Northern New Mexico College improves campus cybersecurity with Avast

Michael Goode 21 Jan 2019

Gains better visibility of cybersecurity health, improves threat protection with Avast Business Antivirus and management console.

The College

Northern New Mexico College is known as the most affordable and diverse four-year college in New Mexico. With campuses in Española and El Rito, the college provides more than 60 bachelor, associate, and certificate programs to meet the educational, cultural, and economic needs of the region. Lead IT Specialist Chris Trujillo has worked at the college for 12 years and explains, “We’re a small college, and we offer a unique learning environment. Many of our students are returning to school later in life. We also have a large population of Hispanic and Native American students. All of these factors influence our culture and curriculum.”

The Challenge

To meet the IT and cybersecurity needs of 1,000+ students and 400 faculty and administrative staff members, Chris works alongside a team of 10 led by IT Director Jimi Montoya. Says Chris, “Our biggest challenge is staying ahead of the unexpected and managing our time efficiently. We provide free Wi-Fi and use of computers in our library, and this requires more time to manage cybersecurity. With our focus on cost-effective education, we also need to think outside the box. For example, I recently showed a student how to use Google Docs as a cloud storage option so he didn’t have to drive 30 miles to Santa Fe to purchase a flash drive.”

IT Support Assistant Stephen Hopkins agrees, “We need tools that enable us to be more proactive with managing cybersecurity for our users. This will give us time to tackle other high-priority projects like standardizing systems and processes for our IT department.”

The Solution

The IT team found those tools when they deployed Avast Business Antivirus and the cloud-based management console. “We’ve had various antivirus solutions in place over the past years and had always struggled with getting better visibility into issues and control over new threats and viruses,” says Chris. “Prior to deploying Avast Business Antivirus, I would spend most of my mornings troubleshooting our library’s free public workstations and cleaning websites and browsing histories. Now, through the new security features and central management console, I can quickly see the status of our library and staff computers. With features like the web and email shields, I can see that we’re catching what we should.”

Chris continues, “Previously, we didn’t know if certain computers had malware. Now, through the console, we can determine if a student or faculty member is logging into the network, and track the source for any issues. If any infected file is introduced, it is identified and stopped much faster. When I come to work, I now have peace of mind.”

The cloud capabilities have also improved service. Stephen explains, “I live nearly two hours away, so being able to work from home as needed and respond quickly are critical. Using the cloud-based console, I can see everything going on from any location. I can perform scans or Windows updates virtually without the delays associated with getting onsite.”

The Results

“Using Avast Business Antivirus and the management console, our level of protection and monitoring have greatly improved,” Stephen continues. “Through the real-time reporting, we know where we need to be and what we need to do. We are saving a lot more time and we’re sleeping better.”

Stephen and his team owe their peace of mind and better sleep to the following results:

  • Improved efficiencies by more than 70%
  • 360-degree view of cybersecurity health across student, faculty, and staff user base
  • Ability to focus on other high-priority IT projects

The new efficiencies gained by using the cloud-based console, threat detection features, and real-time reporting changed the game for Stephen and the team. “In the past,” he says, “if we had an issue, we found out about it because it had become a bigger problem. That is no longer the case because the software, console, and reporting features are enabling us to deliver the best protection and track the security status in real-time. We have a much better grasp of the security across our entire student, faculty, and staff user base.”

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