Bloxx Breaks Down Online Risks to Schools

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Holiday breaks from school are much needed vacation for both students and teachers. Most of the time, these breaks are also a great chance to indulge in online gaming, social networking and other online interactive experiences. Bloxx did a little homework to see what actually happened online over this past summer’s seven-week break. The findings are fascinating.

Worldwide, over 7 million hours of YouTube videos and 232 billion-plus pieces of Facebook content were generated. There were close to 3 billion searches on Google. 10,160,640 new Anonymous Proxy sites were created. Impressive as they are, though, statistics like these have serious implications for schools and the staff responsible for keeping student learning environments safe. That’s where Bloxx security software can help!

Why do you need real-time filtering? from Bloxx Web Security on Vimeo.

New Devices Bring New Challenges

It’s remarkable to think that one of the biggest threats to a school’s security is now its very own students. The accessibility of social media has paved the way for a new authority. Schools can create frameworks and barriers for internet use on their grounds but are powerless to exert the same control outside. Despite parental controls at home, phenomenal amounts of output can be created even in short bursts of activity, and the tech-savvy student is becoming younger and younger. So the question becomes: are schools equipped to respond to such intense developments?

Top 5 Ways Bloxx Can Make a Difference

  1. Real-Time Content Analysis
    Bloxx uses a patented content analysis engine, Tru-View Technology (TVT) to accurately classify content in real-time at the point the Web page is requested
  2. Social Media Controls
    Provide students with access to popular social media sites, while restricting their ability to post updates
  3. Multiple Deployment Options
    Seamlessly integrate with your existing infrastructure by deploying Bloxx using hardware, virtual, cloud, hybrid and managed service solutions
  4. Filtering Policies for Mobile Devices
    Extend filtering and protection policies to mobile devices, allowing you to enforce policies for remote and mobile users
  5. Search Alert Reports
    Identify behavior and set real-time alerts to proactively monitor search terms being used via search engines

Beyond data, schools also face an influx of personal devices onto their premises at the start of the school year. New smartphones and watches add to an already complex web of infrastructure that IT staff must factor into their security plans. Student devices that gain access to a school’s intranet can cause significant damage – anonymous proxy sites make internet activity untraceable and enable students to easily circumnavigate security networks remotely. The number of proxies created over summer alone is enough to introduce weaknesses into the hardiest IT security system, causing major compliance headaches for teachers.

High rates of device uptake and a growing BYOD culture are putting schools in a vulnerable position. Data creation and consumption rates will only go one way in the future – up – which means establishing an adequate line of defense against the threats is vital. So how can they stay one step ahead to combat the seemingly impossible?

Bloxx screenshot

Bloxx is the Solution

Schools can review their security policies regularly to ensure they are relevant in the current context. The most important thing is protecting learning environments so there is absolutely no possibility of inappropriate or illegal content slipping through the cracks. This can be done by deploying innovative technologies that offer real-time content filtering, regardless of location or device, and mature SSL filtering that eradicates anonymous proxies. With the right approach in place, teachers can easily access the school’s IT to adapt its policy settings to new circumstances, ensuring any new technology is CIPA-compliant.

The proof is in the math. Extrapolate the figures for 7 weeks across a 12-month period and the results are quite simply staggering. Schools must make a commitment to updating their IT with the latest safeguarding technology, or risk exposing both their online infrastructure and, most importantly, their students to online risk.

Blog contributor: Charles Sweeney, CEO, Bloxx

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