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IronNet Combats Growing Cyber Attacks Against Education Sector

Texas School District latest to partner with IronNet to protect school networks by adding IronNet’s Cybersecurity Platform for real-time visibility of surging threat landscape

IronNet, Inc. an innovative leader transforming cybersecurity through Collective Defense, announced a partnership with a Texas school district to help defend the district’s networks against increasing cyber attacks. The school district—which is remaining anonymous to protect its operational security—will use IronNet’s leading AI-based Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution, and be part of IronNet’s Collective Defense community, which enables organizations of all sizes and across all sectors to collaborate in real time to better detect and defend against cyber attacks.

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“In our school district, we understand that PreK-12 education is the new target of choice. We have valuable data and a moral and legal responsibility to be good stewards of that data,” said the school district’s Director of Information Services. “Not only do we need to use every effective traditional cybersecurity tool available to us, but we also need to adopt new thinking. That’s what IronNet brings to the PreK-12 table: something new. Real-time information combined with individualized alerts. We needed a collective defense solution. IronNet is exactly that.”

The shift to cloud-based virtual learning in 2020 created new vectors for cyber attacks, including ransomware. As a result, U.S.-based K-12 schools, colleges, and universities reported an 18% increase in attacks, including 77 ransomware attacks that affected more than 1.3 million students. In 2021, education systems experienced a further record-number of attacks, with Microsoft Security Intelligence finding that from Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, 2021 alone, education organizations were targets of more than 5.8 million malware attacks globally —representing 63% of all malware attacks. Experts forecast that cybersecurity incidents aimed at K-12 schools could jump as much as 86% by the close of this academic year.

“We were very excited to pilot this program in its early stages, and were even more excited when our administration approved the purchase so that we could maintain IronNet as one of our threat defense resources,” the school district’s Director of Information Services continued. “While nothing is 100% guaranteed, we feel confident that our network is more secure now with IronNet’s leading AI-based Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution. We hope Texas education decision makers will find it necessary to support this program as well, thus making it more accessible and affordable for school districts.”

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In response to the growing prevalence of attacks, President Biden signed the K-12 Cybersecurity Act earlier this year in an effort to implement stronger cybersecurity protections for K-12 educational institutions across the country.

“School systems have become top-tier targets for cyber criminals, and IronNet is happy to be joining this fight to protect our youth,” said George Lamont, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at IronNet. “Schools hold a wealth of personal information about our children and their families, and sophisticated hackers are keenly aware that penetrating school networks has the potential to create mass disruptions that many administrators would pay healthy ransoms to resolve. At IronNet, we’re working to level the playing field by banding together schools and equipping them with our leading AI-based Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution.”

IronNet’s Cybersecurity Platform, powered by a NDR SaaS solution that uses AI-driven behavioral analytics, is the first-of-its-kind threat-sharing solution which analyzes threat detections across IronDome to identify broad attack patterns and provide anonymized intelligence back to all community members in real time, serving as an early warning system for all.

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