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Shielding the school

Shielding the school

Sometimes, with software-as-a-service, all it takes to win a contract is familiarity with the customer and its pain points. And, sometimes, a simple solution can lead to greater opportunities, as ARN found out when it spoke to AVC about finding solutions to deal with school kids and unprotected notebooks.

One of the difficulties for an organisation managing personal notebooks will always be security. The difficulties are only enhanced when the notebooks in question are owned by school students – a notoriously carefree demographic when it comes to keeping security up to date.

Winifred West schools, a group of three privately-owned schools in the Southern Highlands region, was facing such a problem. Students were bringing their personal notebooks onto the school network, and with them, a variety of digital nasties. After relaying such concerns to long-term integrator partner, AVC, the problem was solved with the implementation of a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.

“Previously the schools were just running antivirus on their internal PCs and didn’t enforce an antivirus policy onto the girls’ notebooks,” AVC solution architect, Stephen Chapman, said.

“Because the notebooks were off going home and connecting to other networks and the girls were downloading files, it was increasing levels of viruses and malware and things like that.

“It was a risk in that the girls’ notebooks were coming in either with no antivirus softwar, or out of date and unmanaged software, which was where we decided to put in the virus scan products to have it as a managed service.”

Adding value

AVC also took the opportunity to suggest Winifred West upgrade its email filtering and management capabilities, for further security.

“We then provided an in the cloud email filtering and management service, using the Firstwave [Technology email security] engine, which provided the schools with a whole range of filters,” Chapman said. “If a new student attends one of the schools with a notebook now, the school has mandated that part of the policy around bringing the notebook onto the network is having the managed solution in place.”

Winifred West has been a loyal client for 10 years, Chapman said.


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