Case Study - Red Carnation

Preventing Inhospitable Cyber Threats for a Posh Hotel Chain

Hospitality is what makes Red Carnation tick. A family-owned and run business, it offers luxury, award-winning boutique hotels across the UK and the Channel Islands, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and the USA, and a country gastro-pub in Dorset. Its mantra: to provide guests with the best possible hospitality and most memorable experiences.

The company aims to provide outstanding service at its 23 locations, operating on a philosophy of ‘no request too large, no detail too small.’ To help its 2,500 employees deliver this level of service, Red Carnation relies heavily upon its IT infrastructures. These networks enable the team to coordinate hotel operations and give guests the access to complimentary WiFi across all its sites.


Red Carnation’s reputation rests on being able to keep the data travelling across its IT infrastructure safe and secure.

Ensuring a robust and flexible network

The company’s back office IT network supports the work of more than 1,000 staff plus 50 remote users. Contained on these networks is highly sensitive data, such as guest, booking and contract details. To protect this data, Red Carnation relies on security solutions from WatchGuard.

Guests using Red Carnation’s facilities have access to the public WiFi service, and many will use this service to view or send private information. In addition, the organization must protect credit card data and has to maintain Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.


Red Carnation trusts the robustness and flexibility of WatchGuard products – including XTM 5 Series, XTM 2 Series, XTM 3 Series, XTM 25 Series, XTM 33 Series, XTM 850 Series and SSL100 - to ensure they protect the confidential data of over 10,000 users per month.

WatchGuard’s firewall systems and Fireware® software provide a strong, complete and flexible security solution that is easy to configure and fine tune to meet Red Carnation’s specific business requirements.

“In my ten years of working with WatchGuard products, security aside, one of the most import¬ant benefits is their flexibility. We use the XTM product range to solve many different problems and fit a bunch of networking scenarios, typically associated with multiple devices, multiple suppliers and multiple training needs,” said Andy Evers, IT Manager at Red Carnation.

This flexibility extends to the changing needs of its guests. To enable its remote users to securely, quickly and effectively access the corporate network, Red Carnation has installed WatchGuard SSL 100s. These easy-to-use, secure remote access appliances provide reliable connectivity for anywhere, anytime productivity.

Evers added: “Red Carnation is a luxury hotel and lifestyle brand. We’re constantly looking to push the envelope in service standards. So we need to be certain that we can protect our guests and our services from online threats that could compromise our standing. I’ve previously used WatchGuard products so I have the peace of mind that they provide a strong, highly reliable security solution. We wouldn’t choose anything else to keep our systems and data safe from attack.”

Blocking Threats

Among the many features that attracted Red Carnation to WatchGuard is APT Blocker, which it relies on to protect credit and debit card transactions and comply with exacting PCI security standards.


Since deploying the WatchGuard solutions, Evers has been extremely impressed with the network agility and the flexibility the products provide. He explained:
“Following a very smooth installation process, the WatchGuard appliances have performed exactly how I hoped they would – easy to manage, rock-solid security and the flexibility to scale as we grow. But most importantly, for a business that prides itself on quality of service, having a system we can rely on gives me real peace of mind – meaning we can focus on what we do best, looking after our guests. Put simply, strong security, properly done!”

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