Case Study - Roland UK

Hitting the Right Note on Cyber Security

Helping customers make music is Roland UK’s forte. The world-famous brand is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of a range of instruments and accessories, from piano and synthesizers to digital recording equipment, amplifiers and audio processing devices.

As a steadily expanding business, Roland prides itself on technological innovation, and has produced many industry firsts, including the first-ever touch-sensitive electric piano in 1972. Such a heritage, in concert with its ambition to be ‘the best rather than the biggest,’ means that Roland UK demands cutting-edge technology to protect its data networks.

Security in Harmony with Performance

All the information from Roland’s UK operations is kept in its corporate systems and its datacentre in Swansea. This includes personal information about its staff as well as sensitive corporate data, such as ERP, BI, and file/print services. As the Roland datacentre also supports Roland’s customers using sales, service, technical support and spares, all transactions must comply with the PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards demanded by Visa and MasterCard for safeguarding data. As several of Roland’s customers are very high-profile musicians, any breach could spell disaster for the company.

To keep this information secure, Roland trusts in a WatchGuard XTM 520 firewall. The Roland IT team are big fans of the appliance for a number of reasons. For example, it synthesises enterprise-grade performance with a 1.9 Gbps firewall throughput and a full-works security package into an all-in-one solution. The XTM 520’s comprehensive security features also mean it defends against a variety of threats, such as spyware, DoS attacks, fragmented packets, malformed packets and more.

Peter Thomas, Roland’s IT manager, says: “Having a complete raft of security measures in one place makes life easier for us as we can make changes, updates and reviews without having to log on to and negotiate separate systems.”

Fine Tuning to Defeat Orchestrated Attacks

Helping Roland’s IT team make any necessary changes to the security measures in place is the XTM 520’s intuitive GUI. One of the main ways that Roland prevents attacks on its system is to ensure its access control lists (ACLs) are up to date, which is made much more straightforward thanks to the GUI. “We have some very complicated ACLs protecting our system and updating these could potentially be troublesome. The GUI is more intuitive than many other firewalls I have used and I find the ability to implement changes far simpler than other expensive vendors.”

The simplicity of the XTM 520’s interface also means that Peter can quickly train his team on how to use new or updated features. This is key for ensuring staff can make the system changes needed to keep on top of the latest threats and keep Roland’s data safe.

A Note for the Future

As Roland looks to expand its operations, the volume of customer and company information stored in the database and travelling across its network will increase. The XTM 520 is designed specifically for enterprises targeting growth and offers the scalability to continue to provide security throughout this process.

Peter concludes: “We are very happy with our XTM 520 as it meets our business needs and security concerns while allowing us to train staff internally on its use. In fact, we have been so impressed with the XTM 520 that we are considering using another WatchGuard solution for our plans to improve the security of the European arm of the company.”

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