Cloud Filtering in Education
There was a time not so long ago when content filtering for schools was always delivered through on-premise, hardware-based solutions. Filtering wasn’t something school districts were ready to think about moving to the cloud.
All of this has changed in the past few years. The move to 1:1 programs has made cloud-based filtering a logical step for schools, as well as the popularity of:
• Chromebooks, which are fundamentally cloud-based devices
• Cloud-based directories such as G Suite and O365
• Take-home programs, which lead to devices being used off campus as frequently as they’re used on campus.
We partner with Lightspeed Systems to bring you Relay – the Complete 1:1 platform that lets you filter, manage, monitor and protect across all your operating systems for a truly comprehensive platform.
Today, most schools are ready to reap the benefits of moving their filtering systems to the cloud — as long as their concerns are mitigated by the proper solutions. In fact, according to a 2017 CoSN survey, 50% of K-12 IT services are already in the cloud. Cloud-based filtering is a logical next step for schools.
With cloud filtering, no hardware sits inline on your network to capture and filter web traffic. Instead, an agent or extension may be installed on devices, or a network policy may redirect all traffic to the cloud for filtering. The best cloud filtering solutions provide both: agent-based device filtering and a solution for other, agent-less network traffic.
There are some significant benefits to cloud filtering and not having to purchase, maintain, update and upgrade hardware for filtering.
The costs of cloud filtering are a net savings compared to appliance models — in terms of upfront cost of a solution as well as time costs of management — for most schools. With traditional appliance filtering, hardware is the biggest cost; that hardware has to be managed, updated, and typically increased as school bandwidth grows or proxy and decryption needs change. Cloud filtering requires none of these hardware costs.