Introducing CrowdStrike Falcon

For many years the University has used Microsoft Defender as the endpoint protection solution to defend endpoints (the physical devices connected to our University network such as computers, laptops and servers) from malicious activity.

However, as cyber threats change and technology evolves, we need to adapt our approach to further reduce the risk of successful attacks and their level of impact.

A new endpoint protection solution called CrowdStrike Falcon is therefore being rolled-out across our IT estate which offers next-generation anti-virus, malware protection, automated response, and additional incident response capabilities.

Collectively, this allows cyber incidents and alerts to be detected, managed, and contained more effectively, which helps protect our valuable research, business data, and intellectual property from threats such as ransomware or data breaches.

Microsoft Defender will remain during the transition phase

You’ll continue to see Microsoft Defender on your University-managed devices and University-managed Macs for some time.

CrowdStrike Falcon will be applied to University-managed devices such as desktop PCs and University-managed laptops automatically, but you shouldn’t notice any differences, as CrowdStrike Falcon will run in parallel with Microsoft Defender during the transition phase.

The importance of keeping your software up to date

Regardless of the changes to our endpoint protection solution, please continue to update your University-managed device as soon as you’re notified of available updates.

Doing this helps further protect the security of our systems and data, as software updates often include patches for security flaws that cyber criminals may try to exploit.

Working with faculties to tailor our protection

One of the benefits of CrowdStrike Falcon is that it allows us to select the most appropriate security mode for each device. This means we can better tailor our endpoint and cyber security protection to the University’s needs.

To do this, work is underway with faculties and departments to understand what your University-manged devices, and any departmental servers, are being used for (determining their cyber risk posture). This will help inform later decisions about the most suitable security protection mode to apply.

Preparing for your discussions with Cyber Security

Cyber Security will work with you to understand your equipment’s cyber risk posture and the most suitable security protection mode. Thinking about the following questions in advance will help you prepare for these discussions:

  • What are your University-managed devices and any departmental servers usually used for?
  • How often are they used, and by how many people?
  • In the event of a virus or malware attack on the device or server, what would you be most concerned about and why?

In addition, if you have devices or servers that you would like to nominate as high-priority, these can be scheduled earlier so that you can benefit from CrowdStrike Falcon’s enhanced functionality as soon as possible.

Protecting your personal devices from viruses and malware

Visit the pages below to find out more about protecting your personal devices, such as setting up a pin, installing anti-virus software, and turning on your device’s firewall: