UBC Reports | Vol.
50 | No. 10 | Nov.
Campus-Wide Anti-Virus Program Saves Money and Grief
By Brian Lin
It’s like a giant virtual condom that covers more than
400 hectares of land and extends its protection remotely throughout
the Lower Mainland.
The analogy may be crass, but the cost-savings -- at more
than $12 million a year in lost productivity for faculty and
staff alone -- leaves no doubt about the significance of the
first major initiative rolled out by UBC’s newly established
IT Security Office.
Starting this fall, the IT Security Office is making anti-virus
and anti-spam software available to all 50,000 UBC students,
faculty and staff free of charge. The offer also extends to
the user’s home / personal computers.
“For a community as large and diverse as UBC, spam
and viruses present not just a nuisance but a significant
financial strain,” says Jens Haeusser, manager of IT
Security, who estimates 50-70 per cent of all e-mail received
at UBC is spam or virus messages.
“UBC e-mail users often spend more than 10 minutes
a day dealing with spam alone,” says Haeusser. “That,
combined with computer virus infections, makes up an estimated
$12 million in lost productivity each year.”
The software, provided by international anti-virus company
Sophos, is already being used in more than 1,500 campuses
in 30 countries. Customized to work seamlessly through UBC’s
high-speed and wireless networks, the software automatically
downloads updates every hour to protect against the latest
viruses, Trojans, worms and spyware so that “a virus
ate my homework” will no longer be a viable excuse.
Costing an estimated $500,000, the three-year program has
already met with great popularity. To date, over 3,000 copies
of the software have been downloaded.
UBC students, faculty and staff can get copies of the software
by visiting http://download.ubc.ca/.
Authentication requires a campus-wide login username and password,
which can be obtained at http://www.cwl.ubc.ca.