When people go on vacation these days, they want to stay informed at all times and not just on the latest news from their own country or from abroad. They want to know about everything from family and friends to interest groups and more. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MSN, and email have become a necessity for holidaymakers.
Checking business email is a daily routine for many vacationers. The standard daily newspaper is no longer enough; people want to be online and connected to the world, even when camping. As a result, Internet access has become an important criterion for modern holidaymakers when selecting their accommodations.
Camping Drentsheerlijk, located in the beautiful and natural countryside in the province of Drenthe, is a good example of such a situation. Many holidaymakers come here for the peace and quiet of open spaces to escape from their daily busy lives and hectic work. They experience nature by bike or on foot, visit authentic attractions and old villages, or just relax and do nothing for a few days. But they still want to be in touch, have access to the Internet, check email, plan routes, search for information, Tweet, update Facebook and more.
Owners of hotels, camping sites, marinas, family parks, restaurants and other recreational establishments and accommodations are faced with new questions and challenges. "How can I better fulfill the needs of my guests and enhance our hospitality services to them, without endangering their safety or the security of our own organization?" A computer with Internet access is easily made available. Free accessible Internet is not difficult to enable and a wireless network with several hotspot access points is quickly installed. Guests can have access to all Internet resources with their own laptop, iPad or Smartphone. But how do you keep that under control and make sure that all communications are reliable and safe? How do you ensure that the information from your guests and your own confidential business data are not at risk and a threat to your organization and its reputation?
WatchGuard is a provider of security solutions with many years of experience in protecting networks. With its Extensible Threat Management (XTM) firewall systems and Fireware system software, WatchGuard offers a strong, complete security solution that is easy to configure and fine tune to meet specific business requirements.
For hotels, restaurants and recreational accommodations, WatchGuard offers extensive security options that not only secure your business, but also protect your guests from any unintended or malicious Internet threats.
The typical Internet logon process is secured by a password, sometimes combined with an authentication system. This does not, however, guarantee that the Internet connection itself and all data that is transferred through that connection are properly secured. Businesses that cater to travelers cannot rely on the security of the devices that their guests are using, as not all people have their security properly configured and up to date at all times, especially when travelling, and they become an easy target for malicious Internet threats. Systems that are already infected can unintentionally or even intentionally use your Internet connection for malicious activities, like spamming or various botnet activities. Your connection can easily be cut off by your provider in such situations.
Many organizations in the recreational and hospitality business share one Internet connection for their business functions and the public access system for their guests. This is often due to cost factors, but also because their Internet service provider cannot provide more or better connectivity. WatchGuard offers an extensive range of solutions to keep the information flow from the guests completely separated from the business data and still have them both safe, fully secured and managed. This separation offers many advantages that are not just desirable, but absolutely essential.
With WatchGuard XTM solutions, all Internet traffic is continuously scanned and monitored for any viruses, spam, trojans and other forms of attack coming from the Internet and threats are immediately blocked.
Certain web-based applications require a great deal of bandwidth. When sharing a single Internet connection or when bandwidth is limited it makes sense to proportionally share or limit the available capacity. To prevent any problems with the continuity of your business processes, the business data flow needs be given a higher priority than the data of your guests.
WatchGuard solutions enable you to allocate more or less bandwidth per application or even to block the use of specific applications over the network. By doing this you can manage applications that require high bandwidth, such as Internet telephony systems like Skype, and audio and video streaming applications like YouTube. There have been instances in the hospitality business where guests downloaded entire movies or DVDs from their hotel room and absorbed all the Internet bandwidth, which caused the hotel public Internet access to be cut off. WatchGuard Application Control enables a fair sharing of Internet connectivity for guests and prevents misuse.
At Camping Drentsheerlijk the infrastructure is based around one physical network. Several Wi-Fi hotspot access points have been installed for wireless Internet on the camping grounds and there is an Internet PC available for guest use. There are several webcams for security purposes and one for a live view of the campsite via the company web site. There is a business network with a number of PCs and network printers, plus a home network for private use. All share the same 8-Mbps DSL Internet connection, including IP telephony. Until recently all security was based on the available features of the standard Internet modem supplied by the ISP. But when the Internet usage by the guests grew substantially it became clear that the security and management features had become too limited and there were no guarantees for the services offered – not for the business owners' usage and not for the guests.
Now, a WatchGuard XTM 22 firewall with all features enabled decides who is allowed to do what and when on the Internet, which ensures that everything happens in a secure and reliable environment. WatchGuard XTM software protects all guests as well as the business and private Internet use against viruses, spam, trojans and other Internet-based threats. At the same time the XTM firewall separates the guest communications from the business and private usage, each configured with its own policies, restrictions, security features and bandwidth.
The major advantages of the WatchGuard XTM Series firewalls for recreational and leisure organizations are the completeness of the security and management features and the scalability of the solutions. Within the XTM solution family, even the smaller XTM 2 Series offers the full range of security features that are mostly only found in large and expensive firewall systems. The WatchGuard XTM Series offers a platform for businesses of all sizes to have a robust security solution that fully delivers on all their security demands and network requirements. The XTM Series offers the security and management features needed for any business environment, including public Internet access. By using the LiveSecurity Service, all security modules are always up to date and have the latest features and enhancements.
The WatchGuard XTM 22 has made it possible for camping Drentsheerlijk to leverage the existing Internet connection in a safe and reliable way and share the communications between the camping guests and their business and the private network. To meet the demand for more bandwidth and new types of Internet-based applications, a second Internet connection is being considered. The WatchGuard XTM firewall already supports the use of a second connection, so it will be easy to increase bandwidth without extra costs or system changes.
The WatchGuard XTM protects the network against any Internet-based threats. The available bandwidth is proportionally shared and application usage is under control. Access to web sites is managed centrally and based on unwanted content limited or blocked. Through detailed management reports there is a clear overview of all Internet usage and developments. WatchGuard has made it possible for camping Drentsheerlijk to offer their guests a reliable and safe public Internet access.
WatchGuard solutions enable you to allocate more or less bandwidth per application or even to block the use of specific applications over the network. By doing this you can manage applications that require high bandwidth, such as Internet telephony systems like Skype, and audio and video streaming applications like YouTube.