Fabens Independent School District

Protects data with Apex One and Cloud App Security

Overview

Fabens Independent School District (Fabens ISD) sits in the border city of Fabens, Texas, about 30 miles outside of El Paso. The district currently serves approximately 2,300 K-12 students across five schools and employs 350 teachers and staff.

Challenges

Protecting network and student data is paramount for Fabens ISD. Several nearby school districts had experienced cyberattacks in recent years, and the Fabens ISD team were committed to ensuring that their district didn’t become the next victim. Like many other school boards, Fabens ISD faces limited budgets and human resources available to dedicate to IT and security efforts.

Director of Technology Michael Perez needed a security solution that was sophisticated and comprehensive, but also easy to manage. He chose Trend Micro Apex One™ and Trend Micro™ Cloud App Security to improve security protection across the district’s network and endpoint devices.

Fabens ISD has worked with several cybersecurity vendors over the years but struggled with solutions that used too much memory and bogged down their networks. “Our previous security solutions did not perform well. A few of them made our machines run so slowly we essentially considered them worthless,” says Perez.

Why Trend Micro

A few years ago, Perez was offered Trend Micro freeware to clean up some infected machines, and he was impressed with Trend Micro capabilities. When the district later considered investing in a new solution to bolster security, Perez kept coming back to Trend Micro. “I thought, if Trend Micro is doing this well with its free service, imagine how good it will be with the paid service. That was a huge reason why we switched to Trend Micro,” says Perez.

The fact that Trend Micro is always on the cutting edge of cybersecurity was another selling point. “Many attacks were hard to stop in the past because they were unknown to our security solutions, but Trend Micro is always a step ahead,” says Perez.

"Many attacks were hard to stop in the past because they were unknown to our security solutions. But Trend Micro is always a step ahead."

Michael Perez
Director of Technology
Fabens Independent School District

Solution

Fabens ISD uses Trend Micro Apex One™ SaaS to provide advanced automated endpoint threat detection and response. “The most beneficial feature of Trend Micro Apex One is the way it protects us against any kind of attack,” says Perez. “The solution is easy to use, so I can manage it myself.”

Recently, Perez made a push to move some of the district’s IT services to the cloud. “I researched Trend Micro Cloud App Security and how it could protect our district’s cloud environment. That made me more comfortable about moving to the cloud. Cloud App Security gives us a chance to react to threats before any harm is done. I have that reassurance that all our endpoints are protected,” says Perez.

Fabens now uses Cloud App Security with Google G Suite for classrooms. That paid off significantly when the district made the sudden transition to remote learning due to COVID-19 and needed to onboard 4,000 Google Chromebooks for students and staff. “Trend Micro Cloud App Security protects all the Google Chromebooks, email, and file sharing in the cloud. We quickly scaled our security protection to handle the 4,000 new units, and there were no headaches. It just worked. I love the way it notifies me, and I can respond and isolate units when I see an attack or a vulnerability. Nothing comes through—it all stops at the edge,” says Perez

Results

Trend Micro solutions reduce Perez’s workload and enable him to concentrate on other critical needs while knowing that Fabens ISD is protected. “It has saved me unlimited amounts of time and money because we have not been successfully attacked. Since deploying Trend Micro solutions, we’ve been stronger than ever. Trend Micro was built to do security,” says Perez.

Ease of use has been another substantial payoff for Fabens ISD. “When we were using previous solutions, my techs would complain. Since moving to Trend Micro Apex One, we have had no issues. It just works,” says Perez.

Performance has also been greatly improved with Trend Micro. “Once we ripped and replaced our previous solutions with Trend Micro, we saw immediate improvements in performance. I never looked back after that,” says Perez.

"Since deploying Trend Micro Apex One and Cloud App Security, we’ve been stronger than ever. Trend Micro was built to do security."

Michael Perez
Director of Technology
Fabens Independent School District

What's Next?

Perez says he plans to use additional Trend Micro solutions in the future. “I am grateful for the constant customer engagement and the partnership we have developed. Trend Micro products have been a game changer in our environment.”

Fabens ISD is currently evaluating Trend Micro Vision One™ with XDR capabilities and they are also considering Trend Micro Cloud One™, which Perez says could become more critical as the district considers allowing students to bring their own devices (BYOD) for remote and in-class learning. “We currently don’t allow bring your own devices in our schools. Figuring out how to protect personal devices that join our network, and make sure they are as secure as the other devices we have, is on the top of my radar,” says Perez.