Agencia de Defensa de la Competencia de Andalucía is an autonomous government organization tasked with protecting free trade in the province of Andalucía, Spain. The 35-person Agency in Defense of Competition reports to the Junta de Andalucía, the main governing body of the region. One systems administrator is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s 34 desktops and five servers in a Microsoft Windows 2003 environment.
Need better, more comprehensive security solution and USB protection
“We were not satisfied with our previous anti-virus software even though it was one of the top three in the market,” says Rogelio Garcia, Systems Administrator for the Andalucían agency. “In addition to lousy performance, it had an inadequate administrative console. We knew we needed more control and more visibility with respect to our overall security posture.”
Garcia was also concerned about the possibility of worms, viruses, or other malicious software entering Agency systems through USB ports. “Employees were bringing USB thumb drives and memory sticks from home and plugging them into their work computers,” explains Garcia. “In my mind, it was just a matter of time before a thumb drive infected our systems.”
Choosing the right security solution
Garcia looked closely at several security vendors’ offerings for protecting medium-sized businesses. Based on performance alone, McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business, a streamlined, enterprise-quality package designed specifically for businesses with less than 1,000 users, was the clear winner. Total Protection for Secure Business protects against the five threat vectors: endpoints, data, network, e-mail, and web with comprehensive endpoint protection, encryption, device control, and e-mail and web filtering. All this functionality is managed using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) central console.
“In addition to superior performance, the McAfee central management console, ePO, was in a class by itself,” says Garcia. “McAfee ePO makes it easy to manage a wide range of security functionality.” Garcia also received very positive references for McAfee from other Andalucían government agencies.
The Agency has currently deployed the anti-virus, device control, and McAfee SiteAdvisor functionality of Total Protection for Secure Business and will be rolling out anti-spyware protection and host intrusion prevention in the near future.
Easier security administration saves hours and frees up IT
With the customizable ePO dashboard, Garcia has graphs and charts that show at-a-glance information, such as percentage of systems with out-ofdate .DAT files. Clicking on a graph or chart pulls up the details that let him know exactly which systems need attention.
In addition to providing the visibility and control that was lacking prior to implementing the McAfee solution, the ePO console also automates tasks, such as creating and distributing reports. “For instance, I have ePO automatically send me daily reports that tell me which systems need to be updated and how many viruses have been detected and blocked,” says Garcia. Actionable reporting functionality also makes it possible for him to specify that an action, such as pushing out an updated .DAT file, automatically occur if a report shows the need for that action.
“The at-a-glance dashboard and automated reports, and programmable tasks save me a lot of time,” says Garcia. It used to take him a full day to physically visit every system to check for infections and distribute security software updates; now it only takes a couple minutes. “The hours I save thanks to ePO free me up to spend more time supporting our users.”
"With McAfee, I can provide better, more comprehensive protection for the Agency — and spend less time doing so. Best of all, I have much greater peace of mind."Rogelio Garcia
Systems Administrator, Agencia de Defensa de Competencia de Andalucía
Proactively protecting USB ports
After implementing the ePO platform, Garcia could immediately confirm that employees were frequently attaching personal USB drives to Agency desktops. Turning on the device control functionality of Total Protection for Secure Business, however, now prevents users of Agency systems from accessing files on personal USB thumb drives — or other memory devices, including flash memory cards, music players, and personal digital assistants — thus preventing the risk of malware or other threats from entering through a USB port.
Added security functionality saves money
Device control was an added bonus for Garcia. “Once I learned that device control was included in the McAfee solution, I was very happy because I had assumed I would have to acquire it as a separate solution at additional cost,” he says. Based on his research, the standalone device control product from another vendor would have cost almost as much as the entire McAfee Total Protection suite. “We based our decision to go with McAfee primarily on performance and functionality, but it also saves us a lot of money compared to having to buy multiple solutions from multiple vendors.”
Safe web surfing with SiteAdvisor
With McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business, Garcia doesn’t have to look elsewhere for web filtering functionality either. Included in the Total Protection solution, SiteAdvisor blocks users’ access to websites based on continuously updated reputation information from McAfee Labs. It also blocks any sites that Garcia specifies. “SiteAdvisor is an important component because it prevents employees from visiting websites that could potentially wreak havoc on our systems,” explains Garcia. “In ePO, I can also see which sites employees are visiting, so I can take action if necessary.”
A happy customer
Garcia has been very happy with McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business and McAfee Gold Support. When he contacted Support recently, he was pleased to be able to talk in his native language with someone who provided a quick resolution.
“With McAfee, I can provide better, more comprehensive protection for the Agency — and spend less time doing so,” says Garcia. “Best of all, I have much greater peace of mind.”