Draper Tools Levels Out their Network
Draper Tools has been a leading distributor of the highest quality tools for nearly 100 years. Their dedication to providing superior products has earned them both a multitude of loyal customers and a household name within their industry.
Offering comprehensive wireless coverage to both employees and customers, as well as enabling extensive use of VPN access for their remote employees (including those at their switchboard, order hotline, and product helpline) creates a challenging set of network security requirements for Colin Richmond, IT Manager at Draper Tools. “We were concerned with ensuring that only valid users could access the Wi-Fi network, and that only authorized users could access appropriate sites via the network. Other challenges included ensuring that our large number of remote users could securely access our internal systems. Additionally, we provide a guest wireless environment which needs to be controlled and kept separate from our internal network."
Previous solutions included an IBM firewall running on a standalone PC. In addition to providing generally inconsistent throughput, the IBM firewall was also difficult to configure. Colin knew that the right solution would provide significant improvement to both areas of concern.
On recommendation from their IT provider, Colin looked to WatchGuard to provide both ease of management and enhanced throughput speeds. In Colin’s words, WatchGuard offered a “cost effective solution that was straightforward to configure and maintain, as well as providing good product support.”
The M300 high availability pairing that was ultimately selected for Draper Tools’ headquarters supplies automatic failover, so that when Colin or members of his team need to perform any upgrades or changes to the network, they can do so without incurring downtime or declines in productivity for Draper Tools’ 450 employees. Several unified threat management (UTM) subscriptions were chosen for the active firewall, including Intrusion Prevention Service, Application Control, Gateway AntiVirus, and spamBlocker. To provide more granular control over web access, a WebBlocker subscription was enabled as well. Even with all of the subscription services turned on, the M300 is capable of reaching UTM throughput speeds upwards of 146 Mbps, a far cry from their previous IBM firewall.
The M300 Fireboxes have provided substantial gains not only in overall performance, but in management processes as well. Segmentation of their corporate and guest wireless networks was simple to achieve, and helps to ensure that corporate data is kept separate and secure. Dimension, WatchGuard’s cloud-based network visibility tool, provides Colin and his team with an intuitive solution for spotting any issues or trends that may arise on the network, before they become a real problem. “We’ve used it for a few cases where a department member has wanted more information about employee activity – for example, which websites are being visited the most and how bandwidth is being consumed. But more than that, Dimension has been great for managing the traffic correctly, and ensuring that we’re setting policies accordingly.” And when paired with their WebBlocker subscription, guaranteeing that authorized users only access appropriate sites is a breeze.
Reflecting on his experience with WatchGuard, Colin noted that shortly after deployment of the M300 cluster, a WatchGuard engineer spent time with the Draper Tools IT team to refine their configuration and management processes. This added degree of support provided Colin and his team with an in an even better understanding of - and an enhanced appreciation for - the WatchGuard appliances. “WatchGuard ticks all the boxes, and the support that WatchGuard has provided has been invaluable.”