Granite School District, located in Salt Lake County, Utah, operates 60 elementary schools, 16 junior high schools, 9 high schools, as well as other special schools and programs. With 68,075 students, Granite is the second largest district in Utah and is among the largest public school districts in the nation. Granite is also one of Utah’s largest employers, with more than 7,500 full and part-time employees. Granite has also been nationally recognized for teacher professional development programs and the economic efficiencies of its administration.
The Problem They Faced
Scott Watson, an Electronics Teacher in Hunter Senior High School, trains students in a computer lab consisting of 24 workstations that operate as independent computers 90% of the time, and server interfaced network stations for the balance 10%. These dual-core processor systems run Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and are utilized by over 150 students every day.
“We are fortunate in that we have a powerful computer lab,” says Mr. Watson. “We do, however, want to ensure that power is used for educational purposes, and not for classroom distractions such as games, instant messaging, and peer-to-peer file sharing.”
“I could not find any other product comparable to Faronics Anti-Executable,” says Mr. Watson. Faronics Anti-Executable has given Granite School District the ability to enforce total compliance in their computer labs. The district’s teachers benefit from distractionfree classroom sessions each and every time, while the district’s IT personnel are guaranteed that the lab computers remain free of unwanted software and compliant with acceptable use policies.
“Faronics Anti-Executable’s white list protection gives us the assurance that only the programs we have installed on the computers are able to run,” says Mr. Watson. “We use Deep Freeze to return our computers back to their original state, but that happens only upon workstation restart. Sometimes a lab computer is kept running for an entire day, so it could potentially accrue a whole day’s worth of ‘software junk’.”
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.
Founded in 1967, North Country Community College is located in northeast New York state in the counties of Franklin and Essex. North Country attracts students from New York, New England and from around the world who seek a progressive and individualized education. The College’s mission is to provide the highest quality public, post secondary education to area residents, as well as those outside the region who desire to live, learn, and grow in a unique educational setting. The college hosts approximately 2000 students with a faculty/staff of over 200. There are 350 workstations and 25 servers.
John Bray, a Computer Support worker for North Country Community College, struggled with maintaining the staff computers. Because the staff was frequently installing unauthorized software (which often conflicted with the authorized software and can present compliance issues), he was constantly spending his time cleaning up and re-imaging workstations. The required maintenance led to continual downtime for many of the terminals. Bray was also concerned about malware threats and possible software configuration issues on the machines.
Bray and his IT Department began searching for a solution that would restrict unauthorized programs and prevent any possible damage caused by malicious threats. Bray was already familiar with Faronics because the college was using Faronics Deep Freeze on the student computers to help eliminate unwanted workstation changes.
Bray was excited to learn that an application whitelisting solution existed from Faronics that ensured only authorized programs were allowed to run. “We did not even consider any other products as we very impressed with Deep Freeze and Faronics support.”
Faronics Deep Freeze and Anti-Executable and the Los Angeles Police Department
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the third largest local law enforcement agency in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department.With just under 10,000 officers and more than 3,000 civilian staff, covering an area of 498 square miles (1,290 km2) containing a population of more than 3.8 million people, it is one of the most innovative and recognizable law enforcement agencies in the world.
The LAPD patrol cars are set up with Mobile Data Computers (MDCs). There are currently 2053 patrol cars equipped with MDCs that run Windows XP. The MDCs provide access to a critical application called CAD (computer aided dispatch), which is used to connect the patrol officer with the 911 operators. CAD is a missioncritical system that needs to be up and running at all times to ensure uninterrupted connection for the patrol officers in the field. The LAPD relies on the 24×7 reliability of the MDCs to do their jobs.
Because cars are shared amongst officers, it is critical for the department to have MDCs perform consistently for every shift. The department was looking for ways to lock down the MDCs to prevent officers from downloading applications or making configuration changes to the operating system, which could cause degraded system performance and impact the integrity of the application. Another issue was ensuring officers are not distracted by unnecessary applications running on the MDCs.
The LAPD decided to deploy Faronics Deep Freeze, an instant system restore solution that restores the MDC to its original configuration with a simple restart. To lock down computers and ensure officers focus on their patrol duties only, the LAPD implemented Faronics Anti-Executable. As a security solution, Anti-Executable allows the LAPD to restrict any unauthorized applications and malicious executable files from installing and running on the MDCs. Using a whitelisting approach, the LAPD can allow only approved applications to run on the MDCs, thereby ignoring any application that was not approved on their whitelist.
“Deep Freeze and Anti-Executable are crucial to preserving an image determined for mission critical law enforcement systems used 24×7 to ensure reliability and security with minimal downtime and with the least reliance on IT personnel,” says Mr. Datta. “Without these two solutions, we would be getting a lot more problems with the patrol cars and troubleshooting MDCs would be significantly increased.”