As students and teachers began home instruction in 2020, Hopkins Public Schools was presented with a new security challenge—they needed to build up their security stack to protect devices and users wherever they were. Adding to that challenge, they also expanded to support international students.
Hopkins Public Schools also had the challenge of securing a hybrid environment with both macOS and Windows machines. They had been using Jamf since the early days. As the events of 2020 unfolded, they decided to bring on Jamf Protect, which John Wetter, director of technology and information services at Hopkins Public Schools, referred to as “the best-of-breed solution for detecting and responding to MacOS threats.” That same year, they also brought on Microsoft Defender for Endpoint to secure the district’s Windows environments. But while seeking best-of-breed security solutions gave Wetter and the board of directors the peace of mind needed for managing and securing their endpoints, something was missing.
Wetter’s top priority was and continues to be the student experience. He noted, “If a solution doesn’t help facilitate and enhance the learning experience for our students, we just don’t go with it.” But keeping students secure required additional support on his team to manage, detect, analyze, and remediate threats that their security tools surfaced. Unfortunately, like many in the educational services sector, the personnel needed to respond to and take action on alerts would come at a steep price.
Retention proved difficult as well. In Wetter’s experience, he often hired IT professionals only for them to get snatched up by neighboring companies soon thereafter. As Wetter explained, “We couldn’t keep a full-time equivalent (FTE) even if we could hire one.” Nevertheless, the need for continual support of their security stack remained.
Acknowledging that endpoint protection was just one piece of the larger security puzzle, Wetter sought a partner who could augment the capabilities of his in-house team. That’s when he found Red Canary.