Canadian College

Leading Canadian college strengthens security intelligence with upgrade to Trend Micro OfficeScan, powered by XGen™ Security

Overview

A leading North American college with almost 7,000 full-time students, 20,000 part-time students, and 90 academic programs is spread across three campuses. The college is committed to delivering in-demand courses, supported by state-of-the-art facilities and 800 employees, including 400 faculty members.

The college runs a primary data centre on each campus. The data centres provide on-premises and cloud-based services for about 1,600 workspaces, using a mix of Windows and Macintosh computers for teaching and administrative purposes. All the data centres are VMware shops, and virtualized except for backup systems. Despite highly constrained budgets, the college is devoted to technology-rich data centre design and continual updates.

"The OfficeScan, powered by XGen security solution was rolled out to 1,100 desktops across several locations in approximately 40 minutes, with no reboots required."


Data Centre Administrator, Canadian College

Challenges

Like many higher education institutions, the college is a target for new cyber threats. The college’s workstations are often targeted by ransomware, which prevents access to data and systems. The malware is distributed via spam and phishing emails sent to a large number of email addresses.

The college also receives alerts that indicate botnet activity associated with global command-and-control (C&C) schemes. “Stopping these new threats is vital, but equally important is doing so without slowing down endpoint performance,” said the college’s data centre administrator.

Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™ provided effective security and high performance, but when the college decided to move to Microsoft® Windows Server® 2016, they needed to upgrade their endpoint protection. “We really liked the OfficeScan solution we had, but it didn’t support Windows Server 2016 at that time, so we looked at other options from Trend Micro,” said the data centre administrator.

Why Trend Micro

The college has a long history of success with Trend Micro. Back in 2008, the college chose Trend Micro™ InterScan™ Messaging Security Virtual Appliance (IMSVA), with Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™, an endpoint security solution that quickly won over the IT team. “With OfficeScan, we received far fewer complaints about slow workstations,” said the data centre administrator.

The college upgraded OfficeScan™ several times since 2008, and used the solution to protect physical endpoints in classrooms, labs, and office spaces. To keep the college’s IT environment secure, Trend Micro uses correlated threat data from billions of files to create and maintain an up-to-date database of safe, validated applications. Its global and local threat intelligence identifies everything from viruses, Trojans, worms, and spyware to botnets, ransomware, and advanced persistent threats. “We’ve been very pleased with Trend Micro’s ability to combine powerful solutions with threat intelligence to stay ahead of the latest threats,” said the data centre administrator.

Solution

After rolling out their new Windows Server 2016, the college decided to upgrade to Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™, powered by XGen™ security. XGen™ security combines proven threat detection techniques to quickly identify known and unknown threats with application control, exploit prevention, and behavioural analysis.

XGen security also uses high-fidelity machine learning that checks files before execution and at runtime – and leverages noise cancellation features like census checking and whitelisting to reduce false positives. “We’re interested in learning more about XGen’s machine learning capabilities and behavioural analysis, which enhances our ability to detect and prevent exploits,” said the data centre administrator.

To upgrade from OfficeScan version 11 to XGen™ security, the college followed best practices, with the server pushing policies to the endpoints. The entire upgrade took under two hours, which included testing the server. “The OfficeScan solution was rolled out to 1,100 desktops across several locations in approximately 40 minutes, with no reboots required,” said the data centre administrator. .

Results

With OfficeScan protecting its endpoints, the college has the intelligent protection it needs to defend against new and existing cyber threats, including C&C and ransomware attacks. “Since deploying OfficeScan, the command-and-control and ransomware alerts have been significantly reduced. When ransomware is detected, XGen™ security shuts it down and quarantines the malware. I can’t think of anything it doesn’t do,” said the data centre administrator.

OfficeScan constantly monitors Windows and Mac endpoints for unusual modifications to operating systems or installed software. And the college’s IT team can see the entire threat landscape at a glance using the new, single-screen web-based management interface, helping the college quickly gain valuable information about attacks. “In just 24 hours, OfficeScan detected 33 web reputation and 8 behavioural monitoring issues—and stopped them before they affected our systems,” said the data centre administrator.

What's Next

The college purchased Trend Micro™ Deep Security™ in preparation for a new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). During test and development, they spun up a thousand virtual machines just to watch the provisioning work. With the VDI servers on their way, the college plans to run a pilot program with a much larger user group in the near future, followed by a phased rollout. “We are trying to shift to centralized compute and a light endpoint, which makes having centralized malware protection a priority for us,” said the data centre administrator.