For fun, I asked fellow school districts in San Antonio, Texas area how much they were paying for antivirus/anti-malware solutions...for large districts (42K students), $300K over 3 year period. I was surprised at how much they were paying! Many school districts combine this desktop protection tool with Fortigate to prevent malware intrusion. In this way, school computers are at less risk of contracting virus/malware because malware intrusion solutions protect them.
Take computers home, though, and they risk catching whatever is out there and then bringing it into the District. The question is, will your desktop anti-virus/malware protection hold up against the bad stuff that students and staff may expose their hardware to?
Although I'd heard of avast! anti-malware solution, I had no idea that it was available at no charge to educational institutions, such as K-12 school districts. Several of my colleagues in Texas mentioned it , and I was thrilled to see this information that was sent to me by avast! Free for EDU folks (thx, Stephanie!).
The application process is quite simple and we were on our way quickly.
All public educational institutions in the US are eligible to use AVAST’s premium, business-grade avast! Endpoint Protection Suite at no cost. Each educational license includes twocontrol options, which enables IT administrators to remotely manage antivirus protection on laptops, desktops and servers across any campus, large or small.
- Twocontrol options (with each educational license)
- Protection for Windows endpoints
- Protection for servers supporting 5–30,000 endpoint devices
Who is eligible
- Remote management for all supported devices on campus
You must be a public or non-profit educational institution/organization (this includes grades K-12 and higher, vocational / trade schools, head start programs or other entities with educational purposes under 501(c) of the IRS Publication 557 - Organization Reference Chart section) or public library, operating in the United States (includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
How to apply
Review our Eligibility and Participation Requirements and then complete and submit the application form. If you have questions about the application process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are piloting avast! on Windows computers, as well as placing the Mac version on Macintosh computers. With Windows computers, there is a management console that allows you to easily install avast! on those computers remotely...that's right, no need to touch the machine. The Mac version isn't quite as far along, but if you have a remote desktop management system--such as JAMF's Casper Suite--then you can push it out without issue.
Here's some info from their press release:
The AVAST Free for Education program, which launched in November 2012, approaches the two-‐million-‐protected computers mark, freeing up about $20 million of US education budgets.
Six months since its launch, AVAST Free for Education covers nearly 2 million computers and servers belonging to over 1,400 schools, districts, universities, libraries, and other educational institutions. At market price, these institutions are saving $20 million per year by getting the AVAST enterprise-‐level protection for free.
“By now we are protecting computers for about 7 million students,” said Vincent Steckler, Chief Executive Officer of AVAST Software. “As the National Center for Education Statistics puts total US enrollment just over 75 million, we’re protecting roughly 10% of US students, which keeps us on track for the 30% market share we expect to have by the end of 2013.”
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