US Environmental Protection Agency Saves Money and Protects Data with Absolute

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to protect human health and the environment by ensuring that federal laws and policies consider environmental protection and limit risks to human health where people live, learn, and work. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the EPA also has ten regional offices in the United States.

With about one device (laptop, desktop or tablet) per employee, the IT department of the EPA is responsible for overseeing software allocation, hardware health, access rights, and agency compliance for a fluctuating number of corporate devices, usually between 1500-2000.

Challenges

Using an in-house product for asset management and asset tracking, the EPA IT team had to conduct software and hardware audits by hand, and had no way of knowing if they were within or exceeding software license limits without surveying each user individually. This left them at risk of being noncompliant with software vendor contracts. This manual process also presented time-consuming issues with patch management.

Solution

In 2011 they sought a new solution, compared several, and chose Absolute. As a government agency, it is essential for the EPA to track, manage and secure the computers, laptops, and tablets in their deployment—something they are now able to do easily and cost effectively with Absolute.

“Absolute offers so many tools we find very valuable,” says Williams. “We can now see which software is loaded on a machine to determine if we’re maxing out or underutilizing software licenses. We’ve been able to transfer unused software licenses to users who need them, saving the office or division from buying additional licenses; allowing those monies to be used on other expenditures.”

“Absolute has provided peace of mind, now that we are allowing more of our data to leave the region more frequently in the hands of our users. That’s not saying that mobile devices will not go missing or even get lost from time to time. But that we have measures in place that ensures us that our data will not be compromised. When a device is protected by Absolute, and has been reported missing, we have the choice of freezing the hard drive or wiping it clean; and we have a greater chance of recovery. We rely on Persistence technology to maintain a connection with each device. Even if a perpetrator deletes everything on the hard drive, we know the Absolute software agent will simply reactivate and reconnect.”

The EPA has often made use of the geotechnology features available from Absolute, allowing them to see the location of a device at any point in the work day. End-of-life certificates and software audit reports can be generated instantly to satisfy compliance requirements.

“Deployment was painless... and I’ve been impressed by the exceptional customer service I’ve received. Our account manager went above and beyond in making sure we had products set up appropriately and installed correctly so we could use the functions we needed.”

Walter Williams, Desktop Technical Manager & Information Specialist, United States Environmental Protection Agency

Results

1
SAVES TIME & REDUCES ERRORS
Automated software and hardware audits take minutes versus days, eliminating accidental oversights due to human error
2
SAVES MONEY
Underutilized software licenses can be redistributed versus buying additional licenses
3
EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION
Protects data: Misplaced laptops can be remotely frozen or wiped clean to avoid data breaches