The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) is one of the 72 publicly funded school board in Ontario. It provides education to approximately 15,000 students in 30 elementary and six secondary school communities within an area of 10,000 square km.

The mission of PVNCCDSB is to “accompany our students as we strive for excellence in Catholic Education. We educate students in faith-filled, loving, safe, inclusive schools to develop the God-given abilities of each person.”.

With the rise of ransomware and cyber attacks, the board was challenged with the need to implement multi-factor authentication to all their applications, including their ERP.




Schools and universities are still the top targets for cyberattacks, and as they are getting more numerous and sophisticated, education organizations need to take a different approach to cybersecurity. This is the reason why PVNCCDSB started looking at their systems to make their environment more secure. They first implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect their systems and tools. However, when they wanted to apply MFA to their ERP, they stumbled upon an issue. Their ERP would not support multi-factor authentication. Adding an extra layer of security to their ERP was crucial for PVNCCDSB to prevent cyber attacks and to maintain their cyber insurance. Sean Heuchert, PVNCCDSB’s Manager of IT, was determined to find a solution. After meeting with Microsoft to examine the issue, Softlanding was brought into the discussion to bring its expertise and help PVNCCDSB.


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PVNCCDSB wanted to have multi-factor authentication work natively with their ERP as they were looking at wrapping a layer of security around it. After many discussions to decide on the best option, PVNCCDSB opted for Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) to bring this extra layer of security to their ERP.

The PVNCCDSB and the Softlanding teams started with gathering the requirements and whiteboarding to design a solution that would be user-friendly.

Once the solution was ready, they did a pilot with five users to make some tweaks and improve the user experience to make the solution as effective as possible. The solution was later deployed to 40 people.

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Adopting Azure Virtual Desktop enabled PVNCCDSB to strengthen its security posture and reinforce its ERP’s security to prevent cyber attacks. Even though it added an extra step for users to login into the ERP, user acceptance has been high since the teams focused on creating a smooth user experience.

Implementing AVD also enabled PVNCCDSB to access all the Microsoft native security tools such as A5 licensing, Microsoft Sentinel, MFA, etc., which reinforced their overall security posture.

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