Case study: South Lanarkshire College

Responding to increasing cyber security requirements with ease

The college’s patching process sped up by 83% with F-Secure Business Suite

Company

South Lanarkshire College

Solutions from F-Secure

F-Secure Business Suite

Industry

Education

Country

Scotland, UK


South Lanarkshire College (SLC) is an award-winning college with over 300 staff and 5,500 students based in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. Ensuring learners are well prepared for the future by developing their skills, knowledge and understanding, SLC’s vision is to become Scotland’s leading provider of college education and training.

Their need

SLC experiences the same problem that many other schools, colleges and universities face, whereby thousands of students are accessing its servers, webpages and internet daily, meaning they are a large target for attacks. As such, SLC’s goal was to find a high-level endpoint anti-virus solution that could also make the SLC IT infrastructure more efficient. As a business, SLC was also required to become ‘Cyber Essentials’ certified; a government policy managed by the IASME which requires all new software releases to be downloaded and installed within 14 days of release. Having reviewed its current endpoint anti-virus solution, it became apparent that one of the biggest obstacles SLC faced was the amount of resource used when undertaking security patches around the business to avoid vulnerabilities and improve usability and performance. Therefore, it was also critical that the solution was easily deployable and automated to allow time for other projects within the business. Having researched the most recent, biggest breaches, SLC also required a solution that recognised Ransomware attacks at speed to avoid any disasters within the college.

Our proof of value

SLC takes its time in evaluating new solutions by conducting comprehensive testing before choosing to adopt a specific product or service, which ensures that each solution the college uses to support its operations fits in seamlessly with the existing IT infrastructure. Having narrowed the choices down to just three, SLC decided on F-Secure Business Suite.

When choosing F-Secure Business Suite for its endpoint solution, SLC had three main requirements:

  • An ‘all-in-one’ package that could scheduleand deploy patching automatically, meaning this could be done outside of business hours.
  • A basic client software for PC, Mac, Linux, and Servers.
  • That machines and devices run at maximum efficiency whilst running the anti-virus software.

 

F-Secure was able to offer all of the above, including ‘Off-load Scanning’, allowing CPU usage to remain low whilst scanning machines by off-loading the process to a virtual machine, freeing up CPU usage on the on-premise machines. As well as maintaining CPU efficiency, F-Secure Business Suite also offered Deepguard, an F-Secure product that constantly monitors for Ransomware attacks; when comparing this solution to its previous supplier, the response time from F-Secure was roughly 90% faster.

"As a business with very demanding needs, we needed a solution that could handle automated patch management, and detailed reporting as well as offer the highest level of security within the software itself - F-Secure gave us that meaning as a business, we now run more effectively than ever.” 

Chris Sumner, IT Technical Support, SLC

The solution

The solution scans all the computers within the business, allowing software to be deployed from a central location easily and efficiently; it also handles patching automatically, meaning these installations now meet the IASME requirements of 14 days and can be scheduled to run outside of business hours. The initial installation onto all devices was also automated meaning this was quick with minimum downtime to the business. The solution installs as a package or ad-hoc, depending on SLC’s requirements and needs. F-Secure provided support to SLC throughout, including training and on-call assistance. Originally, SLC tested the solution on a few non-critical servers and then continued the deployment across all staff and student machines. Another substantial benefit for SLC is how they now manage reporting. With F-Secure Business Suite, SLC can report across machines instantly. SLC’s IT teams can track which machines have received the new software as well as receive feedback from any machine from a central location, including lapsed software alerts, new policy updates, and update renewals.

“F-Secure Business Suite has completely saved our bacon! Not only are we now Cyber Essentials certified, F-Secure has completely changed the way we work as a business; what used to take us 30 days now takes just five days. F-Secure reassures us that we have the best security combined with the latest software at all times.”

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