When it comes to the network security, WatchGuard partner Resolve Technology has a simple message: Go unified, go simplified.
Catering primarily to law firms and professional services companies, this strategy places boutique IT provider Resolve Technology in good stead with their customers.
Simon Falconer, Resolve Technology managing director, says the company aims to offer customers a unified approach to IT in general.
“We don’t want law firms or managing partners having to think about their telco, their security, servers and so on.
“We’re trying to appliance it, make it unified, make it hardened and make it reliable.
“And, as a service provider, we’re trying to make it repeatable and scalable, too.”
Falconer says WatchGuard fits nicely into that play.
The company offers WatchGuard’s award winning firewall appliances, from the Firebox M440 for mid-sized and distributed enterprise down to their T10-D for smaller environments - an appliance Nick Phillips, Resolve Technology project manager, says was a welcome sight when it arrived in New Zealand late last year.
“We have a lot of customers who don’t have access to fibre, and we had been looking for some time for a VDSL-capable firewall that didn’t cost a bomb or require specialist language to configure, ship out and support,” he says.
“The T10 has been around for awhile with ADSL, but the T10D is the first to offer VDSL.
“Out of the box we can offer URL filtering, data loss prevention, threat protection… The sort of things our customers didn’t really think they needed, but once you explain what it is, they realise it is actually essential.”
Phillips says the ease of configuration and setup is enabling Resolve to dramatically save set up time and use junior engineers – or even non-IT staff from the customer – to deploy the firewall.
“We went to a customer’s site the other day and had them up and running on a new T10 in about an hour, from start to finish – and that includes getting it added to the management server and all the VPN tunnels up, which is usually quite a timely process.”
Adds Falconer: “At a remote location like that, when you just want to put the cards in your favour occasionally, having a WatchGuard means you can just turn up and know you’re going to leave a working solution.”
“And it’s so easy to maintain and manage them remotely compared to any other device out there,” Phillips adds.
He says the T10 ties in nicely with WatchGuard’s Dimension cloud-ready network security visibility offering.
Dimension provides a suite of big data visibility and reporting tools that instantly identify and distil key security issues and trends and deliver valuable insights to enable meaningful security policies to be set across the network.
“We can do that traffic shaping and easy diagnostics and generate reports,” Phillips says.
“It’s fantastic for such a small device to be able to offer that enterprise level of information that you don’t normally get on an appliance like this.”
Dimension enables Resolve to quickly see unusual network activity related to malware and threats, internet usage and bandwidth consumption at any time.
“We look after a lot of firewalls out there and Dimension is great.
“It’s a one-stop portal for us to be able to go through all the devices we look after and check where traffic is going to and from, what traffic is getting blocked, and it provides a bit of a threat map.”
An added bonus for Resolve is that multiple people can view the information at the same time to identify an issue, and Resolve can also give customers the ability to log into it so they can see their own firewall.
“It’s a truly great product that we use quite often,” Phillips says.
Resolve is also using APT Blocker to add a ‘great’ additional layer of security, blocking malware and placing it in a virtual sandbox.
“It’s just that next level of security we can offer our customers to protect their data and intellectual property.
“It’s little add-ons to your firewall like this, and WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus, that really strengthen your network so we can say, hand on heart, that we are doing everything in our power to protect our own infrastructure, and our client’s data.
“As BYOD becomes more popular and people are using Dropbox and all kinds of things inside your network, being able to filter out and prevent the spread of nasties is becoming more important.”
Phillips says the UFB rollout means now it the time for New Zealand businesses to be thinking about the technology they need to have in place to gain the best benefits from fibre.
“Now is the time to be thinking about your next generation firewall. Your garden variety home router won’t take advantage of the capacity the new network can offer you,” he says.
He notes that while many businesses upgrade their PCs when they get slow and clunky, network appliances can often be left out of timely upgrade cycles.
“We like to use WatchGuard to get in there and just simplify and strengthen the network and provide some true stability, because it is often the network that has been neglected over years.”