images (1)The Universal Business Challenge

Over the last few years we have seen the device landscape of the modern office transform, and businesses have been quick to embrace the accompanying changes in work culture, such as bring your own device (BYOD) policies and work from home flexibility. As organisations enjoy the benefits of these developments, it is important to consider the security challenges that accompany these changes in end user computing. Whether the information that an organisation needs to secure is their edge, their secret, or their confidential customer information, a security breach has the potential to ruin an organisation’s reputation, have potential legal consequences or even put the organisation out of business. Conversely, a reputation for excellent security can maintain customer loyalty and win new customers. If you’re thinking that these threats seem a bit extreme in relation to your business’ size, small business should remember that they are in no way exempt from IT security threats; last year up to 75% of cyber-attacks occurred in small to mid-sized businesses.

Systemnet understands that businesses often acknowledge their requirement for good security practices, but are put off by factors such as cost, a lack of technical knowledge, and the complexity of what product to solve which problem. Through many years of experience and exposure to the security offerings from a multitude of vendors, we have come to recommend WatchGuard in the vast majority of cases. Their products provide best-in-class security, excellent value for money, a single solution for all security threats and great management features including brilliant logging and reporting. We have found that WatchGuard products allow us to tailor the perfect solution for your exact requirements; whatever the size, or function of your business.

 

FW, IPS, UTM, XTM, NGFW…?!

As the security challenges faced by today’s businesses change, so must our response. In the past, a firewall plus multiple point solutions – such as Intrusion Prevention (IPS) and Antivirus – was considered the standard model for protecting a secure network, and security challenges were solved as and when they occurred. A unified threat management device (or UTM device) consolidates these previously segmented services into one platform, allowing the organisation to benefit from consolidated management, reduced cost, and better security as the layers of the UTM device work together. It also scraps the need for reactive product purchasing, as the security is already in place.

‘Next generation firewall’ (or NGFW) is another term being bandied about in the discourse of security solutions, but this technology is this is essentially the same as that found on a UTM device. It was previously thought that a UTM device would never be fast enough to run in an enterprise network, but as hardware has progressed UTM devices can run at multi-gigabit speeds, which makes them more than suitable for large office/ enterprise deployment. Rather than try to oppose this concept some vendors chose to adopt the term NGFW to market their new UTM devices with higher throughputs.

WatchGuard produces NGFW rated extensible threat management devices (or XTM devices), which are UTM devices with the added bonus of being scalable as and when the security need arises. Their hardware-less upgrade system allows you to add to your security system as new concerns arise, or upgrade your model as your business expands, without the need to buy expensive new hardware. WatchGuard provides XTM devices for deployment in small businesses to large enterprises and data centres, and Systemnet can help you chose the right device for your business’ needs and budget.

 

Why we recommend WatchGuard solutions…

There are of course many different vendors when it comes to choosing a suitable UTM device for your business requirements- including big names such as Cisco and Dell. While all the vendors to have capable offerings, we typically recommend Watchguard solutions because we truly feel they tick most of the boxes that are important in terms of security, performance, cost effectiveness, and manageability. Comparing WatchGuard’s XTM devices with offerings from other leading vendors there are several features that separate WatchGuard from the crowd:

  • WatchGuard allows us to control (monitor / block) usage of over 1800 applications via Application Control, which is more than any other NGFW, including offerings from Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet.
  • With WatchGuard’s innovative HTTPS inspection, encrypted connections are inspected in a way that no other security vendor offers.
  • When it comes to cost, WatchGuard maintained the highest Info-Tech Value ScoreTM of the vendor group, including offerings from Cisco, McAfee, Fortinet and SonicWALL.
  • WatchGuard’s flexible, intuitive organization simplifies workflow, and gives us tailored control over your system, as WatchGuard allows the administrator to establish policy broadly across application category, or granularly through user category, application, and application sub functions.

WatchGuard’s reputation for smart manageability is particularly apparent when this device is deployed in the secure transactional business environment. For organisations that accept payment by credit card, XTM devices allow us to segregate cardholder information from the rest of the network for PCI compliance and set uniform security policies, whilst the manageability tools enables us to access PCI compliance reports with just one click. Similarly, WatchGuard facilitate Healthcare providers looking for a solution to keep Electronic Health Records (HER) safe whilst also keeping the organization compliant with regulations such as HIPAA. WatchGuard’s XTM devices allows us to easily control and audit which personnel can access which resources. The XTM device also provides easy-to-access reports that allow your business to prove compliancy and maintain reputation. In this way WatchGuard devices provide solutions to business requirements and not just security risks.

 

Let us help you secure your business!

Systemnet have been WatchGuard partners for more than 12 years and are one of their leading expert solution providers. This is the highest level of WatchGuard’s reseller qualifications which means we have proven expertise and product certification in the entire range of WatchGuard solutions. Every Systemnet engineer is WatchGuard certified, and we have successfully deployed WatchGuard solutions in many organisations, ranging from small business’ and branch offices to large, complex, international multi-site environments. Contact us now and let us show you how your business could increase security and control whilst reducing cost and setup time with Systemnet and WatchGuard technologies! Call us for a chat on 02 9386 2900 or drop us an email using the form below.

 

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Posted by Systemnet

November 8, 2013

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