Protect K-12 Student Users In The Cloud: Cisco’s CloudLock And Umbrella Combo


July 19, 2018 by Siobhan Climer

Just over two years ago, in June of 2016, Cisco acquired CloudLock, an API-based app security startup, for $293M. The CASB, or cloud access security broker, technology leveraged by CloudLock focused on tracking and managing user behavior and data in SaaS applications – think Office365, Google Drive, or Blackboard. From access keys to user privileges, Cisco’s acquisition of CloudLock set the stage for an API-based service future for cloud security. According to Cisco’s vice president of corporate business development, Rob Salvagno, the acquisition was part of a “drive towards a fully integrated security portfolio.”

What has Cisco done with CloudLock since then? Quite a bit, actually. Cisco CloudLock protects the users, data, and apps within the cloud, easing the cloud migration transition so many schools are eager to make. What’s more, using Cisco CloudLock with Cisco Umbrella together is now one of the primary ways schools can protect K-12 student users in the cloud.  

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CloudLock For K-12 Education: Does It Protect K-12 Student Users In The Cloud?


protect k-12 student users in the cloudNow more than ever, students need to know how to use the internet and the cloud safely. As digital citizens in an ever-changing world, today’s students use the internet to learn, grow, and share their knowledge. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications support this on the cloud with Office 365 or Google Drive.

But the critical controls needed for K-12 institutions are often lacking; pressed for time and resources, users in the K-12 sector – from teachers to administrators to students – are often unsure of user practices and make frequent violations. Plus, many teachers begin utilizing third-party applications to support their students’ learning.

CloudLock enforces access privileges and protects data anywhere, anytime. In addition, CloudLock automates student data protection, promotes end-user education, detects compromised accounts, detects insider threats, identifies and monitors third-party apps, and monitors student welfare – from cyber bullying to discrimination to suicide – all within cloud applications.

CloudLock focuses on the internal user. But what about external threats?


protect k-12 student users in the cloud

How Cisco CloudLock And Cisco Umbrella Form The Ultimate Cloud Security Combo


To protect K-12 student users in the cloud, CloudLock focuses on threat detection and protection, application discovery and control, custom app security, integrations and orchestrations, and data security and compliance. Cisco Umbrella, on the other hand, works by stopping malware infections in their tracks and prevent data exfiltration. Together, these different platforms give visibility to shadow IT and all internet activity. What’s more, taken together, CloudLock and Umbrella focus on the two-fold nature of cyber threats in the cloud – internal and external. Since over half of all data breaches are due to human error and insider threats account for over 60% of risk, this dual shield is necessary.

Customized Cisco Umbrella Pricing For Schools: EdTech Report



Rising Costs And Shrinking Time-Scales


protect k-12 student users in the cloudData breaches are expensive, to school districts, companies, and institutions around the U.S. Today’s IT leaders have even less time to respond to data breaches before the exposure is irreversible. As Joel Rosenblatt, Director of Computer and Networks Security, says, “My biggest challenge in security is people… Losing a file with 100,00 social security numbers means some serious money. CloudLock lets us find those files before the bad guys find them.”

Together, Cisco Umbrella and Cisco CloudLock decrease the time needed to identify malicious threats and protect k-12 student users in the cloud.


Impact: Protect K-12 Student Users In The Cloud Without Disruption


One of the reason school districts like this duo is that they are cloud-native, which really means they deliver immediate value without impacting the end-users – students and faculty. While remaining transparent and informing users of the cloud controls in place is essential, CloudLock requires no additional training for end-users. That’s a big win for busy IT departments.


What’s Wrong With It?


protect k-12 student users in the cloudWe looked. We tested. We asked. TechValidate, which performs analysis of tech products and their actual value, found 97% of their surveyed participants say CloudLock plays an important role in their cloud app security. Some users have found the Firewall and Malware detection rate is weak and prone to false positives, while others dislike the password protection features that require multiple resends of password resets.

Overall, though, IT Systems Manager from Cedarburg School District, Eric Mesa, recommends CloudLock because of “the intuitive interface and the fact it comes with pre-built policies based on industry. It is also a great feature that we can create custom policies based on specific sharing and/or data.”

As a Cisco Gold Partner, we can help you make the move. Contact us today to determine if a CloudLock-Umbrella combo is right for your district.

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About The Author

Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.

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