ManagedMethods: Securing K–12 from cyber threats

About ManagedMethods

ManagedMethods is a cloud security platform that provides K-12 school districts with easy-to-use, efficient and effective cloud security solutions. It allows districts to realize productivity and collaborative benefits from cloud applications without exposing themselves to security risks of the cloud.

Industries: Education
Location: United States

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ManagedMethods helps school districts keep students safe and data secure with a cloud-native security solution built on Google Cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • Scales fast to support school districts of any size
  • Minimizes costs for customers with right-sized environments and payment structure
  • Uses machine learning to monitor cyber safety in real time

Monitors security for millions of users in real time

Digital security is one of the hottest topics for K-12 schools today. Schools are prime targets for cyber attacks, as they maintain a tremendous amount of personal information about students and their families, including demographic data, financial information, and social security numbers. At the same time, the growing use of cloud technology in the classroom means that students and staff are increasingly exposed to online communication, file-sharing, and cloud-based applications, creating new potential points of ingress.

“We wanted to deliver a cloud-native SaaS solution to give school districts the best security and performance possible, and the best way to do that is to work with Google Cloud. Google Cloud combines the power and flexibility that we wanted with the affordability that these school districts need.”

David Waugh, Chief Revenue Officer, ManagedMethods

ManagedMethods has long worked with businesses to help secure their cloud applications, but the company saw a growing need for easy-to-use, cost-effective cloud-based security in K-12 education. The company decided to use its experience to create a software as a service (SaaS) offering specifically developed to help administrators and IT teams tackle both cyber safety and cyber security issues in schools.

Cyber security refers to securing data and information, such as protecting against malware and breaches targeting personal information. But school administrators also want to address cyber safety, which refers to the well-being of students and faculty. This can mean monitoring shared messages and documents for cyberbullying, self-harm, threats of violence, or explicit content.

While some school districts are large enough that they have their own security and safety teams, the vast majority don’t have the resources to address these issues by themselves. “We wanted to deliver a cloud-native SaaS solution to give school districts the best security and performance, and the best way to do that is to work with Google Cloud,” says David Waugh, Chief Revenue Officer of ManagedMethods. “Google Cloud combines the power and flexibility that we wanted with the affordability that these school districts need.”

“The scalability of Google Cloud means that no matter whether a school district has 100 students or 100,000 students, we can meet their demand without spending millions to build out and maintain servers.”

Sateesh Narahari, Chief Product Officer, ManagedMethods.

Scalability, performance, and lower costs in one

While ManagedMethods supports security for all cloud environments, G Suite for Education is a leading choice in K-12 education. A solution built on Google Cloud offers less network latency for G Suite environments, so it made sense for ManagedMethods to look closely at Google Cloud for its K-12 solution.

But Google Cloud also made the most sense for ManagedMethods in terms of balancing costs, scalability, and performance. With Compute Engine, ManagedMethods can quickly deploy new virtual machines (VM) and balance loads as needed. Google Kubernetes Engine and Datastore allow the company to easily scale applications up and down to handle demand while optimizing the amount of resources used.

“The scalability of Google Cloud means that no matter whether a school district has 100 students or 100,000 students, we can meet their demand without spending millions to build out and maintain servers,” says Sateesh Narahari, Chief Product Officer at ManagedMethods.

The Google Cloud pricing structure also works in the favor of ManagedMethods. The company isn’t locked into a static pricing plan, but rather only pays for compute used. This leads to savings that the company can pass on to customers.

“Google Cloud gives us a truly elastic infrastructure so that we can provide a very high level of security to schools at a fraction of the cost,” adds Sateesh. “With Google Cloud, we have the power to monitor millions of users in real time. So if someone is editing a document to include threatening statements or sending an email with a malware attachment, school administrators can know right away.”

Using artificial intelligence to protect students

ManagedMethods takes advantage of advanced Google Cloud services to add better security to its SaaS solution. The Google Cloud Web Risk checks URLs against Google’s constantly updated lists of unsafe web links. This helps ManagedMethods to scan emails and posts in real time to identify phishing emails or stop students from sharing infected URLs.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning also play an important role in protecting students. Google Cloud Vision AI quickly identifies and blocks harmful images, even using OCR to read text within those images, so that ManagedMethods can deliver more robust cyber safety. And because Google Cloud includes tools that empower users to experiment with their own AI, ManagedMethods is now working on its own machine learning models to identify self-harm messages.

“Google Cloud Vision AI detects and classifies objects better than any other AI that we’ve seen, but the ability to build our own learning models specific for the K-12 experience is truly special,” says Sateesh. “We don’t need a ton of data scientists to bring machine learning to our customers. With Google Cloud, we have everything that we need, from AI building blocks to easily scalable testing and training environments.”

Reaching more schools through a Google partnership

ManagedMethods credits its Google partnership for providing strong technical and marketing support that has helped the company find success.

“Google is always working to improve its architecture and solve problems, making Google Cloud even better to work with,” says Sateesh. “Google routinely goes above and beyond. One weekend, we got a call from a Google engineer who had detected a compromised dev instance that was being used for bitcoin mining. Thanks to Google’s prompt action, we could quickly work to secure our environment.”

“Google and Google Cloud serve as a strong differentiator for us, and we are grateful that we can receive so many opportunities through our Google partnership.”

David Waugh, Chief Revenue Officer, ManagedMethods

ManagedMethods also participates in the Google for Education marketing development funds (MDF) program, which the company has used to reach more school districts through additional advertising and marketing activity. The company also worked closely with Google’s marketing and education account management teams to host a joint webinar focused on cyber safety and security for K-12 schools.

“The cyber security webinar was our best marketing campaign to date, generating 300 leads and resulting in more than 20 school districts participating in our risk-free assessment,” says David. “Google and Google Cloud serve as a strong differentiator for us, and we are grateful that we can receive so many opportunities through our Google partnership.”

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About ManagedMethods

ManagedMethods is a cloud security platform that provides K-12 school districts with easy-to-use, efficient and effective cloud security solutions. It allows districts to realize productivity and collaborative benefits from cloud applications without exposing themselves to security risks of the cloud.

Industries: Education
Location: United States