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Watch Your Backend: How to Pass Your Higher Ed Security Strategy with High Marks

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The idea of a robust data security approach might seem somewhat at odds with the concept of higher education, where ideas and expression are encouraged to flow unencumbered. The notion might imply technology restrictions or procedures that could serve as roadblocks to innovation on (or—lately—off) campus. But strong security protocols aren’t the enemy of academic freedom. In fact, the right solutions can provide unfettered access for faculty and students, while ensuring peace of mind and ease of use for today’s harried higher-ed IT professionals!

Protecting sensitive data and systems requires a strong perimeter defense tactic to help ensure security. That’s all well and good, but in today’s world of virtual and hybrid learning, faculty and staff devices often reside on zero trust networks. And since these devices often hold student data, an institution’s security strategy needs to be strengthened at the edge with the device itself.

Security needs to be baked into the very foundation of your devices. Something that is invisible to the user, but ever-vigilant: protecting, detecting, and correcting, 24-7.

The Intel vPro® Platform helps Lenovo deliver higher levels of productivity, security, and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) across a range of form factors, ensuring that IT has the right devices to meet both the needs of faculty and students, while simultaneously meeting the unique requirements of IT.

The Intel vPro® Platform provides a significant boost in security scanning performance, allowing IT to do more frequent, more intensive security scanning without negatively impacting user productivity

A Policy of Protection

From technical measures such as implementing two-factor authentication to working with partners to adopt the right strategies and solutions, there are a number of changes higher ed institutions can make to reduce security risks while strengthening infrastructures and countermeasures.

  • Layered security uniting physical and cybersecurity protection to secure your most critical student data and education technologies with comprehensive end-to-end protection is crucial. Lenovo has tightened the higher ed security gap—with 99% fewer common vulnerabilities and exposures than competitors—through solutions focused on delivering built-in platform security, device protection, threat and data protection, and security management.

  • Mandatory full disk encryption to keep your institution’s data safe even if a device is lost.

  • By abandoning password authentication and—instead—using tokens plus PINs, logging in is easier and faster than trying to remember a password or—worse yet—using a sticky note with sensitive log-in information.

  • Technology such as ThinkShield’s PrivacyGuard helps fight shoulder-surfing in public by providing an alert in the event that someone is peering over and looking at critical data they shouldn’t see.

  • Have tight but sensible data retention policies. The goal is to shield your company from liability while still letting users keep and archive important data.

  • Implement easy processes that encourage compliance. When you bog down a student, professor, or faculty member with bureaucracy, they are more likely to try risky workarounds.

Mitigate and Innovate

The threats to your devices and infrastructure are many. Luckily, the Intel vPro® Platform responds in kind with a number of hardware-enhanced innovations to keep malware, viruses, and “bad actors” at bay.

First, there’s Thunderbolt™ 4 technology that raises minimum security requirements to keep users safer, while Intel® Control-flow Enforcement Technology protects against control-flow hijacking malware attacks: targeting a new form of malware to keep users safer by detecting when the software flow isn’t correct.

Then there’s Intel® Threat Detection Technology and Intel® Hardware Shield, delivering advanced threat detection and enhanced security to thwart cryptomining and ransomware attacks while securing the BIOS.

Recently, SentinelOne—the autonomous security platform company—became a core component of Lenovo’s ThinkShield security offerings, protecting workstations, servers, and cloud workloads with real-time behavioral AI (Artificial Intelligence). These patented AI models live on each device, predicting tomorrow’s attacks today and enabling devices to self-heal from any attack instantaneously.

The Last Word in End-to-End Solutions

So, how can higher ed take security, well…even higher? It takes hardware built with security designed inside. It takes software written with security in mind, And it takes Intelligent organizational security policies. Why? With pandemic-driven online learning stretching the confines and concept of the modern day college, the sheer volume of data that higher education institutions are handling has never been higher: nor more at risk. Luckily, Lenovo and the Intel vPro® Platform are working tirelessly to help students, professors, faculty, and admin to make the grade.

Better Together

Together, Intel and Lenovo provide users better performance, including enterprise-level validation and faster and stronger connectivity so everyone in higher education can achieve greater productivity and seamless collaboration.

Working together to address device security throughout the entire lifecycle: from manufacturing, through transportation, during its operating life and at retirement, the combination of solutions from Intel and Lenovo give you unprecedented security options.

Contact your Intel Account Executive or visit to learn more.

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