Business Security

Saint Gertrude High School improves efficiency with Avast Business patch management

David Haadsma, 12 June 2019

Centrally managed antivirus improves security services for a one-person IT department at this Virginia high school

The School

As the only all-girls high school for grades 9-12 in the greater Richmond, Virginia area, Saint Gertrude High School offers a unique experience. If you ask Technology Coordinator Thomas Glass, the appeal of the Catholic preparatory day school is its focus on people. “We are truly one big family here, helping each other in any way we can,” he says. “We also provide a special learning environment that blends academics, Christian values, and local culture. For example, we are within walking distance to multiple museums so our teachers can incorporate Richmond’s fine arts experience into their classroom learning.”

The Challenge

As a one-person IT department supporting 50 staff members and a student population of 200, Thomas stays busy. Each day, he manages nearly 120 desktop computers and laptops for staff members as well as administering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for students. On top of this, Thomas offers help-desk hours for students and ensures every student device has up-to-date antivirus installed.

“With cybercriminals always finding new ways to fool users, my biggest challenge is ensuring our network stays shielded from viruses and malware. Throughout the day, I’m keeping staff devices managed and maintained, helping students with a range of device issues, and checking our network status,” explains Thomas. “This can be a pretty big job for a one-person team. I need reliable security software and tools that help me extend my capabilities and save time.”

The Solution

When Thomas joined Saint Gertrude to run IT operations, the high school was using the on-premise version of AVG Antivirus. He switched to the free version of Avast Antivirus and then evaluated cloud-based antivirus solutions, including Avast Business Antivirus and Sophos. In October 2018, Thomas chose Avast Business Managed Antivirus delivered through the cloud management console.

“A key benefit of upgrading to Avast Business Managed Antivirus was the ability to schedule tasks and receive updates and alerts. From the console, I can now schedule full scans to run monthly, manage virus definition and program updates, set up alerts, and monitor the status of each user device in our network. I’m working much more efficiently,” he adds.

Thomas is also using the new Avast Business Patch Management Service, which is fully integrated with the Avast Business Antivirus products.

“Trying to keep up with the volume of Windows and third-party software patches needed is really challenging,” he adds. “In the console’s patch management display, I can see all of the vendor software patches available. From the device settings, I can select the scans I want and schedule the times I want to deploy the patches. It’s great to have everything – the antivirus, patch, settings, and controls – all in one console.”

“I also like the patch management tool’s restart option. It lets me send a notification to users so they can log off, and then I can restart their devices and ensure the patches are installed.”

The Results

Thomas estimates he is saving 60 hours each month through the console’s capabilities and has improved efficiency by 75%. “Upgrading to Avast Business Managed Antivirus was long overdue,” he says. “Now I can easily access tools from the cloud management console and deploy services. I can schedule tasks in seconds and receive automatic reminders and alerts when threats are blocked. All of this is a big time saver.”

He has created a new patching process and says the capabilities of the Avast Business Patch Management Service have also contributed to the hours saved, “I can sometimes spend 30 minutes several times a day updating users’ computers, and I may need to do this at their desks, which requires more time. The ability to automate patching right from the console has been a great addition.”

For Thomas, Avast Business Managed Antivirus has enabled him to provide stronger security for staff and students and has given him much better visibility across his network.  “With Avast Business Managed Antivirus, all the tools and features I need to protect our school and network are right there in the console. It’s easy to use and manage and gives me complete peace of mind. I can also focus on other aspects of managing our IT operations.”

Ready to experience the advantages of centrally managed antivirus and automated patch management? Sign up for a free 30-day trial for up to 100 devices here.

For more information, visit Avast Business Managed Antivirus.