Saint Gertrude High School is the only all-girls high school for grades 9–12 in the greater Richmond, Virginia area. With a staff of 50 and a student population of 200, the Catholic preparatory day school offers a unique experience for its students.
As Technology Coordinator Thomas Glass shares, “We are truly one big family here, helping each other in any way we can. We also provide a special learning environment that blends academics, Christian values, and local culture. For example, we are within walking distance to multiple museums so our teachers can incorporate Richmond’s fine arts experience into their classroom learning.”
As a one-person IT department, Thomas manages nearly 120 desktop computers and laptops for staff members, as well as a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for students. Thomas offers help desk hours for students and ensures every student device has up-to-date antivirus installed.
“With cybercriminals always finding new ways to fool users, my biggest challenge is ensuring our network stays shielded from viruses and malware. Throughout the day, I’m keeping staff devices managed and maintained, helping students with any range of device issues, and checking our network status,” explains Thomas. “This can be a pretty big job for a one-person team. I need strong security software and tools that help me extend my capabilities and save time.
When Thomas joined Saint Gertrude to run their IT operations, the high school was using the on-premise version of AVG Antivirus. He switched to the free version of Avast Antivirus and then evaluated cloud-based solutions, including Avast Business Antivirus and Sophos. In October 2018, Thomas chose Avast Business Managed Antivirus and the Cloud Management Console.
“A key benefit of upgrading to Avast Business Managed Antivirus was the ability to schedule tasks and receive updates and alerts. From the console, I can now schedule full scans to run monthly, manage virus definition and program updates, set up alerts, and monitor the status of each user device in our network. I’m working much more efficiently,” he adds.
Thomas is also beta testing the new Avast Business Patch Management service, available for the Cloud Management Console and as a standalone service, and plans to adopt it.
“As a one-person IT department, trying to keep up with the volume of Windows and third-party software patches needed is challenging. In the console’s Patch Management display, now I can see all of the vendor software patches available. From the device settings, I can select the scans I want and schedule the times I want to deploy these. It will be nice to have everything – the AV, patch, settings, and controls – all in one console.”
“I also like the tool’s restart option. It lets me send a notification to users so they can log off, and then I can restart and ensure the patches are installed.”
Thomas estimates he is saving 60 hours each month through the console’s capabilities and has improved efficiency by 75%. “Upgrading to Avast Business Managed Antivirus was long overdue,” he says. “Now I can easily access tools from the Cloud Management Console and deploy services. I can schedule tasks in seconds and receive automatic reminders and alerts when threats are blocked. All of this is a big time saver.”
He is also putting a new patching process in place and says the capabilities of the upcoming Patch Management service will contribute to the hours saved, “I can sometimes spend 30 minutes several times a day updating users’ computers, and I may need to do this at their desks, which requires more time. The ability to automate patching right from the console will be a great addition.”