Unified Cyber Risk Management for Higher Education

Educational institutions face unique security challenges due to their open, ever-expanding and distributed networks, essential for facilitating a collaborative exchange of information and ideas.  

Easy access provided to students and staff of multiple Colleges and Departments, and who now bring their own devices, combined with a treasure trove of personally identifiable information and research data, make university networks attractive targets for cyber criminals. Educational institutions are increasingly becoming a target for ransomware with some having to make the difficult decision to shut down after a ransomware attack. 

"FortifyData has been instrumental in transforming our security from reactive to proactive. The ability to move the needle and watch the needle actually move is really huge."

College and Department Cyber Risk Management in One Platform

FortifyData’s platform can help higher educational institutions manage their cyber risk and regulatory compliance programs. FortifyData enables higher education institutions to continuously identify assets, view and manage risks by specific colleges or subsidiaries, perform third party risk management of vendors that serve the entire institution or only specific departments. Also, manage the applicable regulatory compliance (HECVAT, PCI DSS, GLBA, FERPA, DFARS/NIST 800-171, etc.) and questionnaire processes. FortifyData takes all this into account and can also provide a security rating for the entire University system and for specific Colleges to provide a quick reference point on how well parts of the University are in managing their cyber risk.  

FortifyData Education Association Participation

Integrated Threat Intelligence Informs Your Risk Prioritization

The FortifyData platform integrates threat intelligence feeds that are updated hourly, so you get immediate prioritization of risks according to threats against the industry and technologies. Information such as the threat groups and trending threats like malware variants that are targeting the Higher Education industry.

  • Our assessments identify your external assets susceptible to known threat activities such as malware
  • With FortifyData’s internal agents we can identify if threat signatures are present on systems and in files

The threat intelligence feed data is integrated into our risk prioritization, so as threat intelligence changes – related to susceptible assets you have, increase in activity against the industry and threat signatures – the FortifyData platform analysis takes this into account for the threat likelihood calculation and adjusts your risk prioritization accordingly.

We conduct external assessments of third parties for our TPRM program. You would see susceptible external assets being targeted at third parties in the form of higher likelihood ranking,  and you can share that information with them to improve your supplier ecosystem.

Ready to see the active threats?

Why Higher Educational Institutions Choose FortifyData

  • We work with a variety of public and private institutions, HBCUs and smaller vocational colleges 
  • FortifyData provides a holistic view of cyber risk across the University, with the ability to drill down into specific colleges, departments or assets 
  • Prioritized view of risks with recommended remediation steps for identified vulnerabilities 
  • The accuracy of our risk assessment findings is based on continuous, direct, assessments of the Higher Educational environment’s assets, services and processes that provide an up-to-date view of cyber risk  
  • Monitor cyber risk management progress compared to other higher educational institutions 
  • FortifyData has been working with Universities across the Nation to more accurately understand their cyber risk exposure of external, internal, cloud and third parties.  

Solutions for Higher Education Institutions

Attack Surface Management and Risk-based Vulnerability Management 

Starting with asset discovery and inventory, our Attack Surface Management (ASM) identifies your educational institution’s IT assets as an attacker will. FortifyData assesses all ports and services of a University’s external and internal attack surface and identifies the same vulnerabilities an attacker would. Our prioritization capabilities help you cut through the noise and get a view of the vulnerabilities with the most impact that actually matters; you can view this across the entire University or by specific College or department. You get a prioritized risk approach that considers context through asset classification, threat likelihood, and business impact, so you know where to focus time and resources on the most critical vulnerabilities to your organization. 

Managing Compliance, Improving Reporting and Communication 

FortifyData’s automated platform helps to streamline aspects of the compliance monitoring and reporting activities. The platform helps an educational institution to meet certain requirements of various compliance frameworks for cyber risk management, assessments, vulnerability management and third-party risk management.  

Additionally, reporting from the FortifyData platform provides easy to understand reports with underlying detail to better report and communicate compliance management with stakeholders.  

Third-Party Cyber Risk Management 

Effectively evaluate a vendor and the specific service or product a vendor provides.

Gain visibility into third-party cyber risks with continuous assessments of their external assets. We integrate our technology assessment findings to our embedded standard compliance or custom questionnaires to perform auto-validation that saves time in reviewing responses. Keep up to date on the compliance of your suppliers with your policies, and quickly identify vendors that do not comply. Get the full picture of external vulnerabilities at your third parties with our auto-validated questionnaires that leverage the live assessment data conducted on their environment. This provides you with the answers you need more quickly (in the time to run an assessment) than a manual questionnaire process. Create custom questionnaires that are specific to each vendor. Easily assign tasks and collaborate and track questionnaires with our task management capabilities.

Speed up vendor evaluations by spending less time reviewing questionnaires with FortifyData’s Questionnaire Exchange. Participants instantly access shared validated cyber risk assessments and questionnaires, allowing you to quickly make risk based decisions.

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