It wasn’t that long ago that many schools didn’t have much of an online presence. Few classrooms had computers and many of them weren’t connected to the Internet. But those days are gone and educational organizations are faced with a multitude of challenges to safeguard data from a wide variety of threats and vectors. Here’s a look at some of them and what protection options are available.
Issue: Many school districts are using older computers (and older operating systems) because they don’t have the budget for upgrades or replacements. This is causing performance issues for users because the AV products are hogging resources.
Solution: Many AV products today assume that users have a newer machine. And with so many signatures being added on a regular basis, the software gets heavier and heavier over time. One solution is to test several AV products on an older machine to determine which one has the least impact on performance. For PCs still using Microsoft Windows XP, keep in mind that Microsoft is ending support for that OS in April 2014. Whether or not you upgrade the hardware, it’s important to maintain a current OS in order to stay properly protected.
Issue: As education budgets tighten, so do the IT resources to manage and control the applications and devices used by students and faculty. IT administrators don’t have the time to proactively manage because they spend too much time reacting: patching machines, removing out-of-date applications and more.
Solution: A limited number of security solutions today integrate third-party patch management, and antivirus application removal tools that allow IT admins to make more valuable use of their time.
Issue: One challenge that school districts (not to mention many businesses) face is the management and security of a multi-OS environment. Threats come in many forms, some looking to exploit weaknesses in a specific OS. The more operating systems you have, the more potential holes you have to cover. There’s also the matter of finding a security solution that is strong across multiple endpoint flavors.
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