Secure Remote Learning in Education
Emergency school closures as a result of situations beyond our control, such as floods, riots, and the current COVID-19 pandemic, leave many educational institutions with the challenge to maintain continuity of learning and teaching. Remote learning using digital tools helps keep the students, faculty, and administrative staff connected in such times to minimize the disruption for students and their education. However, there is an inherently increased risk to the privacy and safety of these sessions and their participants, especially when remote learning occurs over lesser controlled environments. Even when learning distantly, most of the traditional classroom learning requirements come into play, while at the same time requiring adherence to the local and state laws and requirements. The need for secure remote access and safe web filtering becomes vitally critical in such scenarios.
Securing remote access with Sophos
Sophos XG Firewall and SD-RED devices offer schools and colleges multiple options for secure remote connectivity. Students and teachers can access online learning tools that are mostly located in the cloud, or access file sharing applications, email, the internet, and other resources on the school network securely and from any location.
XG Firewalls come with built-in support for IPsec and SSL VPN connectivity, allowing schools to choose either or both. IPsec VPN comes with a free, easy-to-use VPN connection client, Sophos Connect, that’s easy to deploy and configure, ensuring your students, faculty, and staff can connect securely and with little effort.
Executives can take advantage of Sophos SD-RED (software-defined remote ethernet device) that establishes a plug-and-play contact with XG Firewall for a dedicated VPN tunnel for secure access to sensitive corporate resources or to online SaaS resources. They can connect to the device directly, or wirelessly through a Sophos APX wireless access point.
Schools can remotely connect with each other and to their headquarters within a district using SD-WAN integrated into Sophos XG Firewall. SD-WAN allows them to securely share information between sites; achieve consistent performance and availability for cloud applications like Dropbox Education, G Suite, ClassDojo, and others; and deliver applications to keep pace with changing educational technologies and apps on the network.
Not everyone has the option to use a corporate-owned device, and you may need to enable your staff and teachers to start using personal devices for work. Sophos Mobile lets you secure any combination of personal and corporate-owned devices with minimal effort. Mobile devices can utilize built-in or app-based VPN options, including IPsec and SSL VPN for secure connectivity to your XG Firewall protected network.
With more chances of people working from home plugging new devices into their company laptops, peripheral control in Sophos Intercept X allows you to control what employees can and can’t plug into their corporate devices.
Securing remote connections
With sensitive information travelling back and forth between the firewall and remote devices over the internet, ensuring traffic is secured from threats is critical. If your XG Firewall has a TotalProtect Plus or FullGuard Plus license, traffic is scanned for ransomware, viruses, intrusions, and other threats in both directions, providing comprehensive protection. Sandstorm, Sophos’ cloud-sandbox technology, inspects and blocks executables and documents containing executable content coming in through phishing, spam, and web downloads before the file is delivered to the user’s device.
Securing against web threats
Sophos XG Firewall’s Web Protection engine, backed by SophosLabs, includes advanced web protection capabilities and innovative technologies like pharming protection, HTTPS scanning, and potentially unwanted app control, required to identify and block the latest web threats. Utilize Sophos’ powerful, built-in web filtering policies for assistance with CIPA compliance and other education-specific features for SafeSearch and YouTube control.
Unless your remote users are using VPN, you will need to ensure their safety on the internet by remotely enforcing web filtering rules defined by your organization. The Web Control capabilities in Sophos Intercept X stop risky file types being downloaded and block access to inappropriate websites.
Intercept X for Mobile also helps you keep students and staff safe on the web, stopping risky file types being downloaded and providing category based web filtering for both Chromebooks and iOS devices.
When your remote device has an active Sophos Intercept X license, it can share real-time threat, health, and security information with XG Firewall via the Security Heartbeat™. If a remote device becomes infected, XG Firewall isolates the device until it is cleaned, preventing the infection from moving laterally to other devices on the network.
Identity and access control
Protect sensitive data, research, and other critical resources with Sophos XG Firewall’s user identity-based policies and unique user risk analysis that enable unprecedented next-gen control over applications, web surfing, bandwidth quotas, and other network resources. Ensure access to critical resources by only those who are authorized with two-factor authentication (2FA) support for access to key system areas, including IPsec and SSL VPN, the user portal, and the web administration console.
Effortless remote set-up
Easily set up and protect employees who are working from home, even if they are a new user or using a personal device, with the Sophos Central management platform.
Sophos ensures continuous education from anywhere
Sophos’ unique IT security capabilities offer award-winning protection for schools and universities to ensure that learning doesn’t stop in times when students are not able to access teachers and educational resources face to face. Our remote access solutions are easy to deploy and configure and offer a safe and speedy platform for students and faculty to continue to interact and collaborate while maintaining safe social distance.
Great news is that, we can offer you a free trial on some of our Sophos security. So take full advantage and let’s help keep your school secured. To get started click here