August 23, 2018Janice Yucel

Endpoint Security for Chromebooks

If you’re an IT strategist for a school, you’ve probably gone Google – or are planning to do so like thousands of your peers across the U.S. and Canada.

That means you’re investing funds in Chromebooks, which may be a part of a 1:1 initiative of getting a machine to each student in your district.

While it’s true that Chromebooks come with an affordable price tag, going 1:1 means you’re investing in hundreds, maybe thousands of machines. Collectively it is a sizeable investment, and it’s your job to ensure the integrity and security of each machine, as well as your network.

As a known Chromebook vendor, providing hundreds of thousands of these devices to schools as they have overtaken the edtech market over the last three years, we know that security is a top concern of IT professionals. We also know that having a cybersecurity strategy and solution provider as you purchase your Chromebooks is the easiest way to ensure a successful, comprehensive roll out.

To help you with your research into which security platform will suit your school best, we’ve compiled summaries of some of the leading security solutions for Chromebooks, created specifically for schools.

GoGuardian

GoGuardian is a well-known edtech security option with solutions that fit the needs of both teachers and admins. The security of your Chromebooks is two-fold – you want to protect against harm that can be accessed through the devices, but you also want to protect the devices themselves. Chromebook theft (and loss) is a very real problem faced by schools. To combat this, GoGuardian has device tracking that helps admins recover stolen devices faster through an easy-to-use dashboard. You can report a missing device without ever having to enter the Google Admin console, and access key data such as the device serial number, recent users as well as activity of the missing device. In addition to these reports, you’ll also get the most recent location history available as well as screenshots of the latest activity.

As it comes to security on the device, cloud-based filtering helps protect students whether they are on- or -off campus. Filtering rules can be applied across an entire organization, or custom filters can be curated for individual students. GoGuardian’s algorithms go beyond keyword matching and can actually understand context to block inappropriate content, or even display customized messaging when a specific behavior is shown. Depending on the nature of the content, it can even trigger a smart alert for a specific staff member to take action.

 

Absolute for Chromebooks

Perhaps slightly lesser known than GoGuardian, Absolute for Chromebooks has a very similar offering for remote management and theft response.

Absolute too allows admins to monitor and report on all of the pertinent information of the device, while also identifying risk conditions and sending alerts if suspicious events should occur. For instance, if the Chromebooks are taken outside of a designated geofence. Absolute can also freeze the device remotely with a message to the user for status verification.

In addition to alerting the local police if a Chromebook or Chromebooks are stolen,  you can also utilize Absolute’s own investigations team that will assist the police in getting your device back without devoting your own time and resources to preparing court-ready investigative reports. They even offer a guarantee (with some conditions) in the event that the Chromebook(s) are not recovered.

As it comes to protection via student activity on the machines, Absolute also offers monitoring and filtering to prevent users from accessing dangerous or harmful content online. In addition, it provides student technology analytics to correlate academic performance with the use of technology, as well as detect when students are having trouble adapting to the technology, so as to get them assistance before they fall too far behind.

Sophos

A fast-growing cybersecurity leader in the business world, Sophos also has an edtech offering that while not specific to Chromebooks, offers comprehensive endpoint and network security for schools.

The XG firewall provides threat protection with web and email filtering, web application firewall, and a wireless controller all on a single console you can view from one screen. Its User Threat Quotient (UTQ) monitors web browsing activity to highlight risk-prone behavior, showing which students are putting your security at risk.

Sophos has pre-built policies for schools that provide templates allowing admins like you to formulate your school’s filtering policy by selecting from over 100 filtering categories, keyword blocking and layer 8 application control.

Which Solution is Right for Your School?

If you’re unsure of which solution is best for your organization, or you’d like more information before making your final decision, contact our team to find out if we can get you the best rate to meet your needs and your budget. Specializing in edtech hardware and IT security, we fully understand the obstacles faced by educators and we work closely with industry leaders to bring the best deals to our customers.

About the Author

Janice YucelJanice Yucel has covered hardware, software and IT services for over 7 years as an editor, reporter and marketer for various tech media outlets. She is currently the digital marketing manager of Xchange Technology Group.
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