University of Derby boosts online security

The University of Derby is boosting its online security with a new rights management system covering staff and students.

The IT support team needed to manage and minimise the risks posed by users when downloading unknown applications, as well as ensuring compatibility with other incumbent applications and ensuring licensing conformity.

Users’ administrator rights have been removed and instead applications are now managed within a Privilege Guard system from Avecto, with rights elevated as and when required. This has resulted in a "dramatic drop" in virus and Trojan outbreaks, said the university.

The new system covers a network of over 4,000 desktops and laptops, with end users including students, developers, researchers, academics and admin staff.

Due to the diversity of courses across the university there are around 400 software applications that facilitate coursework to manage. In order to use many of these applications students previously required a high level of access, something which the IT support department did not feel comfortable with.

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Both staff and students had full administrative rights each time they logged on, which meant they were able to install their own software and change settings. However they could also accidentally install Trojans, malware and spyware, as well as peer-to-peer software.

Steve Dashfield, corporate academic systems manager at the University of Derby, said: “Privilege Guard has enabled us to deliver a high level of flexibility for our users, yet still allows us to maintain control across our desktop estate.”

Dashfield said the new system had saved the university a "substantial amount of support time and expense".

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