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How higher ed institutions can streamline security operations

Higher education institutions continue to face the challenge of managing too many security tools with limited resources. The urge to streamline is present but finding the right solution isn’t always apparent.

Department silos and lack of resources result in gaps between IT and security teams, leaving institutions open to disruption. These gaps create risk for students, teachers and administrators — making it impossible for IT to get ahead of threats.

That changed recently for Raisha Cobb, CIO of Winston-Salem State University, who joined EdScoop to talk about how her IT team discovered a more innovative solution for managing multiple security products in working with partners like Tanium.

By moving to a new software asset management tool, the Winston-Salem State IT team has been able to “reduce time, which has allowed us to be more innovative and be able to research different technologies for our campuses,” says Cobb. She also explains how this ties into the university’s newly unveiled, eight-year strategic plan called “Unleash the Genius.”

Cobb explains that attaining full visibility of their networks allows them to take proactive, data-informed measures such as making changes to policies and procedures for privileged access users and systems admins.

“We have the data to prove why we’re putting in additional controls to limit the impact on our campus. We didn’t have that visibility in the past,” she says.

Doug Thompson, the chief education architect at Tanium, says organizational culture often holds higher education institutions back from consolidating and streamlining their security operations.

“There’s a history and a culture holding them back. And the culture is, well, XYZ, and we’ve done it this way. And we do it better than everybody else and all that. And that’s all fine until it doesn’t—it holds you back from exploring new opportunities to do things,” he shares.

Thompson and Cobb discuss what other higher-ed IT leaders can learn from Winston-Salem State and how to rethink their security approach to keep up with today’s rapidly changing technology and cyber threat environments.

Learn more about Tanium for higher education here.

This video interview was produced by Scoop News Group and EdScoop and underwritten by Tanium.