Central Bank & Trust in Wyoming thought it was doing things right when it came to security: it invested in a big-name antivirus solution, but some malware snuck by anyway. Although no data was lost, the damage to productivity was extensive: because it had to shut off its branch offices, the staff was disrupted for at least a day.
That's when the bank's one-man IT team, Travis Homi, decided to invest in a cloud-based security service specifically designed with small and midsize businesses in mind to protect the roughly 100 workstations and servers under his watch. (The technology the bank uses is spread out over five locations.)
After considering three different options, he chose the cloud-based GFI Cloud service, because it offered a centralized way for him to manage both operating system and software patches, as well as the bank's security tasks. (Central Bank & Trust already uses the antivirus options and is adding the Web Protection features to control Internet access on the company's systems.) "It offered a centralized management console, it was in the right price range, and it was easy to use," Homi said.
Central Bank & Trust was already familiar with technology from GFI Software: it was using the GFI LANGuard offering for patch management; patch management is now part of the cloud services he uses from the company.
For Homi, one of the biggest benefits is time saved: He estimates that GFI Cloud saves him about five hours every week, which translates into six weeks annually. In part, that's because he can run certain updates directly from the cloud, rather than over the company's LAN, which was slower. By changing this approach, Homi was able to decommission some hardware assigned for this purpose.
There's a minimum purchase requirement for GFI Cloud: you need to outfit at least 10 systems with any individual service. After a 30-day free trial, the various service options are priced at $12 per year per computer per service.
GFI Cloud is developed by GFI Software, a company that explicitly focuses on small to midsize businesses with up to 1,000 employees. The developer currently has a customer base of around 200,000 SMBs; aside from security and network management, it focuses on collaboration, faxing and mail archiving. The company is a long-time Gold ISV Partner of Microsoft.