| 15 August 2012
Manchester (UK) and Boston (MA): The University of Derby yesterday confirmed it was using Avecto Privilege Guard to effectively manage their end user privileges. Their IT support team needed to manage and minimise the risks posed by users when downloading unknown applications, as well as ensuring compatibility with other incumbent applications, and ensuring licensing conformity. Users’ administrator rights have been removed and instead applications are now elevated within Privilege Guard as and when required. This has resulted in a dramatic drop in virus and Trojan outbreaks.
With a network of 4,000+ desktops and laptops and end users ranging from students, developers, researchers, academics and admin staff, the big challenge for the University of Derby was to improve systems security, without compromising users, yet still adhering to its founding principle of ‘passion for people’. Due to the diversity of courses across the University, their student labs deploy around 400 software applications which facilitate the completion of specific course work. In order to use many of these applications students required a high level of access - something which the IT support department did not feel particularly comfortable with.
Both staff and students had full administrative rights each time they logged on, which meant they were able to install their own software and change settings. However they could also accidentally install Trojans, malware and spyware as well as ‘peer to peer’ software.
Prior to deploying Privilege Guard the student labs used an application which effectively wiped the desktop clean after each session was terminated. While on the surface it could be considered a viable practice, the underlying impact was that each time IT scheduled regular maintenance a technician had to spend a day in each of the student labs updating antivirus software and operating systems. With student labs spread across five sites this became a time consuming issue. For the students it meant systems were offline, which restricted their access to information.
“Our academics and researchers need to be able to seek out and download a wide range of applications that would help them bring creativity into, and drive innovation across, their teaching and learning environments,” explains Steve Dashfield, Corporate Academic Systems Manager at the University of Derby. “Privilege Guard has enabled us to deliver a high level of seamless flexibility for our users, yet still allows us to maintain control across our desktop estate.”
Since deploying Privilege Guard students at the University of Derby are now able to access the applications they need on demand and IT technicians no longer need to perform lab updates three or four times a year. This saves the University a substantial amount of support time and expense, with minimal downtime for students and a much improved user experience.
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