Secure SASE for Educational Institutions

Digital transformation presents endless possibilities for educational institutions to evolve and meet the demands of today’s administrators, educators, and students. The technology-enabled learning environment is giving rise to a new school of thought that helps educational institutions move beyond the ambit of conventional classroom and campus environment.

  • Remote learning requires cloud-hosted learning and assessment platforms, collaboration tools, smart pods, interactive displays, and immersive audio systems.
  • Current technological demands require simplicity, speed, and convenience of smart devices over physical textbooks and learning resources. Speed and performance of collaboration tools are driving current staff and student requirements.
  • Sprawl of campuses require institutions to not only supply fast communication to all sites but secure the data that is there. With remote learning, it is even more critical to secure the data between all the different departments and sites.

Challenges with the Modern Campus

While new digital initiatives have brought about exciting growth opportunities for educational institutions, lack of a supporting network infrastructure is impacting efficiency and operational costs.

WAN network is the backbone anchoring all units of the digital learning ecosystem—smart classrooms, online learning, and collaborative platforms, regular campus operations, and more. Supporting this complex digital environment requires a secure, scalable, agile, and high-performing network infrastructure. On the contrary, legacy WAN inefficiencies are growing by the day, unable to keep up with changing demands, creating huge performance and security bottlenecks.

Run primarily on bandwidth-limited, expensive MPLS private circuits, legacy WAN networks are falling short of meeting the needs of bandwidth-hungry audio/video, social networking, and more.

Campus network users, parents and faculty, with smartphones, laptops, and tablets, have dramatically increased traffic influx, eating into network bandwidth. As more applications are deployed, and new cloud applications are adopted, the hub-and-spoke architecture with data center backhauling is delaying application access, slowing down performance, and leaving users frustrated.

With remote access and extensive cloud usage, the risk of cyberattacks is also increasing, and legacy WAN networks with siloed security systems are incapable of securing valuable academic assets and resources hosted on the cloud.

How SASE Provides Speed and Performance

In the pursuit of a modern networking solution that can help keep up with technology-enabled, new-age learning models, educational institutions are now turning to Secure SD-WAN. The cost, time, and complexity of ripping out existing network infrastructure is not necessary. An SD-WAN overlay can be cost-effective and deployed quickly, working in conjunction with legacy infrastructure.

Secure SD-WAN makes applications run faster, safer, and more reliably. It delivers consistent and highest quality of experience for all application users irrespective of their location. Secure SD-WAN offers educational institutions the freedom to adopt the application delivery infrastructure that best fits them, without sacrificing performance, security, reliability, or control.

Always Available Network

Secure SD-WAN offers the ability to aggregate multiple connections of any type, such as MPLS, broadband, wireless 4G, and LTE. By leveraging all available bandwidth, Secure SD-WAN makes the network agile enough to support more traffic volumes, and changing bandwidth demands. In doing so, it ensures continuous network availability and uninterrupted access to bandwidth-intensive applications hosted on the cloud. Secure SD-WAN’s multiple transport link resilience also helps significantly cut down MPLS driven bandwidth costs.

High Application Performance

Secure SD-WAN architecture embeds application intelligence, enabling deep packet inspection by the network, beyond its source and destination. It intelligently prioritizes application traffic based on business-intent policies and automatically directs them across the ideal transport route. This helps ensure mission-critical learning and collaboration applications are always running smoothly, even during network outages, further improving application reliability and quality of experience. It also enables campus IT to spend less time dealing with network complexities and have more time and focus applied to business applications and services.

Centralized Management and Control

With centralized management and control, Secure SD-WAN dramatically simplifies WAN deployment and monitoring. Using simple, template-driven workflows, it eliminates tedious, error-prone configurations. With zero-touch deployment, the campus IT team can deploy patches, roll out policy updates across all school and college branches from a single central orchestrator in one-go. Secure SD-WAN also offers deep granular visibility into applications, devices, and users to immediately detect and fix anomalies. With a cloud-based Secure SD-WAN, educational institutions can effortlessly manage their complex networks, quickly propagate or integrate new remote branches (in less than a month!), and simply plug-in to instantly connect to cloud services. By eliminating the need for manual visits to each branch site, Secure SD-WAN also helps save substantial operational costs.

Secure Connectivity

Secure SD-WAN ’s segmentation enables IT to securely consolidate disparate physical environments into a single network. In doing so, they can isolate and prioritize mission-critical traffic from the regular traffic for robust security and better user experience. Additionally, Secure SD-WAN also integrates end-to-end multi-layer security with best-of-breed features such as next-gen firewall, encryption, contextual awareness, and more. These deeper security capabilities allow educational institutions to steer away from data center backhauling of cloud traffic, and instead directly access cloud data and applications, without fearing security risks.