School District Defends 125,000 Desktops Against Tomorrow’s Cyberthreats by Migrating to McAfee Endpoint Security

By on Mar 02, 2017

“When you move from a tiny apartment, it doesn’t take long and you can use a Honda Civic,” says Desktop Security Manager Mehdi Harandi, who oversees endpoint security at Fairfax County Public Schools, the 11th largest school district in the U.S. “But when you try to move from a five-bedroom house, it takes a lot more time and the Civic just won’t cut it anymore; you need an 18-wheeler.”

Harandi uses this analogy to describe the impact of the exponential growth in files and data stored on the school district’s desktops upon malware scanning. With so much data on PCs these days, anti-virus scans simply never finished full scans on some of the desktops, and, in numerous cases, interrupted user productivity.

The need for an “18-wheeler”—that is, much faster, more efficient scanning—drove Harandi to migrate the school district’s 125,000 desktops from McAfee Endpoint Threat Prevention to McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS), the new more collaborative, more intelligent endpoint protection framework which also provides dramatically improved performance.

Using the migration assistant tool available through McAfee ePO, Harandi migrated the 125,000 endpoints to McAfee ENS version 10.5. “Some of our security policies apply to the McAfee Endpoint Security Threat Prevention module, some to its Firewall module, and some to its Web Control module, so the McAfee Endpoint Security migration tool helped immensely in translating from old platform to new,” explains Harandi. “It did an excellent job.”

Harandi also notes that the migration tool helped him understand the new endpoint platform better as well. “It brings you up to speed quickly and fast forwards the migration process,” he says. “It easily saved me a month if not more.”

Benefits Far Exceed Faster Performance and Happier Users

With McAfee ENS protecting all the desktops belonging to Fairfax County Public Schools, scan time is no longer a problem. “My phone used to ring off the hook on Tuesdays [full scan day] and now it doesn’t” Harandi says. In addition, because scans are performed when desktops are idle, endless scans that seriously impacted user experience are a thing of the past.

But that’s not all. Harandi notes that upgrading to McAfee ENS has definitely improved Fairfax County Public Schools’ ability to detect malware and block it. For instance, since implementing McAfee ENS, Web-generated malware infections entering the environment through users’ laptops when they are outside the network have been substantially reduced.

In addition, the modular design of McAfee ENS makes Harandi’s job easier and saves him a lot of time. As an example, he cites a recent conflict between an application on a user’s desktop and the anti-virus scanning operation:

“In the past, I had to disable antivirus protection completely and leave the desktop unprotected until the patch became available,” he says. “But with McAfee Endpoint Security, I was able to find exactly which module was causing the issue, temporarily disable just that module, and find the conflict within less than one hour. In the past, finding such a conflict could easily have taken eight to 20 hours.”

Furthermore, McAfee ENS saves Harandi time, because, he says, “I can trust it is working…With McAfee Endpoint Security, I set it up once and then can forget about it 99 percent of the time…Management doesn’t have to hear about endpoint security at all.”

Thanks to all these benefits, Fairfax County Public Schools is in a much better position to face the tomorrow’s cyberthreats—with just one person managing desktop security. “With McAfee Endpoint Security, we now have endpoint protection that positions us well for the future,” concludes Harandi.

To read the complete case study with more details on Fairfax County Public Schools’ implementation of McAfee ENS [and how Harandi almost singlehandedly manages endpoint security], click here. Get your questions answered by tweeting @McAfee_Business.

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