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Arkansas’ Colleges and Universities Bolster Security Posture by Partnering with CRITICALSTART

CRITICALSTART, a leading cybersecurity provider of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, announced it is now providing enhanced security services to all of Arkansas’ public colleges and universities by partnering with the Arkansas Research and Educational Optical Network (ARE-ON). ARE-ON is a member of the Quilt, a non-profit national coalition comprised of 38 of the country’s most advanced regional research and education institutions.

ARE-ON and its members comprise a community of thought leaders focused on collaborative learning and innovation through advanced networking, technology, and research in Arkansas. ARE-ON is a not-for-profit consortium of all public degree-granting institutions in Arkansas and other selected higher education organizations.

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In 2019 alone, there were seven well-publicized cyber-attacks made against higher education institutions in the state of Arkansas. While a small security breach can have an economic impact of around $250,000, breaches on average cost nearly $7,000,000 to address and mitigate. With most security teams in the higher ed. space being comprised of small numbers, just one successful attack can cripple the network of an entire university system.

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As a result of the CRITICALSTART and ARE-ON partnership, colleges and universities under the ARE-ON umbrella will now be protected by a standardized, 24/7 managed service for threat detection and prevention that is resolving every alert and significantly reducing response times.

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“Hackers and malicious online actors both in the US and overseas are increasingly seeking to exploit large organizations like those in the higher ed. space for financial gain,” said Alan Bain, CRITICALSTART Chief Revenue Officer. “It is imperative that colleges and universities in Arkansas and across the United States take these threats seriously and strengthen their security postures to guard against being held hostage by a breach.”

“Knowing that just a single breach can cost upwards of $7,000,000 to mitigate, it was an easy decision to take immediate steps aimed at helping strengthen the security of Arkansas’ many public colleges and universities,” said Robert Nordmark, Executive Director, Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network. “This partnership will benefit scores of students and researchers in our state both now and in the future.”

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