Atlantic Hospitality & Technologies, Inc. (AHT) supplies high- end point-of-sale (POS) products to the retail and hospitality industries throughout Atlantic Canada. AHT has more than 70 years of combined experience offering a full range of products and services to suit any customer’s needs, including fine dining POS, fast food POS, retail scanning systems, digital video recording (DVR) systems, server and guest paging systems, and more. AHT serves a wide customer base, from single standalone establishments to some of the largest companies in Canada.
AHT takes pride in offering its clients current and relevant solutions that help them run their businesses more effectively and cost-efficiently. In this vein, AHT realized it needed to upgrade and modernize the antivirus (AV) protection it provided to customers. A significant number of AHT’s clients were still running Windows XP, which made the AV product (ESET) they relied on increasingly ineffective at protecting them from malware.
According to AHT Director of Operations Pat Septon, the company was also dissatisfied with their AV solution’s management interface, which was difficult and time-consuming to navigate. AHT wanted to gain greater visibility into the threat activity their AV solution was encountering and preventing, so they could clearly demonstrate the added value they were providing to their clients.
What’s more, the endpoints being secured were primarily POS systems, and their users were mostly restaurant employees. That presented a two-fold challenge. First, the devices required a security solution that didn’t slow the machine’s performance. And second, the high employee turnover rate didn’t warrant an investment in security awareness training for end users.
Septon began investigating alternative AV products and was impressed by Webroot® Business Endpoint Protection. Its continued support for Windows XP was a key feature, but Septon also appreciated the control afforded by the Webroot console. “It offers the ability to get proactive and see what issues are happening. That’s a crucial capability for us,” he noted.
Septon also found Webroot’s deployment particularly straightforward, noting that its lack of conflict with other AV products meant that AHT did not need to uninstall its previous AV solution before Webroot was rolled out.
He was also impressed by Webroot’s lightweight client, noting that “ESET’s footprint was very heavy and it took forever to do scans.” Webroot’s initial install package is extremely small because no signature database is stored within the client software. That database is typically the largest part of a security client, but Webroot maintains its over-250TB signature database in the cloud.
Eliminating the need for signature updates was “very important” for AHT, Septon observed. He also lauded Webroot’s faster scans. For example, Webroot’s initial scan takes only minutes (compared with the hours other solutions require), and its subsequent full system scans typically take two minutes or less. “Our scans would start in the morning and they would still be scanning after I came back from lunch,” Septon said.
After deploying Webroot, Septon immediately noticed a significant decrease in infections. “We used to average a ransomware-related service ticket once a week prior to Webroot, now it’s down to nothing.”
He continued, “Webroot’s centralized administration helps us know what’s happening in our business, helps us show customers the value we are providing. I can say, ‘In the last three weeks you had 10 threat attempts that we blocked.’ And if a customer is considering canceling our protection, we can instantly turn it off and show them exactly what it is like to not have that security...Customers tend to come back a lot because of this,” he chuckled.
Malware-related downtime was a particularly damaging factor for Septon’s POS clients–it rendered them unable to process payments when POS services were suspended. Septon stressed that Webroot’s superior protection helps AHT deliver added value to customers, which helps with customer retention. “In our business, there’s no money in hardware,” he explained. “It’s all about service and what value our protection can add to that experience.”
Perhaps the most unexpected change Septon experienced was the increased security awareness that Webroot instilled in AHT. “Webroot made me painfully aware of how many threats are out there. We’re more acutely informed about the malware issues facing us than we ever were before, we’re much more attuned to what’s happening.”
By contrast, he noted that his previous AV solution made it difficult to monitor threat activity. “You would have to breach its wall to see what was happening, so ultimately we just set up the program and trusted that it was working.”
Septon concluded, “I feel more empowered with Webroot because it gives me the confidence when dealing with customers to articulate issues with them. It’s become a big selling point for us.”