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Safeguarding Education GATEWAYS

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SafeguardingOnline learning and technology based education has become an important part of the curriculam today. The technology has revolutionised the way we learn, teach and collaborate. Schools have embraced BYOD and internet as key tools in the advancement of education. Bhawna Satsangi of Elets News Network (ENN)  nds out from the key stakeholders about the importance of network security and anti-malware protection within schools

The use of Information Technology in education has seen a surge over a period of time. Today IT is no longer just a field or vertical that people just study or work for. It is being used almost in all the sectors to make the most out of the technology to keep the business going. And education sector is not far behind, where the use of IT is so prominent that no one would dream of working without the use of it.

The adaptation of IT in education is particularly noteworthy as in this field IT is not only taught to the youth but it is also used as a medium through which education is imparted. Nowadays, educational institutes aim to provide an environment in which every pupil can achieve their full potential. Many schools impart education using online sources. The dependence on the Web places greater emphasis on the importance of anti-virus and network security protection within schools.

Deepak Maheshwari, Director, Government Affairs, Symantec believes, “With the technology adaption in the education space children are getting additional spaces and opportunities for learning through the use of computer labs, smart classes, tablets etc. and even at home they access these technology. The scope of learning has gone way beyond teachers, parents or friends today and with the use of technology they could be learning anything from different sources and exposes them to lot of security challenges, safety and vulnerabilities especially for the under aged.”

According to Cyberoam, schools and higher education institutions strive to build adaptive and cost-effective network infrastructures to support the current sophisticated styles of teaching and learning. Use of technology and Internet access has become an essential part of a student’s curriculum to encourage comprehensive learning. IT is no longer used as a mere research tool, but most of an institution’s processes have gone online: whether we consider attendance, examinations, creating and submitting assignments, declaring results, and various other tasks. Use of laptops and tablets for classroom assignments has turned out to be a necessity.

Cyberoam security enables educational institutions to maintain network security while keeping security investments low and protecting students from malware and inappropriate content. It enhances productivity and minimises bandwidth consumption by controlling unproductive surfing, music video downloads, gaming, chat and social networking.

 Key-HighlightsKey Highlights

CIPA Compliance-controls indiscriminate surfi ng Cyberoam’s web filtering and application visibility and control prevent indiscriminate surfing by blocking direct access to inappropriate websites


It enables educational institutions to enforce an internet safety policy that filters inappropriate internet usage helping compliance with federal CIPA requirements.

Shared Computer environment – User identification and control

Cyberoam’s unique Layer 8 Technology with identitybased security identifi es the username despite the dynamic Wi-Fi and shared endpoint environment in educational institutions. This allows the institutions to enforce flexible, yet effective controls based on the type of user, study requirements, level of access required and time of the day.

Layer 8 identity-based reporting

Off ers visibility into the institution’s surfing trends, bandwidth and system utilisation, internet usage in addition to intrusion alerts and more.

Committed bandwidth to users

Identity based bandwidth management assigns committed bandwidth based on users, users groups, web category and applications with bandwidth allocation based on study requirement and time of the day, ensuring optimum bandwidth utilisation.

Secure Wi-Fi access

The unique layer 8 technology identifi es internal source and destination of WLAN traffic by username, preventing rouge users from connecting to the institutional Wi-Fi network and avoiding detection.

Educational challenges

Educational institutions are a hot target for hackers who seek student’s personal information or simply to tamper with results or grades. Network of educational institutes are particularly vulnerable because they tend to be more open and less secured as compared to other verticals. Lesser experienced IT staff and undervalued IT budget are some of the main factors contributing to this gap.

Compuert-uder-attackThe education sector face challenges related to unproductive, inappropriate use of the internet, managing traffic from a myriad of BYOD devices, managing different internet requirements for different users at different time schedules. All schools often the most rigorous malware environments, schools and universities help shape not only the minds of the children, but also the character of the communities. ESET helps educational organisations around the globe achieve their missions. Pallav Agarwal, Marketing Director, Eset informs, “Educational institutes represent a more challenging IT and network security issues than corporate networks. As the students are more prone to internet threats, a virus or worm on one student’s computer can quickly spread throughout the entire campus. So, it is of utmost importance for the school staff to deploy anti-virus solutions to keep the malware attacks at bay. Also it is important to give students proper training to tackle the Trojan or malware.”

Every educational institute needs a strategy to secure its information resources and balance the utilisation of this technology to its full potential for academic purpose and avoid misuse. Hackers today have become very sophisticated.

To safeguard from intrusion and other malware it is important to use an anti-malware product which is best suited as per the requirement of an institution. Cyberoam’s firewall acts as armour around the network periphery, shielding it from any hostility from outside. The intrusion prevention system acts as a second layer of defense.

