Best Network Security Providers for Education Sectors – 2024

Network security providers for education safeguard schools, colleges, and educational institutions against cyberattacks. These providers protect student, research, and administrative data, comply with legal and regulatory requirements, and provide a secure learning environment. In education, digital learning tools, online courses, and remote education emphasize the necessity for strong network security.

With the growing number of institutions and online platforms to study from, education is becoming a significant consumer of networks to provide the best education standard with the internet’s help.

The transactions and website of the institution also use a set of networks to transfer information and money. A network security mechanism is required to prevent money and personal information theft. We will discuss the top 10 network security providers for the education sector in the market. 

Selecting the best network security provider such as Perimeter81 for the education sector involves evaluating a range of factors, including the provider’s expertise in handling the unique challenges of educational environments, the comprehensiveness of their security solutions, and their ability to scale and adapt to evolving threats.

importance of Network Security in Education Sectors

  • Protection of Sensitive Data: Schools maintain sensitive data like students’ personal information, academic records, and staff information. Network security is essential to prevent data breaches and identity theft, which could lead to financial fraud and privacy violations.
  • Maintaining Educational Continuity: Cyberattacks like ransomware, which severely damage institutions’ IT infrastructure, can seriously impair their ability to provide educational services. Network security is crucial in preventing these attacks, guaranteeing that instructional activities remain uninterrupted.
  • Compliance with Regulatory Requirements: The security of students’ private and sensitive information is a top priority for many educational institutions, including schools and universities. By implementing network security policies, institutions can meet these regulatory and legal obligations, protecting themselves from fines and harm to their reputation.
  • Safeguarding Intellectual Property: A university’s most valuable resources are its research and intellectual property. The integrity and competitiveness of research results depend on effective network security measures that protect against intellectual property theft.
  • Promoting a Safe Learning Environment: Content filtering and monitoring are network security methods that can help reduce cyberbullying and the availability of unsuitable content. This makes the internet more secure, which is excellent for education and growth.
  • Enhancing Trust and Reputation: Reputation among stakeholders (including students, parents, and staff) can be bolstered when institutions show they are serious about cybersecurity. Building relationships with other educational institutions and businesses and drawing in and keeping students requires this level of trust.

Network Security Best Practices for Education Sectors

Best PracticeDescriptionBenefits
Comprehensive Risk AssessmentRegularly evaluate the network for vulnerabilities, considering the diverse devices and technologies used in educational settings.Identifies potential security threats early, allowing for proactive mitigation.
Data EncryptionUtilize strong encryption standards for data at rest and in transit, particularly student information and research data.Protects sensitive information from unauthorized access, ensuring compliance with privacy laws.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)Implement MFA for accessing network resources, especially for administrative and faculty access.Enhances security by adding an extra verification step, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Regular Software Updates and Patch ManagementKeep all systems, applications, and security tools up to date with the latest patches.Protects against known vulnerabilities, reducing the attack surface for cyber threats.
Tailored Access ControlsDefine user roles and permissions based on the least privilege principle, limiting access to network resources according to the needs of students, faculty, and staff.Minimizes potential damage from compromised accounts and ensures users only access data necessary for their roles.
Cybersecurity Education and TrainingProvide regular training for students, faculty, and staff on cybersecurity best practices and potential threats.Empowers users to recognize and avoid phishing attacks and other cyber threats, enhancing overall network security.
Secure Wi-Fi NetworksEnsure that Wi-Fi networks are secure, using WPA3 where possible, and consider separate networks for faculty, students, and guests.Protects wireless traffic from interception and unauthorized access, maintaining the integrity of network communications.
Endpoint ProtectionDeploy robust antivirus and anti-malware solutions on all devices accessing the network, including BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).Prevents malware infections and data breaches, ensuring a secure environment for learning and administration.
Network SegmentationDivide the network into segments, isolating critical systems and data from general user access.Limits the spread of cyberattacks within the network, protecting sensitive information and critical infrastructure.
Incident Response PlanningDevelop and regularly update an incident response plan that includes procedures for responding to different types of cyber incidents.Ensures a coordinated and efficient response to security incidents, minimizing impact and downtime.
Regular Backups and Recovery PlansMaintain regular backups of critical data and test recovery procedures to ensure data can be restored after a cyber incident.Protects against data loss from ransomware or system failures, ensuring continuity of educational operations.

