For further and higher education institutions such as Leicester College, 24×7 network visibility and security is always a high priority but, with the drain on both time and resource, can become an operational burden.
With an automated endpoint protection solution from KHIPU, Leicester College have now achieved an additional layer of proactive cyber security whilst freeing-up their more highly skilled technical resources to focus on high-level tasks.
As one of the largest colleges in the UK, Leicester College provides a comprehensive range of technical, vocational, and higher education qualifications across a broad range of subject areas, to around 26,000 students at three main city centre campus locations. In addition, their IT infrastructure supports over 1,600 staff members, all of whom require safe and secure network access to deliver an increasingly digital learning programme.
Having heavily invested in the Microsoft 365 security stack, the IT Team at the college were reluctant to add more hardware and software complexity, as explained by Harshad Taylor, Director of IT at Leicester College:
“On discussing our options with KHIPU, we made it clear that we weren’t keen on adding more hardware and software and wished to explore alternative options. When the team at KHIPU shared the feedback they had received from other universities and colleges already benefiting from their Security Operation Centre (SOC) services, we felt that this was the right direction for us.”
After a phase of analysis, KHIPU’s cybersecurity specialists proposed a bespoke version of their full SOC service (dubbed ‘SOC Lite’) which utilises playbook-driven automation to detect network security breaches.
Rob Peet, Architecture Manger at Leicester College, commented on the KHIPU proposal, saying:
“The solution proposed by KHIPU was exactly what we were hoping for. Quite often, comprehensive SOC services are very expensive and can be the equivalent in cost to multiple full-time IT staff. One of the factors that made the KHIPU offering so attractive was the clear return-on-investment – not only were we getting an enterprise-grade cyber security solution, but we were getting it at a level which was very consciously priced for the education sector.”
“By leveraging AI and automation to take on the heavy lifting of our network security, we are now able to do a lot more with our existing resource. Essentially, we have invested in a robust cyber security solution which not only provides peace of mind but also gives us more time to focus on our other priorities.”
With the ‘SOC Lite’ solution from KHIPU, Leicester College can deploy proactive malware scans and, if necessary, isolate hosts, effectively mitigating cyber security breaches 24x7x365 without the requirement for a dedicated team of analysts.
Managed automation with KHIPU ‘SOC Lite’
Providing a technical overview of the solution, Gareth Trollip, Regional Pre-Sales and Dev-Ops Manager for KHIPU’s South Africa operation, said:
“At KHIPU, we understand that the threat of malware attacks is a core concern for colleges, and for both FE and HE institutions more broadly. An email inbox full of alerts takes the attention away from other important network security operations, so a solution which automatically triggers certain security processes, whether that be in the middle of the night, the weekend, or even public holidays and Christmas, is genuine peace of mind for the customer.”
“The ‘SOC Lite’ solution from KHIPU is essentially managed SecOps automation and the real benefit for Leicester College is that it mitigates cyber security breaches, fast. Gone are the days where a known signature-based Anti-Virus is sufficient, now we are dealing with zero-day attacks which can originate from something as simple and prevalent as a known vulnerability on an endpoint.”
Yet another advantage of the innovative ‘SOC Lite’ solution for FE and HE institutions is in the external auditing process. In the past, many organisations struggled to create and maintain robust incident management processes and reporting, which are required to pass regular inspections. However, with a managed cyber security automation solution, they are able to deliver detailed breakdowns of their security breach mitigation or incident management protocols to auditors, as provided directly by KHIPU.
Bespoke endpoint protection
Looking to the future, KHIPU and Leicester College are working on the implementation of a number of bespoke endpoint protection, malware and ransomware playbooks, which will further enhance their cyber security with a more granular approach to server categorisation and the proactive isolation of potentially compromised hosts.
Speaking on his experience of working with KHIPU, Harshad Taylor said:
“KHIPU are a trusted partner and made this entire process – from pilot to implementation – really simple. They took the time to fully understand our requirements and exemplified their market-leading technical knowledge in bringing the solution to life.
“The great thing about the KHIPU solution is that, at the point of use, it is simple enough for our first- and second-line technicians to manage. It simplifies the information, pulling it directly out of Microsoft 365’s Defender Portal and presents it in a very easy to understand way.”
Find out more about KHIPU’s SOC services for the Further and Higher Education sector by checking out our video case study with Canterbury Christ Church University >
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