Augusta County is located 100 miles west of Richmond in the central part of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Augusta County Public Schools (ACPS) has 21 schools including five high schools, four middle schools, and twelve elementary schools. There are approximately 1,750 staff and 11,000 students operating on over 4,000 workstations and over 80 servers.
Reduced IT Support Requests by Over 60%
The technicians first implemented Deep Freeze across their entire district six years ago, leading to a 60% reduction in daily IT requests. Deep Freeze helps eliminate workstation damage and downtime by making computer configurations indestructible. Once Deep Freeze is installed on a workstation or server, any changes made to the computer are automatically erased upon a simple restart.
Fulfill HIPAA and FERPA Compliance
“Faronics Anti-Virus, Anti-Executable and Deep Freeze help keep all our data safe and mitigate liabilities and risks of lawsuits from parents and students in the event that their data is lost or stolen,” said Amos. “When we submit our required documentation to the State and Federal government, we outline the three solutions as proactive ways we
keep our staff and student data secure.”
Faronics Anti-Virus and Anti-Executable are particularly helpful in protecting data from exposure and loss to malicious third parties therefore helping ACPS comply with regulations and avoid embarrassing and costly security breaches. With a complete layered security strategy in place, the district can now rest assured data is protected, computers are up and running without interruption, and staff and students can continue to do their jobs productively. Moreover, IT has reduced costs, decreased the number of IT requests, and become more proactive in handling critical projects instead of reactively fighting fires.
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.
Faronics Anti-Virus & Deep Freeze and Ballston Spa Central School District
The Ballston Spa Central School District (BSCSD) is a New York based school district serving close to 4,200 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The Ballston Spa High School opened in 1998 with innovative computer and science labs, a modern library media center, auditorium, and a swimming pool. More than 700 educators, administrators, and support staff make up the district’s dedicated team of employees. There are 1,700 workstations and 30 servers, in an all-Windows environment.
When Brian Merchant, Coordinator of Technical Support Services for BSCSD, joined the district 10 years ago, the tech staff spent a good amount of their time rebuilding computers. They re-imaged approximately one computer a week which prevented them from focusing on other projects.
The time constraints from rebuilding computers and responding to IT support tickets weren’t the only problems the district faced. With global malware attacks increasing and becoming more evasive, BSCSD knew they needed a more network-efficient anti-virus solution, one that didn’t slow down network and system performance, and was able to deliver anti-virus updates without delays.
A Solution That Worked
Mr. Merchant was already familiar with Faronics Deep Freeze during his tenure with a smaller school where Deep Freeze was deployed on all lab computers for five years prior to coming to Ballston Spa. Deep Freeze is an instant system-restore solution, which protects original workstation configurations by restoring the computer settings to their original condition with a
simple reboot. Deep Freeze eliminates the need for IT professionals to perform rebuilds, re-image, or troubleshoot computers. The bulletproof protection of Deep Freeze reduced the district’s support calls, allowing the IT team to focus on strategic objectives instead of mundane and time consuming technical support issues.
The district didn’t hesitate on deploying Deep Freeze across their entire network of workstations, but they still needed a compatible anti-virus solution. The software needed to be able to deliver
anti-virus updates without delays even on computers in Frozen mode (protected by Deep Freeze). Standard anti-virus solutions required workstations to be in Deep Freeze maintenance mode
to deliver updates and, even then, the network traffic generated to update the machines was substantial and degraded network performance. Often times, updates weren’t even successful during
the maintenance cycle, which resulted in more work for the busy IT team. Furthermore, computers weren’t updated in a timely manner, making them vulnerable to new malware threats.