District makes choice after evaluation determines ESET Anti-Virus speedier, more efficient
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – In the age of shrinking budgets and aging computers, school districts are forced to start thinking outside the box maintain their network security. “A locked-down and well-managed desktop PC can be over 40% less expensive to maintain than an unmanaged one that fails often and only last a few years,” explained Craig Smith of BorderLAN, a nationwide network security provider. “With 70,000 unique pieces of malware variants being identified daily, you need the best anti-virus software you can find.”
The West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) – the state’s ninth-largest K-12 district, including 14 schools, more than 9,000 students and 1,200 employees – understood. After conducting an independent case study of available Anti-Virus programs, it selected ESET as its exclusive AV system.
Said Scott Crothers, district network engineer, “Most AV systems these days have lost their way and become huge bloat software that does very little, uses more than it should and does not do the primary job it was designed for. We used many of the popular AV’s in the past but now we needed one that had two simple requirements: fast boot time and low footprint on local resources.”
A WDMCS team launched an evaluation of the three biggest names in anti-virus software … and just before conducting its tests was introduced to ESET by BorderLAN Network Security.
Identical personal computers were formatted and each loaded with a different AV program. The team timed regular boot cycles, and evaluate boot resources, along with ongoing local resources to gauge the impact of each installation. The winner was ESET — with a noticeable 45 seconds faster boot.
“Boot speed was important, but only part of the equation,” Crothers said. “The next test evaluated the resource usage of the AV systems in background / standby mode and in scan mode. Hands down, ESET not only used half of the resources of its competition, but also completed the scans faster.”
Scan technology was also an important factor in the WDMCS case study. “We found ESET to be very proactive in its signature update process for known threats,” said Crothers. “Moreover, ESET’s heuristics-based scan engine was able to identify threat variants that have morphed from their original known threat signatures. Given the dynamic nature of modern viruses, trojans, spyware, and malware in general, ESET’s effective capability to combat zero-day threats made for a clear decision.”
Crothers continued, “Prior to ESET, the AV bloatware we were using was causing delays in the classroom and even caused slower application performance due to low resources. We feel we have extended the life of our PCs by using ESET.”
“We needed something simple, fast and affordable and BorderLAN delivered. ESET and BorderLAN exceeded our requirements and impressed us further with technical support and helpfulness.”
About BorderLAN Inc.
BorderLAN is a California-based nationwide provider of innovative and budget-friendly software, specializing in hassle-free network security solutions for IT and compliance needs as well as deployment assistance. BorderLAN clients include thousands of schools, businesses and government offices.
Risk Level: MODERATE
Method of entry:
Small Application / script payload / website link / email or spam
How it works:
Small every changing random payload scripts are carried in and quietly usually on the back of an email, usb file, freeware program, facebook looking invites, shared movie files, shared audio torrents etc.
Method of deployment:
Slow deployment will not replicate itself and send off warning signals. Instead it sits quietly in its random form listing, learning, keying every website and keystroke. Eventually the most complex can initiate simple web sessions and “post” the data in the background using open web ports to the hackers servers. From there data is sourced and filtered, used and sold depending on the quality.
Desktops and Laptops contain user logon information to what matters; Data, bank information, credit information, identity. Hackers know this and realize the complexity of network hacks becomes difficult. Hackers are like electricity….they date the path of least resistance, and right now it seems the end-point is the place. Why try to hack through huge defenses, when you can ride in and learn all the passwords through an unprotected trusted employee?
Who is doing it:
Out of country hackers primarily, open source software. Thousands of faceless hackers work to develop and implement cross border attacks as enforceability is non-existent.
Why it can be a substantial threat:
It’s not defended using traditional methods of black list AV and malware. Anti technologies must first identify a “match” before it can block a threat. What if the threat keeps changing, keeps morphing, and randomizes?
How to mitigate:
The trillion dollar question is how to mitigate. Ironic that’s the kind of numbers in loss we are talking about if not handled. Impact on every organization is significant and should be top of mind. Technical Recommendations – We recommend software that limits payload deployment. Identifying what payloads or applications can run via a whitelist is a safe layer of defense as most other randomly created threats and applications fly right through AV. Executable white listing is simple and easy managed from a simple server software.
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.
Archbold Medical Center is comprised of ﬁ ve hospitals and four nursing homes, with more than 800 beds in and around Thomasville, Georgia. In business for over 81 years, it employs more than 2,500 people and has a medical staﬀ of more than 200 qualiﬁed specialists.
Martin Slusher is the senior network administrator for Archbold, overseeing 2,500 PCs; 3,100 users and 180 servers across 60 locations.
Until April 2007 Martin’s group was using Symantec Enterprise Edition for antivirus protection. However he was soon on the lookout for a better solution, with a few objectives in mind:
- Find a more eﬀective antivirus
- Find a more cost eﬀective solution
- Resolve the complaints from network users about sluggish computers (most of them had new PCs, so he knew the current AV must be a resource hog)
“I ﬁrst heard about ESET from a local IT shop who mentioned it to me. I researched it and tested it at home before I brought it up to our CIO and other network administrators.”
Then Martin and his team evaluated other AV companies but decided not to move forward for various reasons, including price, sales people and installation help.
“Ultimately we decided to go with ESET NOD32 Antivirus Business Edition because of its ease of use and heuristics,” said Martin. “It found infections in our environment that had previously gone undetected. We were able to observe all of this with a 90-day trial copy.”
Archbold purchased ESET through a reseller – Classic Networking. “Classic oﬀ ers ‘Rip and Replace’ service that removes all versions of Symantec and installs ESET NOD32. This was a huge help considering we have a small IT staﬀ . These guys were great! They helped us create a group policy on Active Directory to run the custom script and then they gave us training on the product.”
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.