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AppSense Calls a Halt on Information Theft

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AppSense Calls a Halt on Information Theft
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Texas School District Shuts Down Student Hackers with AppSense Application Manager

AppSense, the global leader of secure user environment management (UEM), today announced that Pearland Independent School District (ISD) has implemented AppSense Application Manager to safeguard its environment from malware, ransomware and hackers attempting to breach endpoints on the school network.

Pearland ISD, located south of Houston, Texas, serves most of the city of Pearland, the city of Brookside Village, and unincorporated areas in Brazoria County including Silverlake, a planned community. Over 3,000 teachers and staff and 21,100 students depend on Pearland ISD’s computing resources to be reliable and responsive to enable them do their jobs and complete coursework.

Of primary concern is the personal information retained on Pearland ISD’s servers for teachers, staff, students and parents including bank account information, social security number, home addresses, telephone numbers, and more.  While the school district was employing a range of measures to secure its network, it had no technology in place to secure the 15,000 endpoints used by teachers, staff, and students.

One of the threats facing Pearland ISD involved a student bringing malicious tools into the classroom via a pen drive and using them to breach the system from within. The student hacker also downloaded Active Directory tools and UltraSerf to support his efforts to break into student accounts. While combatting this threat and dealing with the student, Pearland ISD also suffered a ransomware attack.

As part of their recovery from these dual attacks, Pearland ISD’s IT team vowed to find a solution that would secure their endpoints and protect school district data without locking down those endpoints, or placing extreme restraints on end users. After a recommendation from its trusted solution provider Logical Front, Pearland ISD acquired and implemented AppSense Application Manager, enabling the school district’s IT team to detect and prevent unauthorized executable apps from running within the network for the added layer of protection it needed.

Now any user trying to start up an application not included on the district’s “safe list” is blocked from doing so, eliminating the danger of the introduction of harmful software to the school district’s system via endpoints. Application Manager also put a stop to activities like gaming during lab time that were robbing students of valuable instructional time.

“You can’t put a price on security. You’re talking about people’s lives. Just ask the people that shopped at Target. People will be cleaning that up for years to come,” said Greg Bartay, director of technology, Pearland ISD. “You have to have a zero trust policy with virtual firewalls throughout your network and layered defenses. AppSense helps achieve that on the endpoint.”

“Endpoints are among the most vulnerable points in today’s infrastructure,” said Jed Ayres, Senior Vice President of Marketing, AppSense. “By protecting them from ransomware attacks, personal information theft risk and malware vulnerabilities, AppSense helps organizations like Pearland ISD regain endpoint control while delivering the true peace of mind that private information is both safe and secure.”

AppSense Application Manager overcomes endpoint security challenges by providing policy-based control to security teams and desktop administrators that secures against intentional and unintentional user actions while delivering unprecedented visibility into endpoints. Kernel-level filter drivers intercept file execution before application launch and using the practice of “Trusted Ownership,” enterprises are able to go beyond traditional whitelisting and blacklisting to ensure that only applications from trusted sources can run. For more information about Application Manager visit: http://www.appsense.com/products/application-manager.

To read the complete case study on Pearland ISD’s use of AppSense solutions, visit:  http://bit.ly/1MPecaD.

About AppSense

AppSense is the leading provider of UEM solutions for the secure endpoint. AppSense user virtualization technology allows IT to secure and simplify workspace control at scale across physical, virtual and cloud-delivered desktops.  AppSense Solutions have been deployed by over 3,600 enterprises worldwide to 9 million endpoints. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA with offices around the world. For more information please visit www.appsense.com.

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