Case Study - Dundee City Council

 

Council Turns to WatchGuard Next-Generation Security for Defense-in-Depth

Background

Prior to implementing the WatchGuard solutions, Dundee City Council relied on network and email security appliances from Borderware, which was acquired by WatchGuard in 2009. "When we started looking at upgrading the Borderware kit, the WatchGuard appliances were the natural choice," says Don Higson, IT Projects Officer at Dundee City Council. "We looked at other options, but the XTM and XCS combine the best of breed network and content security technologies and provide excellent price/performance."

Implementing WatchGuard Solutions

Dundee City Council installed WatchGuard next-generation firewalls and content protection appliances as part of its investment in enhanced security, better performance, and greater defense-in-depth for its IT system, which supports over 6,000 users. WatchGuard's XTM 810 and XCS 770R solutions are now securing over 100 Dundee City Council sites, from offices and depots to schools and libraries, all connected to dual data centres linked by fiber cable to provide resilience and high availability.

High-Performance Firewalling, Email Protection, and Data Loss Prevention

With a fast 3Gbps throughout, the WatchGuard XTM 810 extensible threat management appliances provide high-performance firewall, application control, and intrusion prevention to protect against data theft, malware, and security breaches. For added email security, the WatchGuard XCS 770R extensible content security appliances protect against inbound threats and control outbound information to prevent data loss across email and the web. The WatchGuard XCS 770R blocks up to 98% of spam and malicious inbound traffic before it hits the Council's network. Dundee City Council also protects sensitive outbound email by automatically encrypting selected messages based on specific phrases identified in the text. On top of that, the WatchGuard XCS solution provides the Council with powerful anti-virus protection.

"We currently receive around 4 million emails every month, out of which, typically, 20% is clean," says Higson. "That's a lot of spam and potential malicious threats—but the fast throughput and accuracy of the WatchGuard XCS appliances mean that almost all of these emails are blocked before they get to our users—that mitigates the risks and reduces wasted time checking through unwanted messages.

"Not only is email the easiest way into the business network, but it is also the primary leakage route for confidential data," adds Higson. "By combining powerful anti-spam and anti-virus, along with our planned introduction of strong data leakage prevention capabilities, the WatchGuard XCS will protect sensitive data behind the firewall."

Centralized Management Makes Administration Easy

Both the XTM and XCS solutions allow the Dundee IT team to manage security through an intuitive, centralized console, command line interface, and web interface—as well as provide powerful, real-time monitoring and reporting. The WatchGuard solutions also link to the Government GSX platform, and a log server collects message data from each appliance to meet the code of compliance requirements for GSX.

Exploring New Features

The installation took only two days and, with the systems running smoothly, the Council's IT team is exploring other capabilities, including WatchGuard's virus outbreak detection feature that provides customers with zero-day protection against early virus outbreaks, and SSL VPNs for secure remote access and reliable client or clientless connectivity to
web-based resources, as well as Council data and applications.

 

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The fast throughput and accuracy of the WatchGuard XCS appliances mean that almost all of these [spam] emails are blocked before they get to our users—that mitigates the risks and reduces wasted time checking through unwanted messages.

Don Higson, IT Projects Officer,
Dundee City Council

 

 

About WatchGuard

WatchGuard has deployed nearly a million integrated, multi-function threat management appliances worldwide. Our signature red boxes are architected to be the industry's smartest, fastest, and meanest security devices with every scanning engine running at full throttle. Why buy WatchGuard? Find out here.

 

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