Traditional endpoint protection is reactive, responding once something has happened. Endpoint protection with machine learning is proactive, capable of studying an almost limitless amount of network traffic, logging information and app installations for anomalous activity. “Security technologies with artificial intelligence capabilities have the potential to anticipate attacks and counter them in real-time,” says Turner. “Given that cyberattacks occur in seconds, the speed brought by AI-driven security technologies is crucial.”
That’s not the only benefit. Here are three more:
1. Scale Security as Endpoints Increase
Because of the recent shift to remote learning, the number of endpoints has exploded. “Thousands upon thousands of new Chromebooks just magically appeared out of nowhere at school divisions that never had a one-to-one program before,” explains Tim Tillman, CTO of Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia. That’s created a significant challenge.
Protecting so many users and devices from cyberattacks is no easy task. “These environments are really hard to lock down because they sprawl,” says Victor Marchetto, senior information security field architect at CDW.
ML-enhanced endpoint security can sprawl easily because it’s not limited by number of endpoints or geography — only by the budget to acquire it from a service provider and computer power. It can cover all the additional devices that have made their way into school ecosystems without any strain or loss of performance.
2. Relieve Understaffed K–12 IT Teams
School districts have long struggled to meet their cybersecurity staffing needs. “They’re like a small business in terms of staffing, but they’re more like a big enterprise in terms of scale,” says Nicko van Someren, Absolute Software’s CTO.
Tillman can attest to that. “I have 65 schools and 65,000 students,” he says. “I have one person who does cybersecurity.”
The recent expansion of endpoints has only increased the challenge of hiring sufficient staff to protect schools, especially with the growing threat of ransomware attacks heightening the stakes.