Things to Consider while Choosing the best Network Security Providers

  • Compatibility with Existing Infrastructure: To avoid compatibility difficulties, ensure the provider’s solutions function well with your present software platforms and network infrastructure.
  • Range of Security Features: To cover all bases, it’s best to go with a service that provides an extensive range of security capabilities. These should include a firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, malware protection, and data encryption.
  • Reputation and Reliability: Look at the provider’s history of success in the field. Please find out how reliable and effective they are at defending against cyber threats by reading reviews, case studies, and recommendations.
  • Cost and Budget Considerations: Evaluate several providers based on their prices, considering the whole cost of ownership (including setup, subscription, and any extra fees). The price must be reasonable about the level of protection you require.
  • Scalability: Choose a service that can adapt to your company’s needs as it expands. The security solutions need to be adaptable enough to handle growing network needs.
  • Ease of Use and Management: Find out if the provider’s solutions are easy to use and handle. Consider how your IT department will need to learn the system, how complicated the setup is, and if the vendor has centralized administration features.
  • Customer Support: Think about how accessible, quick to respond, and technically knowledgeable the customer service is. Explore the SLAs to learn about the provider’s promises about uptime, response times for assistance, and resolution times.

Best Network Security Providers for Education Sectors and Features

Network Security ProvidersFeatures
1. Perimeter811. Zero Trust Security
2. Secure Network Access
3. Automated Wi-Fi Security
4. Two-Factor Authentication
5. Network Segmentation
2. Cisco Systems1. Advanced Malware Protection
2. Next-Generation Firewall
3. VPN Services
4. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
5. Identity Services Engine
3. Palo Alto Networks1. Next-Generation Firewall
2. Advanced Threat Protection
3. Cloud Security
4. URL Filtering
5. WildFire Malware Analysis
4. Sophos1. Intercept X Endpoint Protection
2. XG Firewall
3. Cloud Optix
4. Managed Threat Response
5. Email Security
5. McAfee1. Endpoint Security
2. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB)
3. Network Security Platform
4. Data Loss Prevention
5. Secure Web Gateway
6. Symantec (Broadcom)1. Endpoint Protection
2. Cloud Security
3. Web Security Services
4. Email Security
5. Data Loss Prevention
7. Trend Micro2. Hybrid Cloud Security
2. Network Defense
3. User Protection
4. Advanced Threat Protection
5. Internet Security
8. Barracuda Networks1. Email Protection
2. Application and Cloud Security
3. Network Security
4. Data Protection
5. Web Security
9. IBM Security1. Quantum-Safe Cryptography
2. Threat Intelligence
3. Cloud Security
4. Data Security
5. Identity and Access Management
10. Aruba Networks1. Secure Network Access Control
2. Dynamic Segmentation
3. AI-Powered Threat Detection
4. Wireless LAN Security
5. VPN Solutions

10 Best Network Security Providers for Education Sectors – 2024

  1. Perimeter81
  2. Cisco Systems
  3. Palo Alto Networks
  4. Sophos
  5. McAfee
  6. Symantec (Broadcom)
  7. Trend Micro
  8. Barracuda Networks
  9. IBM Security
  10. Aruba Networks

1. Perimeter81

Perimeter 81 provides a network security solution to the most sensitive government institutions and the education sector. It is also one of the versatile network security solutions, delivering security to 3G, LAN, or Wi-Fi. 

To Implement Perimeter, you don’t need any external hardware. It can be easily integrated with your network access, giving a centralized solution for your network.

You can monitor any activity on your network with instant audits and restrict access by implementing user-level access control. 

And if you wish to move to the cloud, perimeter 81 will also help keep the data secure.

Key Features:

  • Secures a private network’s resources by requiring all users and devices inside and outside the network’s perimeter to undergo strict identity verification.
  • Allows network resources to be securely accessed by remote workers over encrypted connections.
  • Protects users’ data from interception when they connect to public Wi-Fi networks automatically.
  • Permits businesses to separate their network into sections, ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive data.
  • Increases safety by requiring two-factor authentication in addition to a password.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Good customer support helps resolve any live issues.The performance of the network is sometimes hindered due to VPN usage.
Perimeter 81 has a User-friendly and flexible UI.It could seem costly for some users and lacks a free trial
Easy to configure on multiple OS and devices.

Perimeter81 – Trial / Demo

2. Cisco Systems

Cisco

Cisco comes in with some added benefits in securing the campus as it also allows you to monitor the physical activity on the campus using CCTVs. 

