Strategy for Success: Consulting Firm Turns to WatchGuard
Providing high-level consulting in the fields of strategy, innovation, and capability for companies around the globe, OxfordSM Ltd plays a pivotal role in the marketing success of their clients.
In an effort to better communicate and collaborate securely with their clientele – as well as add value to their business – OxfordSM deploys the latest technologies, including wireless networks, VoIP systems, web conferencing, email, instant messaging, and desktop video solutions. “We recognize that our data and systems are probably the second most important thing in the company, aside from our people,” reflected Liz King, financial controller at OxfordSM. “We use technology to communicate with – and for – our clients, and for collaborating with each other. We also hold client data, which we’re contractually obliged to keep safe and secure.”
Though OxfordSM maintains offices in the US and UK, the majority of the 80 staff members and associates work remotely. “As a largely virtual organization, our technology platforms take the place of a traditional office by allowing us to not only manage our work, but also to interact and bond as a team.” For a company that depends so greatly on technology to run their day to day operations, it’s paramount that OxfordSM deploys only the most secure and reliable network solutions.
Prior to WatchGuard, OxfordSM utilized separate solutions for wireless management, secure web proxy, firewall, and VPN. WatchGuard’s best-in-class UTM (unified threat management) platform provided a much needed change: an all-in-one solution.
The Firebox M200 and XTM 515 that OxfordSM chose for their offices each have all of the solutions they need – built into one easily managed appliance. Even with additional WatchGuard security services on their firewalls – including WebBlocker, APT Blocker, and Gateway AntiVirus – OxfordSM has found that the overall performance of the devices has far exceeded that of their legacy solutions, while providing best-in-class, industry-leading technology.
To provide wireless access for staff and clients, a WatchGuard AP200 Access Point was deployed to ensure wireless connectivity was not only consistent, but secure as well. “It works very well for us because there’s about six of us who are permanently established on site, but the rest of us work from home. So when they do come to the office, it’s very useful for them to connect to the wireless network.”
Though they had evaluated network security products from other vendors, OxfordSM found that none provided the degree of security that was so critical to their ongoing success. “We work with blue-chip corporate companies, developing strategy for customers and marketing. We’re very often contractually obliged to keep their information secure. It’s absolutely critical to keep our relationships with our clients strong, and for them to trust us and trust that their data is safe with us.”
OxfordSM has found that the performance and functionality of their WatchGuard firewalls, with features like SSL VPN that were previously unavailable to them, have gone far beyond the results produced by their old legacy solutions. Additionally, the company has noticed that after enabling Reputation Enabled Defense, Gateway AntiVirus, and similar security services, incidents of malware dropped significantly. From Liz’s perspective, the WatchGuard deployment’s success is most tangible in what she doesn’t see. “I’m in finance, so I tend to ask questions when investments start costing the company more money. If it wasn’t so effective, I’d have to know a lot more about managing it than I do. When something just works, it doesn’t come up. And this just works.”