Download St Catherine’s School
Located in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, St Catherine’s School is the oldest independent Anglican girls’ school in Australia. For over 150 years, St Catherine’s School has catered to a growing number of students from Kindergarten to Year 12. In 1856 Jane Barker, wife of Bishop Barker, founded St Catherine’s School in the pursuit of providing a standard of education for daughters of the Clergy that rivaled the education given to boys. Download now
"We’ve been using Sophos to protect our emails and web for 14 months now and its proven to be fuss-free and easy to manage. Traditionally, the web filtering process could take our team up to 1.5 hours but with Sophos, new threats are identified by their research labs and updated to our web filter appliance automatically."
Graeme Wallace, IT Manager at St Catherine’s School
For many years, St Catherine’s School was an Apple-focused school and provided only Apple laptops and desktops to its staff and students. Like many Apple users at the time, St Catherine’s School experienced little security threats as Apple composed only a small percentage of the computer marketplace and was an unattractive target for malware makers. During this period, St Catherine’s School experienced little IT security issues.
But in the early 2000s, the rising popularity of Apple products as well as the flood of worms and Trojan attacks that spread globally were growing concerns for St Catherine’s School. The school also purchased a number of PC desktops and laptops, which increased St Catherine’s exposure to potential security threats. But St Catherine’s potential risks weren’t exclusively external. Internally, students were increasingly bringing into the school portable media such as DVDs or external hard drives which potentially contained harmful content often found on popular peer-2-peer sites.
According to Graeme Wallace, St Catherine School’s IT Manager, “Like most schools, we were facing security threats from both inside and outside our perimeter. We needed reliable security software that would protect devices from malware without requiring excessive maintenance from our tech support team.”
In 2001, the school sought assistance from their software licensing partner Computelec who recommended using a Sophos product. Sophos Endpoint & Security Control is an integrated solution that detects malware and suspicious behaviour and files on the school’s more than 700 PC and Mac devices. The solution would also protect the school’s devices against removable storage devices with dangerous content or any unathorised applications from students or staff.
Almost nine years since Sophos was first implemented, St Catherine’s School has dramatically reduced the number of support queries from its student and staff and witnessed zero malware attacks.
“We’ve seen a notable drop in our workload from a security perspective. On average, we only respond to a support query once every four days which means we have more time and resources to provide proactive support for our students,” said Wallace.
Changing Threat Landscape
In the past 12 months, St Catherine’s School has witnessed new types of threats affecting its students and staff; identity theft and privacy.
“There’s been greater awareness in Government about privacy and we are cognisant of this in the education sector. Social networking websites such as Facebook are very popular amongst our students and for many, it is one of the main ways they stay in touch with their families who live interstate or overseas. Our policy is not to ban access to social networking sites but provide access to students under tight guidelines and with the proper education to ensure they are kept safe online,” said Wallace.
With the increasing use of social networking sites and the rollout of email for its student, St Catherine’s School sought additional security to complement its existing solution. St Catherine’s School turned once again to the expertise of education technology specialists Computelec who recommended Sophos Email Security and Data Protection and Sophos Web Security and Control using Sophos WS1000 and ES1000 appliances.
Together, the two Sophos products provide comprehensive protection from inbound and outbound threats whilst enabling safe, seamless Internet access to students.
“We’ve been using Sophos to protect our emails and web for 14 months now and its proven to be fuss-free and easy to manage. Traditionally, the web filtering process could take our team up to 1.5 hours but with Sophos, new threats are identified by their research labs and updated to our web filter appliance automatically.”
“Sophos is a leader in providing complete security and control in the corporate sector and they can be trusted to do the same for the education industry,” said Wallace.