Many things come under the umbrella of Cisco’s security portfolio, ranging from API, Cloud, Networking, Email, and Endpoint Security. 

Cisco Meraki provides security to the latest technology like wifi6 and beyond. Also, cloud-based networked IOT systems offer sustainable solutions for saving resources.

While used for education, Cisco Umbrella saves money, has 30-minute deployment and web filtering, is highly scalable, and has many more advantages. 

Key Features:

  • Ensures that all endpoints and networks are safeguarded from sophisticated malware.
  • Offers features not found in conventional firewalls, such as application control and awareness, integrated intrusion prevention, and threat intelligence provided by the cloud.
  • Adapts to businesses’ ever-changing demands for safe, secure access by integrating network security features with WAN capabilities.
  • Provides a security policy management platform that can automate and enforce security access rules across many types of connections, including wired, wireless, and VPN.
  • Connects branches and remote workers securely across the internet with reliable and secure communication.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Maintains traffic segmentation and high uptime.The features can be overwhelming to understand sometimes. 
Efficiency is maintained overall.Cisco can improve the documentation material to provide more in-depth knowledge.
Cisco gives Cisco secure client features. 

Cisco Systems – Trial / Demo

3. Palo Alto Networks

Network Security Providers for Education
Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto’s next-generation firewalls make it a significant network security provider.

Palo Alto provides security in three layers: appID, userID, and contentID.

Among these three layers, appID detects the application irrespective of the port, protocol, or encryption used. 

UserID is responsible for the integration of the Firewall and Active directory integration. 

Lastly, the content is scanned and blocked if found suspicious. 

Key Features:

  • It grants access control, visibility, and security against known and unknown dangers for applications, users, and material.
  • Maintains complete oversight and management of cloud-based data, apps, and loads.
  • It prevents phishing and other forms of online fraud by blocking access to harmful websites.
  • It instantly detects and counteracts cyber attacks using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • Prevents malicious software, exploits, and other security risks from reaching endpoints.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Single-pass traffic processing ensures exceptional performance.The cost is a concern, and licensing complexity is highlighted as a drawback.
user-friendly for template creation and reporting.Reporting for the solution could be improved, particularly regarding log retention duration and storage capabilities for historical reporting.
Valuable for VPN setup, implementing rules, and creating security policies

Palo Alto Networks – Trial / Demo

4. Sophos

Network Security Providers for Education
Sophos

Sophos is one of the Network Security Providers for Education that does not depend only on the detection and tools-based approach; they blend in with human-based threat hunting.

A complete suite of Sophos is synchronized to give you regular visibility of all the events happening in real time on your network.

Using the Sophos Intercept X, you can integrate new technologies like deep learning, AI, and many others with malicious traffic detection. 

Other solutions in Sophos are Sophos ZTNA, Cloud Optix, MDR, XDR, Firewall, and many more. Giving the institution protection against various threat actors with the help of newer concepts like machine learning and AI. 

Key Features:

  • Provides cutting-edge endpoint security by actively mitigating threats, detecting malware using deep learning, and preventing exploits.
  • This next-generation firewall provides enhanced visibility, protection, and response capabilities.
  • It makes managing safety regulations and tools easier from a single cloud-based dashboard.
  • With protection from ransomware technology integrated into the system.
  • Keeps malicious software, spam, and phishing attempts at rest.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
The installation process is straightforward to execute.High expenses for purchase and ongoing subscriptions may strain limited educational budgets.
Valuable functionality, particularly noted for its usefulness by users, enhances control over network access.Requires significant IT expertise for effective management and utilization.
Sophos integrates the entire OSI layer infrastructure, providing visibility across the network, including mobile devices.

Sophos – Trial / Demo

5. McAfee

Network Security Providers for Education
Mcafee

With the help of the trellis XDR engine, the institution can easily correlate all the data across the different tools and detect threats faster and more efficiently.

McAfee Secure School Suites and McAfee MVISION Mobile Advanced are being provided to education customers to safeguard their students and systems from cybersecurity attacks.

Delivered through a cloud-delivered, unified endpoint solution, the new suites are said to assist in reducing the cost of operations and complexity associated with keeping students safe online.

The suite also offers remediation procedures against cyber attacks, like one being able to revert the data after ransomware hits a system. 

