Driving Confidence Through Automation: Internet2 NET+ Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Town Hall Report

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By Nick Lewis, Internet2 Program Manager

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Higher ed cybersecurity teams are battling external threats while also working to overcome internal resource constraints of time, money, and attention. This means the challenge is not just building robust defenses in-depth but finding smarter ways to manage visibility and control across systems that are always in motion

Our recent NET+ Palo Alto Networks Community Call, held September 16, was a chance to bring institutions together to discuss how they are managing cybersecurity automation today and what the future might look like.

Automation is Real Innovation

That’s why automation makes all the difference. It enables institutions to build stronger, smarter, and faster-scaling defenses that move with greater speed and intelligence. 

Take policy-driven access control, behavior- and context-rich user data, environment-wide detection and response, and a good threat intel source—and then add just enough autonomy to move IT’s job from administration to orchestration. The result is a solution that meets the needs of the higher ed community.

A Solution for Higher Ed: Cortex XSOAR

Working with the Internet2 NET+ service evaluation campuses and the larger community, Palo Alto Networks has been able to build and optimize a Cortex XSOAR solution that can help today’s schools and universities move towards true, integrated security operations center automation. With input from the service evaluation campuses, we were able to collaboratively design, optimize, and test a platform that would help automate threat detection, understanding, response, and recovery.

“Cortex has been particularly valuable to us because we’ve been able to craft rule sets where we minimize the false positives. We work on things of higher strategic value because of the tactical responses, we’re able to automate those.” —Charlie McMahon, Interim CIO, Stony Brook University

It’s security automation for everyone. In this case, it means helping higher ed keep pace with—and maybe even get ahead of—today’s risks.

As we explored the Cortex XSOAR solution with the NET+ Palo Alto Networks Community Call participants on September 16, the conversation turned to issues of ease-of-use and scale. It’s these operational concerns that make embedded efficiencies like intuitive tools, reusable automation, and built-in reporting almost as important as security and compliance gains. 

This is why the work of Palo Alto Networks with the Internet2 community is so important. By better understanding higher education pain points and priorities, the solutions we build together will get smarter and sharper over time.

If you’re interested in trying Cortex XSOAR, sign up to start your 30-day free trial. To hear more from Charlie McMahon about Stony Brook University’s experiences with the solution, listen to our podcast.

Join Us for the Next Community Call

We hope you can join our next NET+ Palo Alto Networks Community Call on October 21 at 1 p.m. ET where we will recap all of the NET+ program offerings from Palo Alto Networks and answer questions from the community. If you missed any of our previous community calls, you can listen to them at your convenience: Access, Cloud Native Security, Endpoint Detection and Response, and Security Operations Automation

We want to make this a dialogue, so please share your questions and cybersecurity challenges with the NET+ team at netplus@internet2.edu. If your campus wants to learn more about configurations and pricing, please contact the Carahsoft team at paloaltonetworks@carahsoft.com.

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Join Us!

Please register to join our next NET+ Palo Alto Networks Community Call on October 21 at 1 p.m. ET. During the call, we will recap all of the NET+ program offerings from Palo Alto Networks and answer questions from the community.