Managed Threat Detection in Schools

October 04, 2021 by Lily Rexing

Managed Threat Detection in Schools

News stories continue to emerge about the increasing cybersecurity threats to local governments and school districts. This is particularly vexing to school leaders and staff grappling with limited security resources. Regional School District 14 (RSD 14) in Connecticut, for example, has just three IT staff members responsible for more than 2,000 students and faculty. This is a typical ratio for the public sector.

Because the IT team at RSD 14 did not have enough time to review network security logs each day, the district adopted a managed threat detection service. The service enables the district to start log monitoring and threat hunting without adding staff or neglecting day-to-day priorities. Managed threat detection is a service where analysts find and confirm threats 24/7. The service notifies district staff of potential malicious activity within minutes of detection.

“The detail I get in the daily reports and user portal gives me better insight into the overall picture of what’s going on with my network,” said Phil Pagano, director of IT. “It is very useful and powerful information. I’ve made changes to fortify my network based on the findings.”

The system automatically tracks the district’s normal daily network activity, and any anomalies are quickly pinpointed to determine if they pose a true threat. If someone is trying to gain unauthorized access to the network, for example, the system alerts the district and provides detailed information of the activity. This helps RSD 14 quickly determine the source and stop any threat or attack before damage occurs.

Pagano knows the struggle for school IT resources isn’t going away, but managed threat detection is a strong, cost-effective solution for departments like his. “Most school districts don’t have enough IT personnel,” he said. “Being able to have an affordable solution to extend our resources is a no-brainer. The value is there.”

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