Voice of Experience: Singled Out

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2004-04-04 Print this article Print

Peoples Energy corporate security manager Joseph Gurga cut management costs by replacing antivirus software from two well-known vendors with a package from one smaller player.

Joseph Gurga
Peoples Energy
Corporate Security Manager
Chicago, Ill.

Manager's Profile: Gurga leads information-security planning and operations for the Chicago-area natural-gas service provider, which had $2.2 billion in revenue in 2003.

Belt and Suspenders: The company's previous antivirus strategy was to run software packages from two vendors. It used Network Associates' McAfee VirusScan on 1,800 desktop computers and Symantec's antivirus software on approximately 250 servers. "We wanted to hedge our bets," Gurga says.

Just Consolidate It: Recently, however, Gurga has found the major vendors' abilities to identify and block viruses have become comparable. Moreover, his team wanted to manage the antivirus infrastructure from a single, central console.

His Project: Last fall, Peoples Energy solicited bids for a corporatewide antivirus installation and received the most attractive offer from Trend Micro for a one-year license covering all of the gas company's desktop and servers. "We were paying three times that amount for our antivirus software previously," Gurga says. Peoples Energy completed the move to Trend's antivirus software in about three weeks in December.

Cutting Desk Visits: Peoples Energy spends about one-third as much time maintaining Trend's desktop antivirus software as it did with McAfee's, which Gurga says required up to 50 person-hours per week to update or fix. Problems with McAfee included conflicts with some of Peoples Energy's custom applications, he says. Network Associates says it's unaware of any such issues with the current versions of its products. But Gurga says his security team believes Trend's desktop agent is more stable. "The project has already paid for itself in terms of time we've saved maintaining it," he says.


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