Jesus College

How Varonis helps Jesus College monitor data and save significant time while doing so.

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The Customer

Location: Cambridge, England

Industry: Higher Education

Products: DatAdvantage for Windows

Established in 1496, Jesus College is a constituent College of the University of Cambridge, U.K.

jesus college

“We’ve tried a few other solutions, but Varonis DatAdvantage is so much more powerful. It gives us the in-depth view of all our files and folders that other solutions can’t.”

Susan Webb, Records and Information Manager, Jesus College Cambridge


  • More visibility of which users are accessing its data: The loss of students’ personal information is one of the biggest threats to Jesus College, so knowing who is accessing which piece of data is critical.
  • Least privilege model: Jesus College must ensure that only the right employees have access to the data that they need.
  • Easy management of data access and permissions: With a small IT team, Jesus College wants to manage access controls as efficiently as possible.
  • Enable Compliance: Jesus College is subject to the U.K.’s Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act and so it must prove that all data is secure.


Susan Webb, Records and Information Manager for Jesus College, was looking for a solution that would help her to get a clearer view of who was accessing, changing and deleting files on the College’s Windows file servers.

According to Susan, “Before Varonis, we had no real day-to-day view of what was happening with the data on the file servers. We can’t afford to spend a lot of time sifting through logs – we must stay focused on the day-to-day mission of the College – so we needed a more efficient approach.”

One of the challenges Jesus College faced was the number of staff members moving internally into different roles. Varonis DatAdvantage allows Susan to implement role-based permissions to ensure consistent access based on role type.

“One staff member moved from a role where she had access to lots of personal data to a less sensitive area. Her permissions were extremely complex and they needed to be amended when she moved roles. I couldn’t have done this without Varonis DatAdvantage, as it helped me see those areas where permissions were not required for her new job.”

Other DatAdvantage features that appealed to Jesus College included:

  • DatAdvantage makes it easy to see who’s doing what by tracking and monitoring file activity, analysing user behavior and reporting on all activity that is happening on file servers.
  • DatAdvantage monitors every action on every file on the file system; it normalises, processes and stores them in a central location so that they are quickly sortable and searchable. Detailed information for every file event is provided; all data can be reported on and provided to data owners. This information has helped the IT department to encourage better information management practice.
  • The intelligence provided by DatAdvantage automatically highlights users and groups that are inactive or redundant, or unnecessary permissions that can be safely reduced. This allows Jesus College to quickly troubleshoot problems, reduce risks, and answer business questions about who should have permission to access the data.


By using DatAdvantage, Jesus College has significantly reduced the time it takes for IT to find out who is accessing, using and deleting information from its Windows file servers. This improves security and decreases the time it takes to conduct internal audits and create compliance reports.

Regulatory compliance is a key issue for Jesus College, as it is subject to both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act.

Susan said:

“One of my main concerns was that staff members would let their data build up and then mass delete files to clear up disk space. The College could potentially lose important information in this way. Varonis DatAdvantage enables me to clearly identify stale data to avoid this situation.

“For the Freedom of Information Act, and Freedom of Information requests, we must ensure that we have proper control of our data. The Data Protection Act means that we have a duty to keep all personal data secure and up to date. If we don’t, we could be fined for non-compliance. With the new EU General Data Protection Regulation likely to be implemented soon, this will become even more important.

“I find Varonis DatAdvantage so useful. Better management of the College’s data is a priority. DatAdvantage enables me to see what is going on within our file servers.”