Securly Partners With Safety and Achievement Focused URL Classification Service Provider Komodia

Santa Clara, CA

Silicon Valley based Securly, Inc. – the world’s leading cloud based provider of unified Internet Security for K-12 schools today announced integration with Komodia’s content classification engine. With 44 out of 50 US states adopting Common Core standards, K-12 schools have come to rely increasingly on technology as a medium of instruction. With more children than ever having access to 1:1 devices like Chromebooks and iPads, enforcing the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) law has become more challenging than ever. The challenges of this new landscape are complicated not just by user-generated adult content that has continued to grow exponentially, but also timesinks like gaming and social networking that get in the way of 21st century educational tools such as Google, Wikipedia and YouTube.

Says Securly co-founder Vinay Mahadik, “as former enterprise-security architects at companies like McAfee and Huawei-Symantec, we understood early on that K-12 content classification is unique and best solved by a service provider focused on classification and on online child safety and productivity.” Among the companies Securly evaluated to partner with in solving this problem, Tel Aviv based Komodia came out on top.

Some highlights from the Securly-Komodia partnership: 

  • Millions of periodically updated URLs that are then culled into under 20 K-12 focused categories from adult, hate, and grief at the one end to education/achievement related at the other.
  • An extensive list of educational sites and time-sinks that allows Securly to present analytics on student screen-time to IT Admins, teachers and administrators.
  • Granular social media coverage that allows IT to open up blogging services like Tumblr for classroom use while still blocking unsafe individual blogs hosted on it.
  • Extensive coverage of proxy, annoymizer and vpn sites that are a constant source of support tickets for IT.
  • Available 100% through the cloud with zero software or hardware updates to apply. For all devices – in-school or take-home.

 

About Securly

Securly is the world’s leading provider of unified cloud based security for K-12 schools. The founding team has a combined 20+ years of experience in the enterprise network security space. The company is a venture backed startup in Silicon Valley and serves hundreds of schools in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

About Komodia

Komodia founded 6 years ago is a major player in the parental control market, providing both a SDK to filter traffic on PCs and URL classification services that support per domain and per page filtering with an emphasis on children and productivity related categories.

Securly Extends Unified Cloud-based K-12 Web Filtering with a Chrome Plugin for 1:1 Chromebook Management

Santa Clara, CA

Silicon Valley based Securly, Inc. – the world’s leading cloud based provider of unified Internet Security for K-12 schools today announced their zero-touch filtering solution for 1:1 Chromebooks. The new offering gives schools a pain-free way to manage student screen-time on Chromebooks as they move between the school and home.

Given their low price-point, high usability and integration with Google’s free Apps for Education suite of tools, Chromebooks have become a platform of choice for schools that are adopting 1:1 initiatives. As of October 2013, these devices were being used by 22% of all US K-12 school districts. While a primary driver of these district-level Chromebook purchases has been online student assessments, the adoption of newer pedagogical models like “Flipped Classroom” has had an impact as well. The latter makes it imperative for Chromebooks to go home with students in order for the district’s 1:1 initiative to have any chance of success. A natural question that is raised by teachers, district leadership and parents alike as Chromebooks are sent home is – “How does one ensure online safety on these devices?” Says Tim White, Director of Technology for Webb City R-VII School District – “Sending a device home without monitoring and content protection would put our students at unnecessary risk and open our institution to significant legal action.”

The status-quo is dominated by appliance-based proxy solutions. This involves the setup and maintenance of an on-premise hardware appliance web filter. The existing approach has a number of disadvantages. First, since each appliance can support a finite number of concurrent connections, larger take-home programs would require districts to acquire and manage multiple appliances. Second, the fact that all of the students’ home traffic is routed back through the school’s network makes IT departments that are already stretched thin responsible for network uptime even during off-hours. This also limits students’ browsing speeds to the school’s uplink capacity which for the most part tends to be a lot lower. Finally, the status-quo’s inability to play well with Google Apps makes for a sub-optimal User Experience.

Securly’s Chrome plugin makes deploying a 1:1 take-home Chromebook filtering solution an easy 5-minute task. The plugin can be pushed out to Chromebooks via the Google Apps Admin Control panel. IT Admins can use the Securly dashboard to assign granular policies to their Google Apps Organizational Units. Securly reports student activity by their Google ID. IT Admins can also use the Securly dashboard to visualize student activity and the Audit Trail to drill deep into an individual student’s screen-time in a matter of minutes.

Said Romeo Community Schools’ Technology Director Mark Nelson of his districts experience working with Securly’s take-home filtering solution – “As our district embarked on a program to send 3300 Chromebooks home with our middle and high school students, we turned to Securly. Their policy editor allows an easy way to set policies by school or grade level. Additionally, Securly’s take-home policy allows sites and categories that might be distracting in the classroom to be accessed when the school day ends and students connect from home networks.”

Securly was the first web-filter to integrate with Google Apps for single sign-on so schools with a heterogeneous mix of iPads, Windows, Macs, and Chromebooks could get granular policies per their organizational units. With today’s offering, Securly allows IT admins to safely pilot and secure their 1:1 Chromebook programs, while reserving the ability to seamlessly expand the filtering to the rest of the district’s devices.

About Securly:

Securly is the world’s leading provider of unified cloud based security for K-12 schools. The founding team has a combined 20+ years of experience in the enterprise network security space. The company is a venture backed startup in Silicon Valley and serves hundreds of schools in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The Securly for Chromebooks plugin is available immediately by signing up for a free trial from http://www.securly.com and then visiting the Chrome Web Store or via the Google Apps Admin Console.