Technology Record - Issue 32: Spring 2024

138 VIEWPOINT Three ways educational institutions can use the cloud to achieve their goals BROOKE DANIEL: MICROSOFT A smarter education New technologies are transforming education by driving a shift towards more accessible, flexible and engaging educational experiences for students and faculty members, while simultaneously delivering an easier-to-manage and more secure IT environment for administrators. Cloud-based solutions provide institutions with intuitive, collaborative and extensible applications, deep insights from cloud-scale analytics and a foundation for artificial intelligence-driven strategies that can improve student experiences and outcomes. Microsoft Azure plays a pivotal role in transforming education by providing powerful cloud-based solutions aimed at empowering educators and learners worldwide. By helping institutions simplify and secure data, improve efficiencies and accelerate learning, Microsoft helps schools reinvest in what matters most. There are three main ways that institutions can achieve these goals with cloud-based innovations. 1. Security and backup recovery made easy According to Microsoft’s Global Threat activity reports, more than 80 per cent of malware attacks target the education sector, which keeps security top of mind for educators and administrators as they develop new best practices for protecting their students, faculty and infrastructure. Cloud providers make security a top priority, offering multi-layered protection that surpasses most on-premises systems. Advanced encryption provides safeguards against unauthorised access while disaster recovery plans ensure continuity in the face of unforeseen interruptions. The robust security features that are built into Microsoft 365 A5 security, for example, enable schools to focus on providing a safe and engaging learning environment where IT systems are backed by industry-leading security measures. Microsoft 365 Defender provides multi-tiered phishing prevention that helps protect students and teachers from complex phishing attacks and Microsoft Purview Insider Risk Management helps organisations identify and address risky activity by leveraging a range of service and third-party indicators within Microsoft 365. In addition, automated backup and recovery services provide a secure, automated method for institutions to protect their critical data while enabling them to recover quickly from security incidents and system failures. Secure backup and recovery help schools augment their security posture with encryption for data while at rest and in transit, along with easily configured access controls and monitoring, to track how the information is accessed. The Microsoft ecosystem of partners is helping to enhance security for education with integrations built specifically for the Microsoft Security platform. Cybersecurity firms CDW and BlueVoyant are working together to help schools gain cyber risk visibility and protection. Meanwhile, Conquest Cyber, a BlueVoyant Company, is helping to secure multicloud environments and Forsyte’s security “ Cloud technology and AI is a game-changer for educators”