Pennsylvania Regional IT Education Team discovers the value of the building for K-12 Cloud Security Platform
Northwest Three Country’s Mediation Unit 5 (IU5) is a regional education services agency based in Edinborough, Pennsylvania. With a staff of about 11, they provide programs and services to 17 state and non-state school districts in Crawford, Erie and Warren counties in northwest Pennsylvania, which have about 62,512 students.
The employees of Innovative Technological Solutions develop and support the information infrastructure of the UI5. Vince Hewes is Director of Innovative Technology Solutions. It oversees 10 members of staff, three of whom are involved in critical IT functions related to systems, networks and mobility.
The Education Council sets objectives annually in terms of academic performance. The role of the Solutions staff is to support all IU5 staff working directly with students, teachers, administrators and others. We are responsible for security and compliance with IU5 data protection rules, says Hewes.
Currently, this responsibility includes securing Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 district applications in addition to other cloud-based applications such as Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and ApplicantPro.
The solution for moving certain services to the cloud is aimed at better access and ease of use. Many NTC employees regularly travel from one location to another or are located in remote offices that do not provide easy access to internal systems. Switching to OneDrive and Google Drive will secure your employees’ data and make it easier to access and share your data.
The move to cloud technology has reduced our hardware requirements and improved the way we provide services to our employees and neighbors, says Hewes.
Despite the many advantages, there are also concerns. Data protection is an important concern. For example, UI5 staff work with students who participate in Individual Education Programmes (IEPs) and other confidential programmes. Any disclosure of this information violates the FERPA and COPPA rules and may violate a student’s right to privacy.
Before implementing ManagedMethods, the solution team relied on cloud providers to protect its data. These providers offer different levels of tools and analysis. Our previous process required us to learn a lot of tools with different capabilities, says Humes.
With the opening of the cloud, the extent of the safety problem during the annual teacher training course became clear. When looking at the opportunities offered by the Solutions employees, they were amazed at the serious challenges they were facing in the field of data security.
At the time, we didn’t have a good opportunity to learn what was being shared internally or externally, Humes explains. We believe that most of our employees do not deliberately try to undermine our systems, but that mistakes are made. Moreover, the wrong actors focus on district information systems at a speed that simply cannot be ignored.
Don’t underestimate the security risks you run in the cloud. ManagedMethods is a cost-effective way to add additional layers to your data protection plans. View all products and then implement the ManagedMethods.
– Vince Hewes, Director of Innovative Technology Solutions
Humes and his team studied the possibilities for the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) for about a year. They used the evaluation process of their internal systems to evaluate vendors such as Cisco, Skyhigh, Microsoft and others. The decision to use management methods was made on the basis of possibilities and costs.
Our idea was to look at multiple business solutions such as OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox, says Humes. This is the first time we use a tool that looks at multiple platforms.
The team is always concerned about how the technology will affect customers. However, ManagedMethods provides the tools to control the activities before the rules are implemented, so the team was sure that the impact on their customers would be minimal. Because ManagedMethods is an API-based security solution for the cloud, the platform does not slow down the network or affect the end-user experience.
The technology innovation team found ManagedMethods easy to use and was glad they didn’t have to make any major changes to implement the software.
We thought it was a great product, and because we’ve been using it for years, we continue to see the value in our solution, says Hewes.
ManagedMethods is easy to use and easy to manage. This alone reduces the total cost of ownership – the fact that it is available for school districts made our purchasing decision easier. We thought it was an excellent product from the start, and because we have been using it for many years, we continue to see the value of our solution.
– Vince Hewes, Director of Innovative Technology Solutions
Humes and his team use ManagedMethods to detect interruptions in file sharing on OneDrive and Google Drive, connect from abroad and manage email issues such as phishing and malware risks. One advantage is that they can address data security in a comprehensive way and at an affordable price. They also appreciate the fact that ManagedMethods makes it very easy to identify threats and solve problems.
We see ManagedMethods as a safety satellite that needs 22,500 miles to see what’s happening on and off the systems, says Humes. Once it identifies a problem, it provides tools to solve it.
The team believes that their data and systems are more secure with ManagedMethods and that the software is in line with sales levels. They would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for ease of use, the necessary facilities and a company that does business easily.
Don’t underestimate the security risks you run in the cloud, says Humes. ManagedMethods is a cost-effective way to add additional layers to your data protection plans. View all products and then implement the ManagedMethods.
Customer history | Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit 5 secures Google Workspace & Microsoft 365 as the first to use ManagedMethods.
*** This is Kathy Fritchen’s blogger network on blog security, syndicated by ManagedMethods. The original message can be found at https://managedmethods.com/blog/case-study-k12-northwest-tri-county-iu5/.
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