Hi all – I thought I would share another Forefront customer story.  This one is tied to our recent posts on secure collaboration.

Founded in 1824, Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a leading health-sciences center with one of the top 10 cardiovascular centers in the United States. MUSC comprises a 700-bed medical center and six colleges with 13,000 full-time employees, including physicians, researchers, professors, and administrative staff – as well as 2,600 medical students. (More below.)

Like many large organizations, MUSC relies heavily on Exchange for email and SharePoint for collaboration. For example, the entire medical university uses SharePoint to share critical information: the IT department manages work schedules, project documentation, and its knowledge base; colleges use it to post classroom resources, such as syllabi; and researchers use it to share the latest medical research that benefits the greater medical community and, in the end, plays a part in saving people’s lives.

Security challenges were impeding the benefits of collaboration, however, and increasing IT costs and inefficiencies.  Approximately 30 weekly malware incidents were taking up as much as 120 IT hours each week.  Worse, they could leave physicians and nurses without the critical equipment they use to improve patients’ health.

The IT team at MUSC needed to replace its existing security solution to better protect its collaboration and messaging environment from malware and other threats.  In particular, it wanted to prevent specific content or file types from being uploaded and spread across its network.

MUSC moved to Forefront, taking advantage of an Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) to implement Forefront Client Security and the new Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange and SharePoint – saving $200,000 on licensing costs. 

“Even though Forefront products are included in our CAL agreement, it really goes beyond money and comes down to ‘does it work?’” explains Clay Taylor, Endpoint Security Engineer at MUSC. “After seeing Forefront in action, the answer is ‘yes it does.’

MUSC also uses Active Directory Domain Services to control identity-based access to SharePoint sites.  In addition, Forefront Threat Management Gateway serves as a web proxy for Exchange and SharePoint to guard against threats from unmanaged PCs that access the MUSC network.

As a result, MUSC has reduced malicious software incidents by 45 percent to save about 108 hours each month for IT personnel, meaning they can  focus on more strategic projects…and spend fewer nights and weekends re-imaging machines.

The IT department at MUSC is now better able to fulfill its mission of facilitating an environment where nurses, doctors, staff, and students can collaborate and collectively provide top-quality patient care and make positive contributions to the latest in medical research.