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School District Secures Distance Learning for 18,000+ Students With FortiEDR
By Renee Tarun | September 23, 2020
As school districts across the United States booted up for distance learning, endpoint security became a top priority. Many educational organizations found themselves a target of cybercriminals exploiting the recent pandemic through social engineering attacks—especially now that students and staff have access to the district’s network from their own devices, in their own homes.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of easily exploited endpoint devices connected to networks was growing rapidly. This increased even moreso with the shift to remote work and learning. This issue is exacerbated by the growing sophistication of cyber threats and the pandemic-related attacks launched by cybercriminals leveraging fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in social engineering attacks.
One U.S. school district found itself procuring 20,000 more laptops to enable its 18,000 students and 2,200 staff members to learn and work from home. With growing concerns around ransomware and phishing—particularly spearphishing—and an incumbent solution that was not meeting their expectations, the school district began looking for a new vendor. An ideal solution would provide remote web filtering, endpoint protection, detection, response and remote remediation.
As an existing Fortinet customer, this district already had a number of solutions across the Fortinet Security Fabric in place, including FortiGate Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs), FortiAnalyzer, FortiManager, FortiSandbox, FortiAuthenticator, and FortiClient. Because of this, the district had already seen how Fortinet’s broad, integrated, and automated product portfolio enabled increased visibility, centralized management, and seamless protection across the entire digital attack surface—including remote locations. Both their knowledge of the extensive Fortinet portfolio and the existing trusted partnership between the two led the school district to begin a proof of concept (PoC) of Fortinet’s Endpoint Detection and Response solution, FortiEDR.
FortiEDR delivers real-time, automated threat protection, detection, and response for endpoints—both pre- and post-infection. The key capabilities of FortiEDR include discovery and risk mitigation, next-generation antivirus (NGAV), behavior-based detection, real-time blocking, automated incident response, forensic investigation, threat hunting, and virtual patching capabilities. FortiEDR delivers all of this in a form factor with a lightweight footprint that is easy to deploy, even on devices with limited system resources. And as part of the Security Fabric, FortiEDR could seamlessly integrate with the existing solutions the school district had in place, ensuring centralized management and complete visibility and control across their digital attack surface.
After seeing a variety of ransomware samples being tested and automatically dealt with in real-time during the PoC, this school district determined that FortiEDR met, and even exceeded each of their expectations and was exactly what they were looking for to secure remote access and improve endpoint security among students and staff.
By adopting FortiEDR, this school district saw the following benefits:
- Secure remote access and remote web filtering: FortiEDR enables students and staff alike to gain access to the school district’s resources without compromising the security of the network by ensuring consistent remote web filtering.
- Enhanced endpoint visibility and resilience: FortiEDR not only gives the school district complete visibility over all endpoint devices connected to the network and ensures that each of those devices are resilient against potential threats.
- Improved threat protection: With growing concern around ransomware and targeted spearphishing emails, this school district was relieved to adopt an endpoint security solution that would mitigate those risks and protect students and staff as they work remotely.
With FortiEDR, this school district was well-equipped to secure endpoints during distance learning and well into the future.