Founded in 1834, Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana is one of the most highly regarded and selective independent research universities in the country. It offers degrees in architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health, the sciences and engineering, and social work. More than 13,000 students attend the university, which employs about 4,600 people in staff and faculty positions.
The university’s IT security department handles endpoint security for three distinct user groups: students, staff, and faculty. Each group comes to the university network with a different objective. Students need an internet service provider and delivery platform; faculty concentrates on teaching and research; and staff supports all members of the Tulane University community. The laptops and desktops used by these groups include Mac computers and Windows PCs from a wide array of manufacturers. “We’re trying to serve three distinct user groups without a lot of ability to make changes or set corporate file controls on endpoints,” said Hunter Ely, Tulane University CISO.
Providing IT security for a major university requires a careful balance of free access to information with protecting intellectual property and highly confidential personal and institutional content. While all user groups have expectations of what the network should do for them, university systems and their endpoints are prime targets for cyberattacks.
In 2014, Tulane University's IT security team encountered several critical issues with their endpoint protection solution. Not only was the product missing many infections, but it was also difficult to manage. "It was prohibitively challenging to make a policy change for the enterprise or a specific group. The core anti-malware product was buried so deep in the management portal that making the smallest change was cumbersome," said Mark Liggett, Senior Security Analyst at Tulane.
In 2015, Tulane IT contacted their security products reseller, SecureNation, to make the switch to Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™. The Trend Micro endpoint protection solution immediately identified significantly more malware and improved security management. Tulane University Secures Endpoints with Trend Micro OfficeScan, powered by XGen Security Page 2 of 2 • Customer Success Story • Tulane University "When we decided to change our antivirus provider, Trend Micro was at the top of our list," said Liggett. "What we saw in terms of deployment and support at the proof of concept showed us we were making the right decision."
While pleased with OfficeScan, the sophistication of cyberattacks continues to escalate. Tulane's security team wanted a better way to mitigate the risk of users losing credentials by inadvertently downloading malware. "Whether users were tricked by a phishing exploit or ransomware attack, we needed a solution that could identify suspicious connections and stop malware before users lost control of their credentials," said Liggett.
"The upgrade was a piece of cake. After a pre-upgrade evaluation ensured the solution wouldn't impact our Mac users, we moved to OfficeScan two days later and never looked back."
Senior Security Analyst, Tulane University
Why Trend Micro
When Tulane learned about the new capabilities of Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™ they consulted SecureNation to make the switch. "The diversity and enterprise functionality of Trend Micro offerings and their strong level of support make them a good choice for Tulane University," said Jon Davis, CEO of SecureNation. "We've had firsthand experience with many security products and chose Trend Micro for our own business."
With Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™ already running on 5,000 endpoints, the upgrade to Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™, powered by XGen™ security, proceeded without complications. “The upgrade was a piece of cake. After a pre-upgrade evaluation ensured the solution wouldn’t impact our Mac users, we moved to OfficeScan two days later and never looked back,” said Liggett.
Implemented in 2016, OfficeScan provides the next-generation features Tulane needs to keep its IT environment and users protected from new emerging threats. The solution combines high-fidelity machine learning with a blend of threat protection techniques that eliminate security gaps across any user activity and all endpoints. It constantly adapts and automatically shares new threat intelligence across Tulane’s environment to defend against malware, Trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware—and adapts to protect against new threats as they emerge.
The solution also offers behavioral analysis to identify scripts, injections, ransomware, memory and browser attacks, as well as census check, application control and exploit prevention. OfficeScan performs good-file checks with techniques like file reputation, web reputation, and command-and-control blocking. “As soon as we turned on the web reputation feature, the solution identified suspicious connections and made the environment safer for our users,” said Liggett.
With Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™ protecting endpoints across Tulane’s network, the IT team is confident the school’s intellectual and student data is always secure, and its users are safe from advanced exploits. “Since deploying OfficeScan our security is stronger than ever,” said Liggett. “With the XGen security dashboard, we can see cryptoware on machines, and we stop 40 to 50 infections daily.”
In addition to providing simplified management and policy creation, the solution bolsters the university’s DNS blocking, which prevents users from accessing specific domains or websites that may be malicious. “OfficeScan identifies issues fast, so we can block sites and weed out phishing exploits before they get to our users,” said Liggett.
Now that Trend Micro™ OfficeScan™ is effectively protecting Tulane University’s endpoints from known and emerging threats, the security team is planning to fine-tune the solution and take greater advantage of its advanced features. “At this point, we’re looking forward to tightening down OfficeScan’s current capabilities, which we’ll manage by business logic to further enhance our IT security,” said Liggett.