About Pepperdine Device Management

The latest developments in device management at Pepperdine, along with relevant informational links and our patch log.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Frozen but Not Vulnerable

Prior to implementing Device Management to secure our network, many of our campus computer labs and public computers relied on a product known as Deep Freeze to help mitigate malware infections. Deep Freeze works by taking a snapshot of the computer after it's setup and no matter what changes happen to it after that, automatically reverts to that snapshot when the computer is rebooted. So no matter what kind of nasty virus may have found its way onto the computer or whatever infected file inadvertently gets transferred to the computer, a simple reboot would get rid of it and the computer would be clean and happy again.

An unfortunate side-effect however, was that any security updates or system patches that were applied without going through a special process to update the snapshot would also get wiped clean on reboot. Previously these updates had to be manually applied by the lab manager or other IT staff to each computer protected with Deep Freeze, but we are now happy to report that we have successfully developed an automatic process that takes care of it utilizing Device Management. This will save countless hours of employee time and allows greater efficiency in network management and increased security.

We ran a pilot test of the process in late June on selected computers in Cafe Fresca and have recently expanded it to include some of the computers in Payson Library. Full implementation across all Pepperdine computers protected with Deep Freeze will be rolled out by the end of the year.

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