Case Study - Marshall Amplification

Marshall can ‘Play it Loud’ with the benefits of WatchGuard UTMs

Marshall is a British icon, conjuring up images of would-be rock guitarists practicing with a small amp in their bedrooms to stacks of speaker cabinets piled high for the world’s biggest bands, from Jimmy Hendrix to Iron Maiden and the Kaiser Chiefs. The Marshall Amp has even featured in its own BBC documentary.

Marshall has been manufacturing amplifiers in the UK since 1962, when it started business from the back of Jim Marshall’s drum shop in Hanwell, London. Today, Marshall has a state-of-the-art factory in Milton Keynes, producing a line of 120 products from amp heads, speaker cabinets, combo amps and stacks that are sold all around the world.

Part of the company’s mission statement is, “Never compromise tone, feel, value, versatility, functionality, quality, reliability or service.”

The same is true when it comes to information security.

The Challenge

Like any well-known brand, Marshall knows that it is a potential target for cybercrime and takes a comprehensive multi-layered approach to its network security.

“Like any business, our main security challenge is to make sure we can keep the bad guys out while also ensuring our internal users can do what they need to in a safe and secure manner,” said Gary Lovelock, IT Manager at Marshall.

Lovelock and his team look after a corporate network with Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for remote users who could be anywhere in the world in branch offices or travelling on business. With around 150 staff at the company’s Buckinghamshire HQ, there are some 90 desktops connected to the fixed network on the site along with a wireless network.

Marshall has been a WatchGuard customer from the early days of the Internet. The first WatchGuard SOHO firewall was installed in 2003 and since then the company has upgraded its WatchGuard appliances as it expanded and network security requirements increased. Most recently it installed two new WatchGuard XTM 535s to replace existing XTM 510s. The two XTM 535s run in redundant mode for network resilience, both with WatchGuard Security Suite subscriptions.

Away from Marshall HQ, new XTM 2 and XTM 3 wireless security appliances have been installed at branch offices in Hong Kong and Denmark.

In Safe Hands

For Lovelock, his new WatchGuard systems and suite of security tools give him the confidence that his network is in safe hands.

“We have improved web security through the use of WatchGuard Reputation Authority filtering, Application Control and WebBlocker, protecting our users from the growth in potential incoming threats,” said Lovelock. “We also have greater mobility support for laptops and smart phones that is increasingly important.”

Flexibility, ease-of-operation and management are also important to the Marshall IT team.

“The first time I deployed fully managed WatchGuard appliances it was clear to me that although very complex, they could easily be configured exactly how we wanted and gave us complete control over all our network traffic flowing in and out of the Internet,” said Lovelock. “It is also good to know that the WatchGuard LiveSecurity Service® is there if needed and will keep us up to date which helps to protect our network from the latest security threats.”

“Having been a WatchGuard user for many years I can see no reason to change. Why move to another appliance when the one we have does everything we need and more,” concluded Lovelock.

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