Building a Culture of Security at Brunel University

This week in #EducationNow, join us as we battle threats and mitigate risks at Brunel University London with a team that brings diverse experience from the battlefield to the boardroom.

 

 

What is culture?

Merriam Webster defines it as “The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.”

When looking at an education institution, how do you build a culture of security?

When Brunel University London CISO Michael Jenkins joined the university, he found that the institute lacked a deep culture to protect data and information security. His goal? Build that set of shared attitudes, policies, and practices to enable a secure foundation for the university’s operations and evolution.

Meet Brunel University

Brunel University is a leading multidisciplinary research-intensive technology university in the United Kingdom. Their core values are excellence, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

However, with limited information security, minimal cybersecurity in place, and high risk of data breach, the university’s very foundations faced serious hazards.

That’s where Michael Jenkins, and Cisco, came into the picture.

Creating a Culture of Security

“I spearheaded a new initiative to develop capability from scratch; I built a cybersecurity team, and got the investments to take the university on an infosec journey from out in the wilderness towards best-of-breed in the academic sector.” -Michael Jenkins MBE, CISO at Brunel University

The first step toward creating the culture of security that Michael envisioned was to bring that entrepreneurial, excellence-driven, and innovation-forward mentality to the university’s security architecture.

With Cisco, Brunel University established next-generation firewalls in the data centers, put intruder detection systems into place, and implemented Cisco Umbrella and Cisco AMP for Endpoints. Now, the University can collect data, monitor activity, and take data-driven action with unprecedented speed and agility.

Two key innovations were the creation of a a Fusion Centre, which linked the cyber security operations center (CSOC) with a highly capable criminal investigation function, and the delivery of a Security Intelligence Platform, which allowed the use of real live data to support the development of academic courses and cyber research.

Envisioning the Future of Security

By implementing these systems, Brunel saw a 70% efficiency gain in improved threat detection, incident resolution, and reduced end user downtime. Other impacts: increased morale, reduced fear surrounding security risks, improved visibility for the security team across the university, and an executive team fully on-board thanks to a successful launch.

At its root, culture is a shared value. Now, Brunel’s shared value of security positions it as a world-class university. Culture is a goal. The goal to secure everything and innovate everywhere is one we know well at Cisco, and we are proud to help Brunel makes its goal a reality. And last, culture is a set of practices. With their vision and our technology, Brunel takes the steps to create a lasting culture of security each and every day.

How does your education institution address security? What does a culture of security mean to you? Continue with us on the #EducationNow journey with new blogs every Tuesday.