Founded in 1850, the University of Dayton is the largest private university in Ohio and one of the top ten largest Catholic universities in the United States. The University of Dayton has over 70 academic programs for its 10,000 students and is one of the most wired campuses in the country. All university housing is wired for high-speed internet access, and all students are required to provide their own laptops.
The University of Dayton provides high-speed network access to approximately 12,000 students faculty and staff users. To protect the network from user PCs infected with malware, the university uses Cisco NAC Appliance to allow only PCs running an approved endpoint security solution to touch the network. Recently the university decided to implement Symantec Endpoint Protection as the approved standard. To prevent operating system driver collisions between SEP and the legacy applications, implementing the standard required the uninstallation of a variety of legacy security applications on PCs of faculty, staff, and students prior to installation of SEP. The university wanted to avoid requiring users to manually uninstall legacy applications as this would result in a high level of support calls. In addition, the university determined that neither the standard Windows uninstall utility nor SEP was robust and reliable enough to detect and completely uninstall the wide variety of endpoint security applications on user PCs.
Users attempting to connect to the university network undergo an endpoint posture check by Cisco NAC Appliance. The posture check determines what security applications are installed on the user’s PC. Users not running SEP were notified of the requirement to do so and redirected to a download site maintained by the university. University of Dayton IT staff wrote a wrapper around the SEP installer that invokes AppRemover, now part of the OESIS Framework.
Uninstallation by AppRemover is complete, meaning information frequently left behind by using either the standard Windows uninstall utility or utilities provided by the legacy security application vendor is removed by AppRemover. In the case of security applications, this additional cleanup by AppRemover is a powerful feature because information left behind by the legacy security application may waste resources (e.g. CPU and disk space), report incorrect status to the Windows Security Center (e.g. reporting an antivirus is installed and running when that is not the case) and even prevent the stable install of the replacement security application.
11,000+ PCs transitioned during a month-long period from upwards of 30 legacy security applications to SEP implemented with far fewer support cases handled by the 25 person University of Dayton help desk staff than in previous years. Now standardized on SEP, faculty, staff and students are checked by Cisco NAC Appliance for the health state of their installed SEP whenever they access the university network.
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"Transitioning from a variety of security applications to SEP literally affected every member of the university community. Because of a short window and limited IT staff resources - the capability to detect and completely uninstall a wide variety of legacy security applications had to be extremely robust and error-free, and AppRemover delivered."
Rob Burghardt, Sr. Systems Engineer, University of Dayton, IT