Key Features:

  • Integrated endpoint detection and response capabilities with sophisticated threat defense, machine learning malware identification, and containment.
  • Gives you command and supervision of all your data and security risks in the cloud.
  • It uses encryption, DLP, and secure access restrictions to protect sensitive information.
  • Safeguards the network’s perimeter using cutting-edge IP security, intrusion detection, and threat intelligence features.
  • Retrieves valuable insights from data analyzed from various sources to identify sophisticated threats.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Practical threat analysis through network threat analyzer and integration with Global Threat Intelligence.Integration challenges, especially with Global Threat Intelligence, impact functionality.
A User-friendly dashboard facilitates quick intrusion identification.Scalability meets varying organizational needs.
Centralized management and customization provide a comprehensive security overview.Documentation complexity hinders ease of use.

McAfee – Trial / Demo

6. Symantec (Broadcom)

Network Security Providers for Education
Symantec (Broadcom)

While setting up a network security solution for your institution, you can get help from Symantec public sector consultants; they will design and deploy the architect. 

Symantec security solutions are major data-centric solutions, which would be great for educational institutions to safeguard all students’ personal information.

Advisory services are also available to ensure and audit your current security posture.

Web Isolation, Sandboxing, Content caching, Content peering, secure web gateway, cloud secure web gateway, deep file inspection, Zero trust network access, and many more are the solutions you can utilize under this network security solution. 

Key Features:

  • It has state-of-the-art defenses against new threats, including EDR, behavioral analysis, and machine learning.
  • Protects infrastructure and applications in the cloud by keeping tabs on data, threats, and user actions.
  • Enables protected web access for staff and safeguards against web-based dangers.
  • Provides strong defense against spam, virus, and phishing emails.
  • Assists in preventing data breaches by identifying and preventing violations of sensitive data handling protocols.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Comprehensive protection with features like SONAR, application control, and network firewall.Connectivity issues, SEP install failures, and offline device problems were reported.
Real-time virus scans and anti-malware capabilities enhance security.Challenges with devices lacking sufficient resources and limited end-user visibility.
Centralized reporting ensures quick issue remediation.Complex management console and difficulty in setting up policies.

Symantec (Broadcom) – Trial / Demo

7. Trend Micro

Network Security Providers for Education
Trend Micro

Trend Micro network security solution provides an agentless service, significantly reducing IT load.

It also offers data loss prevention (DLP) and encryption solutions to help school districts and campuses meet compliance regulations.

As a network security provider, Trend Micro is very flexible as it can provide a single security solution across physical, virtual, and cloud environments—including private, public, and hybrid clouds.

Trend Micro network security solutions can secure even mobile phones and other endpoints.

Key Features:

  • Provides customized protection for environments like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.
  • Protects networks from advanced threats by inspecting them and detecting breaches.
  • Offers defense against threats through endpoint security, online and email security, and mobile security.
  • Protects against advanced malware and ransomware using high-fidelity machine learning.
  • Defends users when they are online by blocking malicious websites and preventing scams.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Users find the installation process straightforward, with positive feedback on the support provided.Users desire better-reporting features, specifically generating reports on attack status.
The machine learning feature monitors activity automatically and is highlighted as valuable.Licensing costs are noted to be on the higher side.
Positive remarks on the stability and good technical support from Trend Micro.Restrictions on non-administrator users are mentioned, and users desire more flexibility.

Trend Micro – Trial / Demo

8. Barracuda Networks

Network Security Providers for Education
Barracuda Networks

You can block DDOS, credential stuffing, and other automated attacks with the help of Barracuda network security provider, as it provides advanced security protection against the bots. 

Barracuda network security solution also comprises Barracuda CloudGen Firewall defending against these attacks with advanced threat and attack protection features, including Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDS/IPS). 

Their cloud-based Threat Intelligence System ensures customer networks are always protected from the latest threats.

WAF-as-a-Service protects your website and online applications from denial-of-service attacks, brute force attacks, and other intrusion attempts. The optional Advanced Bot Protection uses machine learning to secure your system.

They also provide special training to the institution’s staff, focusing on anti-phishing strategies.

Key Features:

  • The email security system uses sophisticated threat detection and response capabilities to prevent unwanted messages, including spam, phishing, malware, and targeted attacks.
  • Provides safeguards for data, applications, and the cloud, allowing users to use cloud-based resources safely.
  • Ensures safe and dependable connections for on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-connected networks through firewalls.
  • Provides comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solutions to safeguard and restore essential data in any physical, virtual, or cloud-based environment.
  • Prevents web-based dangers by safeguarding users from accessing harmful websites and material.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Easy-to-use interface, making it user-friendly for various users.Limitations in customization options for reports.
SSL status checking for social media platforms ensures secure browsing.Difficulty in adding new domains/URLs to the register or block list.
Effectively prevents data loss and protects privacy.

