go-cloudMichael Belisle, IT manager at Fisher & Sons, in Burlington, WA, explains how GFI Cloud helps ease the load of IT management and make his life easier as a one-man IT team. He is interviewed by Jackie Wake.

Tell us about your set up and the main challenges you had to address?

Our IT footprint consists of over 100+ seats, 18 virtual servers, 5 major offices, and users spread out over 4 states in the USA. A total of 80% of my end user base are remote users. In my environment, it is important for me to find tools that allow me to do more with minimal time and money invested.

How did GFI Cloud help?

GFI Cloud’s tools have helped me keep my environment secure with minimal up-front investment and a very straight-forward and intuitive web interface.

My requirements were for a cloud-based, centralized management console built around robust security software. GFI Cloud fitted the bill nicely in this regard.

Patch management used to be a challenge; our WSUS server was not the right solution for my distributed environment.  With GFI Cloud, I can easily configure patch management and I have peace of mind that my environment is secure and up-to-date.

What changes have you seen since implementing GFI Cloud?

The overall incidence of infected machines has gone down dramatically since the deployment of GFI Cloud. The product just seems to catch and prevent more viruses and malware than previous tools I have used. In addition, the centralized console has saved me having to deploy internal servers/services to improve security.

Let’s talk money. How has GFI Cloud impacted your IT spend?

GFI Cloud saves IT money on internal servers, and saves the business money in terms of lost productivity and clean-up costs on infected machines. Compared to the competition, the price point of GFI Cloud and its various services are reasonable and competitive.

Have end users noticed anything different in how IT is being managed?

The end-user experience has improved with the deployment of GFI Cloud.  Rather than users being somewhat responsible to ensure patches are run, GFI Cloud patch management has taken that burden away.  In addition, the antivirus service works effectively in the background without causing them disruption.

With prevention being one of the key components of GFI Cloud, system up-time and overall user productivity has improved significantly.

Has GFI Cloud saved you time?

It’s difficult to put an exact number on, but GFI Cloud has definitely saved me time on security and patch-related “break/fix.” With a large and distributed user base, prevention is the best way to reduce the need to travel and perform repairs, and GFI Cloud has been a key tool in my arsenal in terms of issue prevention.

What’s your top tip for IT admins using GFI Cloud for the first time?

Take a look at your antivirus scanning and patch management schedules; it’s worth tweaking them to match the behaviour of your user environment. I would recommend using a pilot group of users to test these settings to find what works best for you.

What’s the next step in your security strategy?

I’m looking forward to testing and deploying the Web Protection service which should provide an additional tier of security to my network.

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