Six steps to reduce network exposure to cyberthreats on college campuses

New report shows how coordinated, data-driven security platforms can help higher education CIOs fortify their networks against potential threats.
(source: EdScoop)

Higher education institutions are a treasure trove of research and information — a fact that also puts their networks at greater risk for cyberattack. As the number of attacks continue to grow, more CIOs are looking to solutions that equip their IT teams to identify threats.

College and university networks, which connect thousands of new devices annually with each incoming student class, would benefit from a centralized control environment to build more transparency about those connections, according to security experts.

In a new research paper, “The Essential Guide to Security,” produced by Splunk, security experts highlight how analytics-driven security platforms help reduce exposure to cyberthreats. The report details a six-step process for building greater resiliency against future attacks and provides use cases focusing on security monitoring, advanced threat detection, compliance, fraud and other security challenges.

“When [IT] teams invest in their security infrastructure, their security ecosystem and skills become stronger, making it possible to expand into new areas, proactively deal with threats and stay ahead of the curve,” the report explains.

Using a platform that can monitor and analyze data from various sources enables CIOs to “execute insights, decisions and actions” and allow them to better see incoming threats.

The report highlights a six-step process organizations should consider taking to capitalize on analytics-driven security models, including measures to improve:

  1. Collection of basic security logs and other machine data from your environment.
  2. Normalization, by applying a standard security taxonomy for asset and identity data
  3. Expansion of data by collecting additional sources like endpoint activity and network metadata to drive advanced attack detection.
  4. Enrichment of security data by augmenting it with intelligence sources to better understand the context and impact of an event.
  5. Automation and orchestration of security operations to establish consistent capabilities.
  6. Advanced detection through sophisticated detection mechanisms including machine learning.

As modern security platforms pull from various data sources, they need to identify what is happening on their network as well on cloud servers, endpoint devices and apps — and deliver information to help IT staffs gain a clearer view of identity and access activities, orchestration and threat intelligence.

The report also emphasizes the importance for security platforms to be flexible enough to support all of the critical functions of the university’s mission, servicing as a “nerve center model” capable of helping IT teams to investigate, detect, understand and take rapid, coordinated action against threats.

Read the “Essential Guide to Security” for more about utilizing security platforms to improve your resilience against cyberattacks.

This article was produced by EdScoop for, and sponsored by, Splunk.

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