Barracuda Networks – Trial / Demo

9. IBM Security

Network Security Providers for Education
IBM

IBM security experts are ready to help you with your complex security posture, and you also get access to various tools like EDR, XDR, SIEM, SOAR, data security, endpoint protection, unified endpoint management, or IAM solutions.

Infused with AI, this network security solution quickly and accurately modifies even newer bugs and triages.

Even though this network security provider does not have a defined solution for the education sector, their tools can be used to secure against various attacks.

All the various products that can be used are Guardium, MaaS360, QRadar Suite, Randori Recon, Trusteer, Verify, and zSecure. 

Key Features:

  • Gets ready for potential dangers by developing cryptography that can withstand attacks from quantum computers.
  • Allows for proactive security measures by providing insights into new threats through information and analytics.
  • Protects information and programs in all cloud settings, including public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.
  • There are options for controlling access, disguising data, and encrypting sensitive data.
  • Makes sure that only authorized users may access necessary resources by managing user identities and access rights.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
IBM Security provides a wide array of security products and servicesThe cost of IBM Security solutions can be high
Their solutions are highly customizable and scalableThese solutions may be challenging for smaller institutions with minimal IT resources to adopt and administer.
IBM has a long-standing reputation for expertise in the field of cybersecurity.

IBM Security – Trial / Demo

10. Aruba Networks

Network Security Providers for Education
Aruba Networks

This network security solution helps mid-sized and smaller institutions with Aruba ESP.

Aruba Networks also provides NaaS (Network as a Service) and a comprehensive networking suite, offering diverse access points, switches, and advanced technologies like HPE FlexFabric. 

Their solutions include Aruba Central for management, AI-driven analytics, SD-WAN with EdgeConnect, and a strong focus on security, location services, and innovative technologies.

Aruba HPE believes in providing proper training and does not depend only on its tools for security.

Aruba K-12 network security solutions help education institutions mitigate security breach attempts.

Key Features:

  • Provides granular control over network access, guaranteeing policy compliance.
  • It automatically enforces security standards across wired and wireless networks according to user role, device type, and location.
  • Identifies potential dangers to the network and takes action in real-time using AI.
  • Strengthens wireless network security with features like threat management and encryption.
  • Provides protected remote access methods for workers, guaranteeing that their connections to the company network are encrypted.
What is Good?What Could Be Better?
Convenient cluster upgrades from a single dashboard.Inadequate default settings for specific areas.
Good speeds, area coverage, and stable performance.Challenges with pricing and licensing, the potential impact on budgeting.
Intuitive controller updates and ease of access point configuration.Difficulty in signal strength adjustments despite manual settings.

Aruba Networks – Trial / Demo

Conclusion

Finding the right network security supplier for schools means weighing aspects like affordability, scalability, ease of use, and comprehensive security against other important considerations.

Strong defenses designed specifically for schools are available from vendors such as Palo Alto Networks, Sophos, Cisco Systems, and many more.

Examples are simple administration systems, easy remote access, and sophisticated threat detection.

To ensure a safe learning environment for all, schools and universities must prioritize providers that understand the education sector’s unique challenges and regulatory requirements and offer cutting-edge security solutions.

This is especially important given the increasing digitalization of education and the sensitivity of student data.

FAQ

Why is network security important for educational institutions?

Protecting private information, preventing data breaches, and guaranteeing continuous educational services all depend on network security. It protects information from cybercriminals, data breaches, and illegal access.

How do network security providers protect against emerging cyber threats?

Providers use threat intelligence to predict and counteract emerging threats, update their security databases often, and use cutting-edge technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence for real-time threat detection and response.

Do network security solutions monitor and restrict student content?

Content filtering and monitoring features in many solutions allow educational institutions to regulate access to inappropriate or harmful content, keeping students safe online.

Also Read:

10 Best Secure Network as a Service (NaaS) for MSSP Provider

Best Unified Network Security Solutions for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity In Education: Why It’s Important

Work done by a Team Of Security Experts from Cyber Writes (www.cyberwrites.com) - World’s First Dedicated Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) Platform for Cybersecurity. For Exclusive Cyber Security Contents, Reach at: [email protected]