldy set of applications: Consistent with the theme of education, there is bound to be a highly diverse portfolio of applications and technology requiring protection. Having seemingly “one of everything” available for the global marketplaces is only the beginning. Inevitably, security professionals must also contend with homemade protocols and applications.
- Securely support online collaboration: Remote/distance learning, real-time web collaboration, and other progressive initiatives further drive the need to support access to resources and newer, potentially unproven, technologies.