Expanding Organization Chooses WatchGuard for Network Security That Scales
Reconomy is a fast-growing provider of recycling and waste management services. The company helps thousands of corporate clients – including Taylor Wimpey, Balfour Beatty, the National Trust and Travelodge – to cost-effectively manage their waste, maximize opportunities for recycling and re-use, and exceed their corporate social responsibility targets for waste management and sustainability. Growing at 30-40% a year, Reconomy is on course to leap from a £15 million turnover firm in 2010 to a £200 million operation by the end of this decade. Alongside this, the company’s computer network has grown to dozens of in house and hosted servers and an online portal, which together connect 400 staff members with hundreds of supply chain partners and customer companies – some 50 servers and 10,000 external users in all. In a modern business, the need to share data with customers and partners is clear. But so too is the danger of exposing your network to so many ‘outsiders’ – the consequences of which were felt with the notorious 2015 Target security breach, when the retailer was significantly impacted by hackers who infiltrated its systems via one connected computer at a supplier company.
To both guard against these escalating cyber threats and support the organization’s rapid growth, Reconomy has installed a fleet of seven WatchGuard M400 and M300 firewalls across its own offices and host supplier sites, along with the full range of WatchGuard Total Security Suite services. As Andrew Evers, head of IT at Reconomy, explained: “We have significant connectivity between our offices and hosting locations, and WatchGuard handles it all. As our third-party suppliers comprise the majority of our extended network, branches of which we can’t control, the WatchGuard appliances makes it very easy for us – safely and in line with best practice – to secure our network.” Andrew reflected that when dealing with external data centers, “which we have no control over”, Reconomy takes responsibility to secure all VPNs and data traffic between the sites. “We connect to at least three other data centers and the WatchGuard appliances enable us to monitor activity in a unified way. We have layer upon layer of additional checks and inspections between our network segments.” Crucially, he said, WatchGuard provides this “total defense” in a way that’s scalable and flexible enough to support Reconomy’s rapid growth.
Having utilized WatchGuard solutions for the past three years, Andrew and his team see no need to look elsewhere. “Because our company has grown and grown, we’ve needed to get bigger and bigger firewalls, and have licensed all of the Total Security Suite features. For me personally if there’s a WatchGuard in there, don’t take it out. That’s one of the beautiful things about the WatchGuard product family – it’s as adaptable as you are and it scales up really easily. With WatchGuard, it’s all one single point of configuration, one single management interface. It makes it very friendly for a technical team trying to manage it all – and all of that’s quite scalable in a way that as the business grows, it’s not going to break the bank. As the business expands, we can easily add additional appliances and services – we can grow using a single ‘pane of glass’ for management and a unified security strategy.
“Data security has never been a hotter topic, not just in IT but across businesses and the world.” In the face of this, WatchGuard gives Reconomy the all-encompassing and flexible data security needed to minimize the business risk inherent in chopping and changing its network to cater for new demands, new territories, partners and customers. Andrew noted that “These days, businesses can change so radically and so rapidly, you need a security product responsive enough to support that. WatchGuard is so flexible that if we need to move urgently, we’re able to very quickly deploy product.
“With WatchGuard, if you suddenly need to make a fundamental change to the way that you’re going to deliver the networking piece or the security piece, because it’s all inside one product, there’s always a way of doing it.” When faced with juggling the cost, security, and business risks of any project., Andrew noted that WatchGuard is especially valuable. “The additional security layers that we add through WatchGuard provide exceptional value at a typically low price-point. We buy WatchGuard not simply because it’s technically brilliant, it’s because there’s a business need for it, focused largely on business risk.” Additionally, Andrew appreciates WatchGuard’s high levels of support and service. “Almost anyone in IT can recount a time when they’ve had to contact a helpdesk and thought ‘the person on the other end doesn’t know what they’re talking about.’ I’ve never had that with WatchGuard. Everyone knows the product and principles really well. You’ve got a very short route into a really high level at WatchGuard. The people on the other side are expert, they know exactly which questions to ask.”
The end result, he said, is that WatchGuard enables Reconomy to manage its business growth and open networking at a time when the hacker threat has never been more severe. “In an age where data security has become such a hot topic, this needs to transcend technology. The question of ‘why are you doing that?’ now gets asked more often – and with WatchGuard we’ve just got the answers. It’s about having the outright capability, flexibility, and scalability WatchGuard provides. Whatever problem you’re trying to solve, whatever challenge you’re up against, you’ll do it with WatchGuard.”