Area-wide protection with legal certainty
The digital revolution has taken root in all areas of life in the modern world. So the rapid spread of information and communication technologies is also affecting Austrian schools – and thus all school levels, directorate areas, teachers* and students. A uniform IT virus protection system was implemented for around 1,000 compulsory schools in Lower Austria.
The ubiquitous and increasing use of these technologies – the use of smartphones or tablets among students, and the networks among teachers, all the way to the state school board – can bring many new and more complex dangers and the positive effects. After all, users do not want to be spied on by third parties or contribute to the spread of malware because of a lack of security awareness and insufficiently secured devices. New threat scenarios, such as cryptovirus, have repeatedly swept through schools in waves if we look at the last five to six years. Due to the autonomy of Pﬂicht schools, more or less efficient standalone solutions have been used to date for virus protection. This has led to individual PCs and various types of end devices occasionally being infected by malware. The trend toward BYOD (“Bring your own Device”) has exacerbated the complexity, mainly since viruses can spread beyond the schools to the regional school board in a networked landscape. Links or attachments are quickly opened, which can spread crypto viruses and trigger data deletions or encryptions.
The advantages of a total solution are obvious
Although the Lower Austrian Pﬂichtschulen generally act autonomously when it comes to procurement, and the school communities decide whether and which systems to use, it was possible to implement an overall solution in 2016. Josef Staar (Office of the Lower Austrian Regional Government / Head of the Schools and Kindergartens Department) succeeded in convincing the municipal representatives of the advantages of a uniform and comprehensive IT security solution.:
- Reduction of complexity with different providers
- More superficial support, since the user interface is the same
- Cost advantage due to a framework agreement with one company (costs per school reduced))
For standalone solutions, IKARUS anti.virus and, in institutions with a network, security.manager will therefore be available to Lower Austrian Pﬂichtschulen free of charge from September 2016. Antivirus software protects personal data against all types of malware. The intrusion of cybercriminals is prevented in the long term. Easy installation, an intuitive user interface and regular updates of the virus database are just some of the many advantages.
IKARUS security.manager provides professional and easy protection from a central management console for organizations of any size. It allows easy conﬁguration, management, updates and monitoring of an unlimited number of anti.virus clients. The design is user-friendly and straightforward, so both inexperienced and skilled administrators can use this tool. Program and virus database updates can be easily distributed while also reducing network load. Helmut Neumayr, MSc, specialist in the area of information technology for the LSR NÖ, is convinced of the overall solution: “The total costs per school could be reduced despite the higher quality, while at the same time reducing complexity and improving support.“
On the part of IKARUS, a platform was created from which the schools can download the corresponding software. The authorizations for this are assigned via e-mail. The school’s support is carried out either by the EDP custodian or by the school IT supervisor. In case of problems or questions, the IKARUS technician is available in addition to the custodian. In his role as one of the IT supervisors for Compulsory schools in Lower Austria, Christoph Veit says that “the introduction of the security software was problem-free, also due to the excellent website of the manufacturer for the directorates and the teaching staff, who are also allowed to use the virus protection on private devices – the few feedbacks are a good sign in this sense!“
High satisfaction with the solution
Despite the increasingly intensive use of the Internet and the higher demands on virus protection, the central model has made it much easier to look after the networks. Summing up, Ing. Michael Graf, IT Coordinator for Education Region 4, is convinced of the overall solution: “We have finally managed to have almost ﬂeach-area protection for the nearly 1,000 Pﬂichtschulen in Lower Austria. And since it is a licensed product and not a ‘free version’, there is also legal certainty!“
Lower Austria Regional School Board