Stanley Gibbons Secures It's Network and Increases Productivity Through ZyXEL ZyWALL Solution, UK

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"UTM has given us an excellent solution to all our problems. Keyfort’s remote management has helped us immensely and allowed us to carry on with our everyday jobs. Their vigilant eyes have also helped keep us from disaster, for instance they were straight on the phone to me after I accidentally configured the UTM to stop all incoming emails. Thanks to the solution from ZyXEL and Keyfort we can now be confident that our customer database is safe and our employees are using their work time to their full potential, giving us peace of mind and putting us ahead of our competitors.”

Russell Carleton
IT Director, Stanley Gibbons

Background

Since it opened in 1856, Stanley Gibbons has been at the forefront of stamp trading. The Company built a reputation early on with collections such as the Penny Black stamp, and this plus their expertise, research and quality; has given the company the reputation that it today enjoys. The business was broadened to encompass dealing, research, catalogues and auctions and set it on the road to offering the only complete service to philatelists in the world today. This led to a wide range of collectables being sold online, resulting in a total of eight hosted websites. Stanley Gibbons has substantially grown its business in the past five years including the development of sales of stamps and autographs as an alternative investment mechanism. Stanley Gibbons needed to ensure that the company had sufficient security, but also needed to effectively manage their bandwidth and find a cost effective and secure way of communicating between their three offices. Whilst the company is proud of their standing it has also meant that they have been targets of numerous security threats.

The various reliability issues that the company had previously experienced with their previous Sonicwall firewall device led them to enlist the help of Keyfort, a local secure network services provider, in the hope that they would help them find a reliable and cost effective solution to meet all their requirements. Keyfort proposed an 8 in 1 UTM firewall solution from ZyXEL and, complete with Keyfort's managed services, this solution addressed the company's many challenges.

Challenges

Although Stanley Gibbons had a wide range of challenges that they needed to overcome, they only had a limited budget in which to do it in. They had also been let down by their Sonicwall device in the past, and as a result of no technical support, had been reduced to running around the country trying to find a replacement. This had therefore made the company apprehensive about the quality of any device they had fitted.

"We wanted a device that would fit into our everyday working environment and do its job effectively without causing us any hindrance," commented Russell Carleton IT Director, Stanley Gibbons. "It was also essential that any device we decided to install could provide both security for our customer database and effective management of bandwidth usage."

Based upon the size of Stanley Gibbon's LAN and existing broadband usage requirements Keyfort proposed the ZyWall 70 UTM, an 8-in-1 security protection device. Features such as the certified SPI firewall, certified IPSEC VPN, Gateway Anti Virus, IDP (Intrusion Detection and prevention, Anti Spam and a bandwidth management and monitoring feature amongst other features, made it the perfect solution. The product ensures hackers are locked out at entry point so that Stanley Gibbon's customer database is safe from attack. In addition, Stanley Gibbons could also be reassured that any problems encountered were outsourced to Keyfort due to the UTM's remote access reporting facility.

The UTM's traffic management and load balancing features, coupled with Keyfort's remote managed services, also ensured maximum utilisation of available network resources and that bandwidth was not gobbled up by bandwidth hungry applications.

As well as their office in The Strand, Stanley Gibbons had an additional two based in Bristol and Ringwood. The company recognised that they had to find a way of sharing their resources and information across all three offices without compromising their security. By deploying the UTM's VPN feature they could be confident that only trusted users could access the company's network. This was down to the Xauth user authentication configuration which provided protection to the internal and external database by asking for passwords and detecting intruders. The encryption feature also solidified this.

An added benefit to this solution also meant that the company were able to monitor staff's online activity. With so many online distractions, Stanley Gibbons found it hard to know if employees were working or surfing the net for personal purposes. The content filter, a feature of the ZyWALL 70 UTM, found that many employees were visiting betting sites far too often. To combat this problem Keyfort, configured the UTM to block users from accessing these sites using the integrated Category based content filtering mechanism, and any others black-listed by Stanley Gibbons ensuring maximum productivity for all 120 employees.

Solutions and Benefits

The ZyWALL 70 UTM has provided a secure Internet connection with the resilience required by a corporate organisation that uses the Internet as an essential business tool. Monitoring and proactive management by Keyfort has provided security, effective management of bandwidth usage and increased staff productivity. Extensive features and weekly reports mean that the IT director at Stanley Gibbons can be assured that he will never again have to run around the country trying to solve their security problems. Since installing the UTM, Stanley Gibbons has not had a single virus and is confident against the threat of attack.

Stanley Gibbons trusted their partner Keyfort and knew that they would do their best to make sure their security operation ran smoothly. When installing any security device the configuration is complicated, Stanley Gibbons were confident that their partner would configure the UTM properly without loosing any of their important information and compromising its customer database. Keyfort did this successfully in the Ringwood office ten days after Stanley Gibbons decided to go ahead with the installation. Keyfort provides a comprehensive managed service which includes configuration changes, configuration back ups, 24/7 monitoring, network traffic reports and 8X5 technical support by ZyWALL accredited engineers.

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