Glenpool Public Schools is a combined elementary and secondary school district located in Glenpool, OK, in the Tulsa County region. The district hosts approximately 2,100 students and 200 teachers and operates in an all-Windows environment.
Malware infections were incessant at Glenpool Public Schools, primarily as a result of online research and downloads conducted by teachers. The problems were so overwhelming for the district that the IT team spent the majority of their time troubleshooting computers. “90% of our IT support tickets revolved around viruses or anomalies with software and system performance,” says Greg Atkins, Director of Technology. The IT department often battled advanced malware that modified the operating system files so they performed not only their usual function, but also served hackers who were looking to locate and steal information. This type of stealthy malware was extremely challenging to find, diagnose, and troubleshoot, and took a disproportionate amount of IT’s time.
Rogue anti-virus programs were also a persistent threat. In one instance, a teacher was browsing the web when a rogue anti-virus program convinced the teacher to purchase the program to ensure malware protection for a threat that was supposedly infecting her computer. In another example, a teacher’s computer became infected when a downloaded PDF was hyperlinked to an infected website. Atkins and his team required a solid solution to help protect teacher and student computers from malware threats that came via email, web, and USB flash drives.
Glenpool Public Schools turned to a layered security approach, using Faronics Anti-Virus and Faronics Deep Freeze. Faronics Anti-Virus thwarts all the incoming malware threats throughout the day to ensure run-time protection, while Deep Freeze ensures complete system consistency by returning computers back to their original state with a simple reboot.
The IT team has designed a schedule to protect their network throughout the day. Between 4pm and 6pm each day (depending on the time of year), Atkins and his team uses the centralized scheduling capabilities of Faronics Core to power off all the computers to save energy. Thanks to Faronics Deep Freeze, when the computers are automatically booted up in the morning, they are returned to their original configuration and wiped clean of any unauthorized system changes. Also in the morning, a quick Faronics Anti-Virus scan is performed to ensure any malware is eliminated. A deep scan is performed as an extra precaution for any computers that are frequently infected.