Entel is the largest telecommunications provider in Chile and Peru with more than 4,700 employees. It was established in 1964 to replace a communications infrastructure that was badly damaged by an earthquake, and to provide long distance and improve telecommunications quality to the country. Entel also built Latin America’s first satellite station and installed microwave networks across most of the national territory.
Entel initially worked closely with the Chilean government and focused largely on data transmission and providing non-consumer communications services. However, the company grew quickly and expanded to deliver domestic and long distance phone service, as well as cell and Internet services for consumers and businesses. It is now the leading provider of telecommunications in Latin America.
Over the past decade, there has been a rapid increase in business connectivity and network expansion throughout South America. This growth has presented new opportunities for Latin America’s telecommunications leader, Entel. By offering a variety of managed services for small businesses to large enterprises – including Internet, security and additional IT services for infrastructure, email and more – the company has become a primary resource for businesses looking to maintain secure, high-performance network connectivity.
As technology advances, and business demands change, Entel’s managed services organization is increasingly called in to work with companies that may have no previous network, or that have complex existing legacy network hardware or infrastructure in place. For many, security is often an after-thought, but for all, throughput and performance is a priority.
“We service a wide variety of customers, all with differing needs. Our ability to leverage solutions that are scalable, flexible and easy to work with are crucial to meeting customer expectations,” said Carlos Gaule, assistant director of IT, Entel. “This is especially true when you talk about security. Basic firewall technology is not enough to meet the changing security and performance demands facing businesses. Today’s organizations need threat management devices that have the ability to offer a variety of security services, and deliver them without significant impact to network performance. This is the type of solution we wanted to offer our customers.”
To ensure customers have the proper network protection, Entel now offers its customers WatchGuard threat management appliances, which include both Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) platforms. With a unique architecture that allows Entel to layer on best-of-breed security services – such as Application Control, AntiVirus, AntiSpam, Data Loss Prevention, Advanced Threat Protection, and more – it can now deliver the security functionality clients need today, but scale with additional services, should requirements change.
This approach has resonated with Entel customers. As a matter of fact, more than 1,000 customers now have WatchGuard NGFW or UTM solutions protecting their networks. Prior to WatchGuard, nearly 60 percent of them had never leveraged a threat management platform (NGFW or UTM). Entel was a pioneer in bringing this level of network security to the telecommunications managed-services market in Latin America.
And, moving forward, Entel will roll out new WatchGuard innovations, such as WatchGuard Dimension, a cloud-ready network security visibility solution.
WatchGuard’s NGFW and UTM platforms are the ideal fit for Entel’s managed services customers. Different networks and businesses require different security demands. WatchGuard’s platforms allow Entel to work with its customers to determine what security services and functionality they need, without forfeiting performance. It’s the ultimate in flexibility.
From the Firebox T10 for home and remote offices, to the XTM 1050 for the enterprise, Entel customers can utilize services that include Packet Filtering, Intrusion Prevention (IPS), Application Control, Data Loss Prevention (DLP), APT Blocker (advanced malware), Gateway AntiVirus, SpamBlocker, WebBlocker, Reputation-Enabled Defense, and more. All of these services are from best-of-breed partners and sit on top of WatchGuard’s platform, which is engineered to be the fastest and most agile in the industry.
“WatchGuard has a unique technology approach. They utilize solutions from leading security providers and layer those services onto their Fireware operating system on the platform. For Entel, this means we’re always delivering the most up-to-date services to our customers, without the need to deploy new hardware. They’ve basically eliminated some hardware and software dependencies for us and our customers, which saves us all time and money,” said Gaule.
Whether Entel’s customers have 5 or 500 employees, network and security management is always a key challenge. For some customers, Entel manages network access and security, but for others, they simply help deploy and optimize networks and may return for troubleshooting. Regardless, all customers want to centralize the management of network security and performance. Historically, this has required disparate, complex solutions with multiple dashboards.
“With WatchGuard’s centralized management, we can easily manage multiple threat management appliances for customers, set and change policies, view real-time performance or security event information, and more,” said Gaule. “And, for those customers that have dedicated IT resources, we can quickly train staff and get them qualified for ongoing management either through WatchGuard System Manager, a command- line interface, or via a Web UI that also delivers customizable reports.”
Monitoring and reporting is crucial to network security and WatchGuard helps Entel customers see the information that matters the most, with drill-down functions that make it easy to pinpoint specific activities or network problems.
WatchGuard appliances use the same operating system and architecture, making it easy for Entel to standardize technology to meet a wide variety of customer profiles. WatchGuard worked closely with Entel to help train and support its managed services team.
“Keeping the team up-to-date on so many different security technologies can be a nightmare,” said Gaule. “The team was really excited when we standardized on a line of threat management appliances. It means we save time, but we’re also able to dive really deep into the WatchGuard technology and deliver amazing service for our customers. And, the training we get on a regular basis from the WatchGuard team has been excellent.”
Entel continues to work with companies, updating them from outdated legacy systems and helping them build secure, high-performance networks. As more of its customers learn the value of threat management and the need for the right tools to automate the monitoring and detection of malware, Entel is working to roll out WatchGuard Dimension.
Dimension is a cloud-ready, real-time visibility tool that provides a comprehensive view of the entire network, so, once they adopt this free service, Entel customers can see any threats and act immediately. This will allow Entel clients to gain a new level of insight and present data in more visual formats that help pull out key pieces of information that are of critical importance.
“WatchGuard helps us reduce the level of support we have to provide to customers and Dimension is another tool that we can use to help simplify security management and make it easier for customers. We’re working on how this fits into our managed services portfolio, but the team is excited about what it’s seen so far, and what WatchGuard will deliver in the future,” said Gaule.