Brelje & Race Makes a Wise Investment

Founded in 1954, Brelje & Race provides engineering, surveying, and planning services to customers in California’s Bay Area. The company has a diverse group of clients including public agencies, land and geothermal developers, utility companies, and wineries. Brelje & Race is based in Santa Rosa, California and has more than 40 employees including civil and mechanical engineers, licensed land surveyors, professional planners, CAD technicians, construction inspectors, survey field crews, and clerical personnel.

Like many small-business IT departments, Gabe Abramson is a one-person shop responsible for building, maintaining, and upgrading all of Brelje & Race’s computer systems and networks. “Malware protection is extremely critical to our business, since every hour our network is down represents a substantial revenue loss,” Abramson said. “Security is especially important for our government contracts that are often highly classified and have specific requirements for ensuring that proprietary data is protected from viruses and malware.”

The Power of Centralized Management
When Abramson joined Brelje & Race almost 10 years ago, the company was using McAfee® antivirus solutions, but in a fragmented manner with no centralized management. Individual departments were manually updating their own software. “There were three different versions installed and virus definitions were not being updated consistently. In my first six months, I had to rebuild at least a dozen workstations due to preventable infections,” Abramson said. “I knew McAfee could be a very powerful solution if it were managed properly.”

After Abramson installed McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator® (McAfee ePO™) software, his experience was similar to many other small businesses—everything changed for the better. Once McAfee ePO software was installed, it tied together all of the disconnected departmental implementations of the antivirus software. McAfee ePO software provided a single, centralized dashboard from which to manage all virus definition updates and track antivirus activity, providing the foundation for a unified corporate policy on malware protection.

Returning to a Proven Solution
Several years ago, Brelje & Race made a budgetary decision to switch the antivirus system. “Within a month of installing the first vendor’s solution, most of our end users had dropped off the system—and I was spending too much time having to re-establish links between the endpoints and the management server,” Abramson recalled. “The second vendor’s solution didn’t have the configuration capabilities I needed to create separate rules for individual workstations or workgroups,” Abramson added.

“The two competitor solutions had centralized servers that were somewhat similar to the capabilities of McAfee ePO software, but provided nowhere near the functionality,” Abramson said. “Neither of the solutions we tried offered the capability for me to control the security settings of users’ workstations.”

After spending time and money on other vendors’ solutions, with a worsening security posture, Abramson made the decision to migrate the environment back to McAfee ePO platform and McAfee VirusScan Enterprise software. Immediately, Abramson noticed that the McAfee solution had a tremendous impact on the time he spent on connection and configuration tasks. “I no longer had to run around to individual machines and interrupt users so I could check their security settings or install updates,” said Abramson. The result— Abramson was able to offer end users a better experience without sacrificing the highest quality of protection.

“For the same user price as many other standalone user antivirus solutions, the McAfee suite gives us much more—such as centralized management through McAfee ePO software and protection for our Exchange server.”

Gabe Abramson,
Manager of Information Technology

Endpoint and Email Security
In addition to VirusScan software protecting every endpoint, Brelje & Race has adopted McAfee Security for Email Servers to provide multilayered protection for incoming and outgoing email via the company’s Microsoft Exchange Server.

“McAfee solutions are extremely important to our security strategy—giving us peace of mind that our endpoints have complete protection from malware that could have a profound effect on our business,” said Abramson.

“Brelje & Race is committed to being the best in the field, and McAfee solutions are playing a key role in helping us achieve that goal.”

Gabe Abramson,
Manager of Information Technology

Streamlined Management and Reporting
McAfee ePO software gives Abramson a centralized dashboard from which to manage the entire security environment including every endpoint and the Exchange server. With McAfee ePO software’s group-management features, he has created individualized security parameters for workgroups based on user roles.

Using McAfee ePO software’s rich reporting capabilities, Abramson runs a weekly report of all systems in the enterprise to ensure that every endpoint is up to date and all agents are communicating. “It’s rare that I’ll see a red flag, but when one pops up I’m able to take immediate action and head off the issue before it becomes a problem,” he said.

Maximizing the Security Manager’s Time
With his time at a premium, Abramson places a high value on solutions that automate tedious and time-consuming tasks. “McAfee ePO software is a tremendous timesaver—in fact, it’s cut the time I spend configuring and updating individual workstations by as much as 90%,” said Abramson. “With McAfee ePO software, I can do these tasks in the background in a fraction of the time, and without disturbing our employees.”

A Wise Investment for the Big Picture
The Brelje & Race management team is a true believer in McAfee security solutions. The company is planning to adopt McAfee Data Loss Prevention in the next phase of their security strategy. They are also considering McAfee Web and Email Gateway when their current vendor’s contract expires.

“Brelje & Race’s security philosophy focuses on the big picture. Our management is willing to invest in the best-available technology in order to protect the network and lower the cost of maintenance over the long term,” Abramson said. “It’s a point of pride—and a big selling point for potential clients—that we have adopted an enterprise solution capable of protecting thousands of endpoints, even though we only have 40.”

Brelje & Race Consulting Engineers

Customer profile

Civil and environmental engineering firm with more than 40 employees

Industry

Engineering

IT environment

40 endpoints, workstations and laptops running a mixture of Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8

Challenge

Provide enterprise security while freeing up IT manager from tedious security tasks

McAfee solution

  • McAfee VirusScan Enterprise software
  • McAfee Security for Email Servers
  • McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator software

Results

  • IT manager’s time spent configuring and updating individual workstations cut by 90%
  • Centralized management ensures that all workstations are up to date with latest protection
  • Protection running in the background without intruding on employees’ work
  • Comprehensive and centrallymanaged solution for same price as many standalone antivirus products