Growing Company Leverages WatchGuard Solutions That Can Scale with Them
B Logistics transformed from a state-owned company into a thriving private enterprise over the course of just a few years. Offering reliable rail transport and logistics solutions, and deploying over two hundred locomotives and seven thousand freight wagons throughout Europe, the company transports a wide range of cargo –from raw materials, chemicals, and semi-finished products to industrial and consumer goods. However, rapid expansion – combined with a new, centralized IT environment – put the company’s network infrastructure to the test.
B Logistic’s growth spurt produced several technical challenges for Patrick Van den Branden, head of ICT infrastructure, and his team. For one, the crew were tasked with consolidating the network infrastructure for the company’s multiple offices, placing extra strain on resources. “The network environment had to cope with considerably more end users than before,” reflects Van den Branden. “Additionally, employees are using their mobile devices more and more, so that the office is no longer the only workplace. People want to work at home or while commuting, and they need to access company resources safely.”
“It was clear from the beginning that the new and centralized infrastructure would have a significant impact on the security requirements”, continues Van den Branden. “The old firewalls were insufficiently equipped to both protect the centralized infrastructure and support a growing number of mobile network users. We needed to evolve because security challenges are evolving as well. Ransomware, such as the CryptoLocker variants and other APTs, are just some of the new threats we face. Additionally, improved monitoring of email and surfing traffic, without violating the staff’s privacy, was also a requirement.”
“When WatchGuard released a new and more powerful firewall, the WatchGuard Firebox® M5600, it was the perfect moment to update our network security,” notes Van den Branden. “After receiving a demo of the M5600 and its capabilities – as well as Dimension for graphical reports – we decided to move forward with WatchGuard.”
An important benefit of the WatchGuard solution was the ability to apply a complete pseudonymisation of users’ personal data in reports. Consequently, these reports can be used throughout the network environment without violating privacy regulations. This made the Firebox M5600 perfectly suited to be deployed as a proxy server.
In order to make sure that critical resources and materials were always available, irrespective of the physical location of users, B Logistics now utilizes two WatchGuard firewalls in an “active-active” cluster. With this deployment, network downtime is seldom, if ever. The architecture also provides the perfect access to a large portfolio of end users and devices, both inside and outside the company walls. Furthermore, it also takes new cyber threats into account, such as APTs. Intrusion Prevention, Application Control, Gateway Antivirus, spamBlocker, WebBlocker and APT Blocker were also deployed as extra services, providing the Firebox appliances with even more layers of security.
“The WatchGuard firewalls and software provide valuable insight into our network traffic and any possible threats that require attention,” reflects Van den Branden. “The processing power of the new firewalls is crucial to perform the different scans on the network traffic, but the quality of user experience is not affected.”
The implemented solution also provides simplified management and maintenance of the devices. Because of the clustered configuration of the firewalls, maintenance and updates can take place during work hours. “We no longer have to warn users when we want to perform updates – they don’t even notice.”
With WatchGuard’s scalable and easy to manage solutions, B Logistics’ network can accommodate their expanding workforce – securely.