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Location: United States
Products Used: Web Security Gateway
Hosted Email Security
St. Andrew’s Protects School Network and Students with Websense® Hosted Email Security and Web Security Gateway
Monitoring, Filtering and Hosted Email Solution Reduce Malware Infection by 70%
Founded in 1947, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Day School is an independent college preparatory school with 1,200 students and 130 employees delivering higher academics to grades pre-K through 12. The school has two campuses: the North Campus in Ridgeland, Mississippi and the South Campus in Jackson, Mississippi.
St. Andrew’s business is education and even in the early days of the Internet, administrators understood that access to the resources was imperative for a college preparatory school. In 2000, St. Andrew’s decided to offer Internet access to its students and faculty. However, the school needed a way to protect its students from schemes such as malicious pop-up offers and deceiving domain names. For example, students were asked to do research on the White House in Washington, DC. The website for the White House is www.whitehouse.gov while the URL for an adult web site is very similar. Without proper protection, students could innocently confuse the adult web site for the home of our president and accidently click on the wrong link.
St. Andrew’s initial Internet monitoring method was placement of desktops in open areas where screens could be personally monitored. “We only had 65 wired desktops placed in our libraries, classrooms and offices,” said Kevin O’Malley, CIO at St. Andrew’s. “So, keeping an eye on the computers was relatively easy.” However, when St. Andrews was ready to move to a wireless LAN and WAN connection throughout its North and South campuses, it needed a plan for monitoring Internet access as manually monitoring each computer was not possible. They also realized they could not achieve their goals of ubiquitous wireless access and a one-to-one laptop program without an advanced web security solution.
In 2003, St. Andrew’s chose Websense to monitor activity and filter access based on each user’s role, such as faculty, administration, student, or guest, whether it was through Web or email. Websense also delivered a solution that was flexible enough to add exceptions—for example, blocking a specific website. Since 2003, Websense met St. Andrew’s evolving security challenges, such as Web 2.0 sites and advanced reporting tools. In 2010, St. Andrew’s chose to simplify its IT environment and added Websense Hosted Email Security to its web security solution.
In 2010, St. Andrew’s implemented Websense Web Security Gateway, which offered granular filtering, full reporting, and easy management capabilities. This was an easy choice for St. Andrews. “We saw that Websense did what we wanted it to do—and were the only ones who could deliver the security and access that we were looking for,” said O’Malley.
The Websense Security Gateway offered the capabilities St. Andrews needed to keep its users safe. The solution analyzes and secures St. Andrew’s web traffic in real-time, allowing users to safely use the Internet as well as the latest Web 2.0 sites and tools. Its Advanced Classification Engine (ACE) deploys state-of-the-art analytics at the gateway to help detect, block, or strip malicious code before it enters the network. These analytics are integrated with the global ThreatSeeker® Network to provide continuous updates to detect the latest threats. In addition, a the product identifies proxy avoidance, adult, hacking, and many other content types in real time , protecting users from the risks of previously unknown web content.
One of the things that’s kept St. Andrew’s a loyal Websense customer all of these years was Websense customer service. When St. Andrews needed support in configuring the system to serve its more liberal environment, Websense was right there. “When the software blocked too many websites, Websense helped us by tweaking the filters. When we wanted a different profile for a teacher than a student, Websense worked with us to make it happen,” remarked O’Malley.
In 2010, St. Andrew’s decided to simplify its IT environment and consolidate vendors. The school was so pleased with Websense’s Security Gateway solution and customer service that it moved from a McAfee email security solution to Websense Hosted Email Security. “By shifting our security processes to the Websense cloud application, we are able to take the load off in-house servers,” noted O’Malley. “And the hosted email eliminates the need for day to day management.”
Substantial Growth in Connectivity
After implementing Websense Web Security Gateway, St. Andrew’s was able to build a wireless infrastructure supporting 800 administration, faculty, student, and guest users through 80 desktops and 750 wireless devices. These devices include 45 laptops for faculty and students in grades 9 through 12, four mobile labs in grades 5 through 8, and two computer labs for both campuses. “With Websense, we successfully executed our technology plan for ubiquitous wireless access and 1:1 laptop program,” said O’Malley.
Easy, Effective Monitoring
Websense Web Security Gateway continuously proves to be effective at monitoring and filtering websites with malware and inappropriate content every day. In fact, O’Malley routinely checks the sites that the security solution blocked and commented, “It’s amazing to see how many malicious sites Websense catches!” And Websense Hosted Email Security catches a vast amount of spam—reducing the amount of unwanted email and potential malware by 70 percent since switching over from the previous solution. End users no longer have to wade through tons of spam and the school was able to save money on hardware resources.
Flexible Content Filtering and System Management
With Websense Web Security Gateway, St. Andrew’s can filter specific areas within a website, rather than the entire domain. The solution also enables granular customization of quota times. Websense Hosted Email Security effectively filters spam while letting users check their spam reports themselves. Previously, users had to ask IT to dig through the spam folder when they didn’t receive an expected email. “The system’s ease of use, reliability and flexibility really provided peace of mind for the IT staff, faculty and administrators,” commented O’Malley.
Versatile, Reliable Reporting
St. Andrew’s can use the web security solution to easily define, view and print reports. The system can also report on any user, at any time. “We can run special reports whenever there is a request” clarified O’Malley. For instance, a teacher may ask for a report on a student’s Internet activities for a certain timeframe, and IT can run a report on that student and timeframe. Additionally, St. Andrew’s runs and archives daily reports on all users—employees and students alike—in case they need to be referenced at a later date.
Remote Client Monitoring
St. Andrew’s offers its students the use of Websense’s remote client monitoring, which provides protection for laptops if students or faculty take them to their homes or other off-campus locations. Remote client monitoring offers the same security and protection as if they were on campus. However, parents can opt out of the remote client monitoring if they want their children to access blocked websites, stream videos, and increase quota time. Unfortunately, opting out leaves the school’s laptops vulnerable to malware. When these laptops return to school, they can infect the school’s network. Still, Websense’s remote monitoring client has significantly decreased malware infection. “Prior to installation, nearly 70% of the machines provisioned over a six month period were returned with malware infections,” said O’Malley. “Now Websense handles that for us”
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