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Giving Back while Safeguarding Schools in the Age of COVID-19

Blog >Giving Back while Safeguarding Schools in the Age of COVID-19
Giving Back while Safeguarding Schools in the Age of COVID-19

Going remote is the new reality as we continue to grapple with a devastating global pandemic. The transition to remote learning in our nation’s schools, in particular, has created a new level of upheaval and burden that’s impacted most every home and community. Luckily, most of Stealthbits’ existing corporate customers switched to digital work rather seamlessly after testing and reinforcing the security of their networks and IT infrastructure. Educational institutions, on the other hand, were faced with similar demands to transition to a remote structure but lacked the same type of resources to do so quickly and seamlessly.

Schools have always existed in a tough budget environment, but the situation has become more serious with the stress of COVID-19. How our children learn has changed dramatically with the move to a virtual classroom—most notably, the social, face-to-face learning–is gone for today’s students, like my nephew who’s a kindergartener. While teachers use technology to engage students, the last thing they need to worry about is someone hacking into their school’s back-end systems, stealing credentials, grades, or other sensitive information and holding them for ransom.

2020: A Perfect Storm for Cyberattacks on Education

2020 has proven to be a perfect storm for hackers to exploit one of our most vulnerable institutions.   According to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware attacks in the education sector jumped to 80% this year, up from 45% in the prior year.

This is highly troubling. At Stealthbits, we want to make a difference for the public education community by offering free access to a holistic, out-of-the-box solution that will keep cybercriminals from gaining access to login credentials that lead to widespread data exposure. We are offering a one-year subscription to our Stealthbits Privileged Activity Manager® (SbPAM) software to all U.S.-based K-12 schools and public colleges and universities, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), now until June 30, 2021. 

SbPAM software is intuitive and easy to use–in fact, many of our current education users say they were up and running in less than an hour. For schools that need additional support, we offer complementary access to our Learning Management System (LMS), which contains online tutorials, videos and training materials. We also have augmented our support team to provide additional assistance.

Innovating for Simplicity and Ease of Use

Traditional Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions have been out of reach for most schools because of complicated configurations and hidden costs. As an industry, we’ve made PAM too complicated. That’s what drove us to design for simplicity and ease of use with our third-generation SbPAM product.

In this challenging time, we are proud to offer schools a tangible security benefit that can be implemented right now to dramatically increase their security posture. There are no backend software costs or hidden licensing fees. What sets SbPAM apart is, unlike other PAM solutions, we take an identity-centric data access approach. IT administrators and privileged users are provided just-in-time access to perform a task and once that job is completed, access is removed. This drastically limits the “attack surface” hackers seek to gain unauthorized access to records, research, financial data, and personally identifiable information.

For schools that wish to continue their subscriptions, we’re making it cost-effective with a nominal fee to offset some support costs in the second year. While the value of this solution depends on the size of the school, the market value realized starts at $10,000 and extends to several hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Call to Action: Now’s the Time to Make a Difference

Giving back to the community is not a new idea at Stealthbits. It’s been a guiding value of our founder and chairman Steve Cochran that we continue to aspire to every day. It is my personal wish that more tech firms, especially ones in the security space, will seek ways to make a difference. There’s no doubt that our industry’s innovations have the potential to make a real impact, especially for schools, in a world that has been forever changed by COVID-19.

To start your free one-year subscription to Stealthbits Privileged Activity Manager, click here.

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