CylancePROTECT now safeguards your home computers

CylancePROTECT Home EditionSMU is pleased to introduce a new employee benefit to help you safeguard your family’s personal devices from malware, ransomware, and other cyber-attacks. We have partnered with Cylance® to protect our corporate devices, and as part of our steadfast commitment to information security, we are now happy to offer employees exclusive access to the same caliber of anti-malware/antivirus protection for up to 10 of your family’s devices (Windows and macOS supported) through Cylance’s Employee Purchase Program. For less than the cost of a Grande Iced Coffee, you can protect your home computer for a month from malware and viruses.  Continue reading CylancePROTECT now safeguards your home computers

Protecting Campus from Malware with Machine Learning

CylanceCylancePROTECT was introduced to the SMU campus in 2016 as a way to further secure SMU systems against viruses and malware. As the University became regularly inundated with malicious files, employees could not be expected to keep up with the volume and complexity of these new threats. As the threats evolved, so did our method of protection – machine learning. Continue reading Protecting Campus from Malware with Machine Learning

CylancePROTECT Protects SMU Campus

CylanceCylancePROTECT is an advanced threat protection program that utilizes machine learning and artificial intelligence to categorize files and running processes. Files deemed ‘unsafe’ or ‘abnormal’ are quarantined, while memory exploit attempts are blocked. Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, Cylance does not rely on daily virus definition updates or weekly system scans. This means it will use less CPU, save memory, and be easier on your hard drive, which should provide a better user experience for you. Continue reading CylancePROTECT Protects SMU Campus

New AntiVirus Software Coming Soon

CylanceOIT is currently testing a new antivirus application called CylancePROTECT.  Cylance is a robust and powerful application that blocks virus and malware threats before they take hold.  Rather than relying on particular virus definitions, Cylance targets behavioral patterns of threatening applications.  Certain applications that are benign yet exhibit some of these behavioral patterns can be whitelisted for the organization at the administrator level.  The product is much more effective but does shift some of the oversight responsibility to the IT security administrators.
CylancePROTECT
We have deployed Cylance only to OIT computers to review the behavior and effectiveness of the application.  We are releasing Cylance to all Macs over the next few weeks in preparation for the end of our McAfee subscription.  Mac users will begin to see the Cylance application on their IT managed computer.  It will run initially in monitoring mode only.  After the two-week review, we will convert it to blocking mode and then remove McAfee from those systems.

More detail regarding the deployment of CylancePROTECT to Windows and Linux computers will be sent later this summer.

Microsoft Forefront Replacement Coming this Month!

Microsoft is discontinuing support for and replacing Forefront, our licensed anti-virus application for SMU Windows machines, with a solution called Endpoint Protection.  OIT will begin deploying this replacement product via LANDesk over the next several weeks.

About Endpoint Protection

Endpoint Protection provides anti-virus and anti-malware protection, detection and remediation capabilities.  The agent runs in the background and daily scans to ensure your computer is free from malware.  If malware is present, it will attempt to clean it.  Machines that cannot automatically clean will appear on a report monitored by OIT.  A consultant is then dispatched to remediate the malware.  This new solution functions the same way as Forefront.  Other than a different icon, you probably won’t notice a difference!

About the Installation

  1. Microsoft’s System Center (the engine behind the new Microsoft Endpoint Protection) will be deployed to Windows computers running the LANDesk agent.  When this happens, you can ignore a pop-up alert from Forefront indicating that new software is being installed.  After System Center installs in the background, a new folder is created under “All Programs” called “Microsoft System Center 2012 R2” which you can also ignore.
  2. endpointAs soon as Microsoft Systems Center installation is complete, Forefront will be uninstalled and Endpoint Protection will be deployed to the computer.  This process will cause two alerts to pop-up on your computer screen which you can safely ignore.  The first indicates that you need to update Forefront, and the second states that you need to install antivirus software.  Endpoint Protection will complete shortly after the two pop-up messages appear, and you’ll see new system tray icon.

The deployment is under testing within OIT.  We are scheduled to complete the test rollout on May 15.  Following the successful implementation, the deployment task will be approved for all SMU Windows machines.

Former Work-At-Home User Information

If you have previously used a home download of Microsoft Forefront on your home computers, a version of Endpoint Protection will no longer be available for faculty and staff to download for home use. For a free alternative, Microsoft offers Security Essentials, which is a free home version of Forefront for Windows Vista and Windows 7. If your home computer run Windows 8, antivirus and antispyware software is built-in, so no action is required unless you prefer a paid antivirus solution.
If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at 214-768-4357.