Simplified management with granular control, visibility, and automation
CHALLENGE A solution was needed to create different access points, provide reliable wireless internet access to retail stores, and reduce the management burden for IT administrators
SOLUTION Blue Coat Proxy Secure Gateway
One of Australia’s largest telecommunications providers was finding that its existing cluster of three network proxies struggled to meet the growing need for visibility, security and performance and therefore needed replacing. The company serves more than ten million users, including customers and staff, and relies on high-performance secure Internet connectivity to help deliver quality services.
With Internet connectivity being an essential component for accessing highly confidential electronic customer records, billing systems, and many other key applications, they needed a solution that separates access from its internal and offshore staff, while at the same time improving its service to its customers.
Challenge: Addressing changing compliance and regulatory mandates while minimising business impact
The challenge was to provide Internet access to a large number of customers and staff, while complying with Australia’s telecommunications consumer protection code in relation to sales, services, complaint handling and much more. There were many risks and challenges, including files accessed and uploaded need to be safe while meeting staff and customer performance requirements.
The telco also required a solution that would ease management overheads and tackle the challenge of increased traffic across the network thereby reducing overall bandwidth consumption.
‘’The overhead of maintaining three applications on each box is extremely high. We needed a solution that centralised management, reduced latency and helped us achieve our strategic objectives of a more open Internet policy.’’
They turned to their partner of choice, mcrIT, to deploy a solution that would centralise management as well as meet their business requirements.
Following an extensive assessment of the web security products available on the market, they selected Blue Coat’s Proxy Secure Gateway (SG) based on functionality, ease of implementation and value. Blue Coat’s proven and comprehensive solution features patented real-time content filtering technology to detect and block known and unknown malicious web threats, provides web caching capabilities, as well as an authentication mechanism to control user access to the Internet.
Blue Coat’s Premier Partner, mcrIT played a crucial role in the success of the installation by consulting with the telco ahead of the deployment, to understand the business requirements as well as manage the entire project.
The first phase of the deployment focused on enabling granular levels of security from content filtering and virus scanning to enforcing rules based on a wide range of attributes such as type of user and nature of the website. By deploying Blue Coat’s ProxySG, they have complete control over web traffic, and has been able to implement strong user authentication and stringent security checks across their network. The ProxySG enables them to centrally manage users, services, and applications. This has helped them reduce the overall management burden. In addition, with this layered solution, they can now add new offshore employees to an established group with immediate access to approved sites; thereby improving employee collaboration.
The second phase of the deployment was across 300 retail stores in Australia. The telco needed a solution that would provide Internet access for staff, customers and for demonstration purposes. With Blue Coat’s ProxySG, the stores are now able to feature a demonstration desk enabling customers to engage with live 3G devices as well as view Infomercial screens that walk them through their products and services.
With policy flexibility, central reporting, reliable performance and complete security, Blue Coat’s secure web gateway solution allowed the IT team to transform itself into a business enabler by fundamentally changing its approach to Web filtering and security.
Since deploying Blue Coat’s Proxy SG, they have experienced measurable results including:
A boost in network availability and employee productivity. IT managers are also impressed with how the solution helps facilitate the safe use of Web 2.0 technologies, meets compliance requirements, strengthens security, and improves enforcement of corporate policies.
Compliance with government regulations and requirements. Blue Coat’s ProxySG prevents spyware, viruses and other threats. Auditors and compliance officers are pleased with the minimum amount of management time required enabling them to concentrate on other tasks to drive business profit.
Centralised management of the use of bandwidth-consuming applications, including peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and IM. The result is a substantial increase in customer retention and lowering of overhead in bandwidth costs and the expense of customer turnover.
Better network management to enable BYOD. IT administrators can now enable employees to use their mobile devices at work because they are now able to protect and consistently enforce policies across all devices on their network, whether they are corporate or employee owned.
‘’Blue Coat’s Proxy saved us quite a bit of money and time on administration. Our auditors and compliance officers are spending less time troubleshooting problems and are able to focus on driving business profit. User productivity has also increased in lockstep with network reliability and security.’’