Higher Education

Global higher education sector technology spending is to exceed US$38.2 Billion in 2016, according to Gartner. IDC Government Insights, in their IT spending guide, says that U.S. Higher education institutions are expected to spend about $6.6 billion on IT, much of that driven by investments in enterprise networks with network upgrades a major driver here. Fifty-nine percent of higher educational Institutions reported network upgrades were a top priority.

A top issue for higher education IT leaders continues to be information security. While enterprises have a “exclude everything and allow specific” approach to security, Higher Education has an “allow everything and exclude specific” approach to security. This becomes particularly challenging as higher education institutions partner with industry companies.

Examples of data to protect in higher education institutions include:

  • NIST 800 Mandated
    - Student records or PII (FERPA)
    - Controlled Technical Information
    - Critical Infrastructure information
    - Export control-research data
  • Institution Financial and Accounting Records
  • Intellectual Property such as high tech research projects
  • Alumni/Employee PII
  • Student Medical Records, Medical Research PII (HIPPA)

“Given BlackRidge Technology’s support of IBM z Systems™, Marist College engaged in a research partnership with BlackRidge to further expand the protection of TCP/IP connections between IBM z Systems applications and industry clients. Using Marist’s z Systems test beds, BlackRidge was initially deployed to protect the campus’ IT management infrastructure. The BlackRidge implementation was then extended to a key z System mainframe providing a new layer of protection to defend it from cyber-attacks and identify the sources of the attacks that were occurring. Marist’s relationship with both BlackRidge and IBM protects the College’s globally available infrastructure and supports ongoing research into mainframe attack profiles to further develop the cyber defenses needed to protected today’s distributed mainframe environments.”
Bill Thirsk, CIO at Marist College