Kym KinlinTechnical DirectorLancashirehttp://www.rgg.co.uk/
Established in 2002, Reach Global supplies tailor-made new-media services and e-solutions to an ever-expanding portfolio of clients in the small and medium sized enterprise sector. With bases in London, Northern England, Ireland and Asia, Reach Global is an umbrella organization for a fast-growing group of 5 Internet-related companies, including online marketing and branding specialists, search engine providers and online property agencies. The group is justifiably proud of its reputation for identifying new business advantages and niches and creating and incubating new and dynamic online companies to service them. Technical Director Kym Kinlin looks after the group's network and over 100 users, largely based at the company's HQ in Lancashire. Access to the Internet is via the Group's 20mb leased line.
Reach Global has over 100 users, working predominantly on Windows PCs. Access to the Internet is via a 20mb leased line and authentication is Microsoft Active Directory.
Reach Global Group was already well acquainted with Smoothwall since they had a number of Smoothwall Express installations in place to safeguard the networks of their 5 individual companies. Kym had also previously run SmoothWall on their advertising system (called Tundra) which at its peak handled the serving of over 130 adverts a second for UK search engines Excite and Lycos. Although they were performing well, Kym needed to replace his Express installations with more scalable commercial firewall solutions. Advanced Firewall in particular would integrate with the Group's authentication system (Active Directory) so he could set more flexible security rules to suit differing requirements and roles within each of the 5 companies. Kym also had no web filtering in place and quickly needed a solution to address the growing trend in social networks and other timewasting sites. He also knew he needed more sophisticated filtering than the free options available such as OpenDNS because he was aware that staff knew how to bypass them by using proxies and accessing sites via IP addresses. In particular Kym needed to secure office servers away from external and internal eyes by implementing a DMZ; implement a web filtering system to prevent staff timewasting which could easily integrate with existing systems (i.e. Active Directory); and log the browsing behaviour of all staff working within the group.
Kym chose Smoothwall chiefly because of the solutions' versatility, but also because he was impressed with the responsive level of support he received during evaluation. He was also confident about the resilience of the firewall function following his previous experience with Express.
The productivity-related benefits of Kym's new web filtering system were quickly apparent and a combined security solution, encompassing both firewall and web filtering, has given Kym the peace of mind that his network is protected from all angles. Guardian's load balancing and caching features have also proved valuable. According to Kym the proxy has helped to balance the Internet traffic in the office, and allowed him to fully control the overall maximum download rate. Kym also says Smoothwall solutions have consistently proved their value and says as the London office grows, he plans to implement Network Guardian there also.
I have much respect for Smoothwall, their solutions are reliable, perform consistently and the quality of service I receive is excellent compared to other vendors
We run a large call centre in one of our companies where staff need web access for research purposes. Guardian is ideal for a sales environment like this as it allows us to limit access to sites like Facebook to set times, and instil the idea that work time is for working, whereas breaks present an opportunity to relax
I badly needed a dynamic content filtering system as our employees are more Internet-savvy than most and would have no problems getting around simple IP blocks using online proxy servers like hidemyass.com
Guardian has helped us to get more efficient use out of staff and better understand their browsing habits
Our network is now much more secure and monitoring webmail and IM helps us to effectively safeguard all our critical data. We also have much better protection against both internal and external threats
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