Rana-GuptaWith new technologies in the market available, it is only imperative to use such innovations for a suitable security system in educational institutions. There should be awareness about the potential dangers/risks associated with the use of IT which if not understood or addressed can very well become a reality and can come to haunt you.Rana Gupta,
Vice President, APAC sales for Identity and Data Protection (IDP) business at Gemelto

To tackle the intrusions from outside, it is also necessary for the institutes to restrict the use of internet surfing so that they do not spend their quality time in unproductive activities like social networking, gaming, chat, porn sites, etc. which could take a toll on the academic performance.

“Over the past few years, the focus have been mostly in just getting the access, which means getting the computers in the classrooms, at home, getting internet connectivity etc. so the security and safety of the children have become more of an afterthought and rather rare. So in many cases, if a student is going to a computer lab, they would allow access to any site. However, students should be going only to certain sites which schools allow to access,” feels Maheshwari.

Protecting educational environment

Safeguarding the interest of the students and the educational institutes, Alok Gupta, Director, Unistal who has also launched Protegent Suraksha, an anti-virus for the BYOD world. It is a combination of multiple products which has internet security, activity monitoring. It is important to maintain the secrecy of the work that is done or the sensitive data to be secured. So, this helps in retracing the error. This product also helps in device tracking and also tracks the IP address. There is speed enhancer and data recovery software included in the product. So, it has a combination of six modules.”

The activity monitoring helps the teacher and parent to identify the sites that the child has browsed. This will help in safeguarding the child. With this software, student can use any site but the entire browsing pattern of the work will go to the mail-id of parents or the teacher. There is a monitoring of the student’s work.

“We are running a course on data recovery with assured placement for the students who want to make their career in security industry. The fee of the course is `50,000 and if the government gives its own infrastructure we take `30,000 as the fee from per student. We have initiated the proposal with the government. The duration of the course is two months and 96 hours. The salary scale starts from `10,000 onwards,” informs Gupta.

Anti-virus is necessary and one cannot survive without anti-virus product. The adoption of the anti-virus product has been 100 per cent today. 80 per cent of the machines are pre installed with the anti-virus and by the time their buying time comes, they become habitual of using anti-virus.

“The government has got a flagship project on security which is called National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. We did a report which is called Norton report and we learned that one out of two children in India were victims of cyber crime or online negative situation. We also learned that one out of five children in India are being cyber bullied while 84 per cent of the parents believe that no such thing existed. So, the fact is that often times the parents and the teachers might be in a state of denial that they may not even perceive that these are the types of dangers the children are facing. For us it is important to bridge this gap,” informs Maheshwari.

As a global security leader space, Symantec do take its responsibility very seriously and be committed to educate consumers towards cyber crime and keep them protected against many challenges. Symantec play a key role in providing institutions sources to help them discuss appropriate online behaviour with teachers and parents.

“We are providing Norton safe search which helps children when they are surfing the net. We also have Norton facebook which scans the facebook news feed for dangerous links, infected downloads and unsafe website. This is something which improves the safety for those children,” says Maheshwari.

The real benefit of using anti-virus is directly related to the consequences of not having the anti-malware protection. Viruses are the most well known computer attackers, and they can do all sorts of damages. So protecting from spyware and identity theft is utmost important. Spyware is a kind of software specifically designed to infect your computer and spy on you. This means that spyware will all your personal information stored in your computer.

    Anti-virus rules

CDo have a written anti-virus policy that details the responsibilities of management and staff , how antivirus is to be maintained, and specific instructions on what to do in an emergency
  • Do make sure that anti-virus software is installed on every machine, even if the machine is not capable of running e-mail. Viruses can sit undetected in fi les on any machine.
  • Do update anti-virus signature fi les and scanning engines regularly. A weekly update is good, although daily is better. If your company has a central anti-virus server, it can install updates on other machines on the network. However, a computer must be turned on for this to work. If a machine was not turned on at the time of the update, it will have to be updated manually.
  • Do update anti-virus signature fi les and scanning engines regularly. A weekly update is good, although daily is better. If your company has a central anti-virus server, it can install updates on other machines on the network. However, a computer must be turned on for this to work. If a machine was not turned on at the time of the update, it will have to be updated manually.
  • Do run the anti-virus program in full-time, background, automatic, auto-protect, or similar mode.
  • Do enable scans of the memory, master and boot records, and system fi les upon start up of every machine. It doesn’t take long for an anti-virus program to complete these scans and it’s just plain silly not to enable these features.
  • Do configure the anti-virus program to scan all files — not just executable programs. Viruses come in all sorts of fi les and just scanning executables is not enough.
  • Do enable the anti-virus heuristic controls (if they are available). A heuristic scan takes longer, but not so much longer that it makes much diff erence to users.
  • Don’t allow Windows Scripting Host (WSH) to run on machines that don’t need it. Although some Windows programs need WSH to run, most machines can have this removed without harm. WSH controls the Visual Basic Language and many viruses have been written with it. By removing WSH, the virus can’t operate.
  • Do enable Macro Virus Protection in all your Microsoft Offi ce programs.
  • Do disable the Preview Pane view in Outlook and Outlook Express. Some viruses can be launched by simply previewing them, even if the message is never opened. Disabling this feature saves you a lot of grief.


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