Author: netprotocol

Why Is Your Next Network Upgrade So Important To Your Organisation?

Have you ever considered that your next Wi-Fi upgrade is what’s going to power your digitalised classroom or workplace for years to come? 

Whether you’re an education provider or a legal enterprise, digital transformation has been brought forward and to a degree taken over due to the current pandemic – we’ve been forced to ensure our teaching practices and workforce are more agile, able to respond to the unpredictable constraints of both this and any future crisis.

So how can this be achieved? Well the key ‘enabler’ to advancing your IT will be the ‘Wi-Fi Network’.

Why Is Wi-Fi 6 So Different?

When we think of digital transformation, we think of cloud, mobility, IoT or even smart classrooms…. and the one thing all these have in common is that they are all “network-centric” in nature – that is to say, ALL driven by reliable, accessible Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi has only been with us 21 years – but how it has advanced over these two short decades both in terms of reliability, security, and performance. So what makes Wi-Fi 6 so different to it’s predecessors? Well, its all in the technology – Wi-Fi 6 is the first wireless technology designed for the ‘all wireless’ work environment.

802.1111ax/Wi-Fi 6 has the ability to support multi-user communication, enabling more than one client to talk at a time. It’s no longer a matter of it just being faster – Wi-Fi 6 advances and improves the Wi-Fi service. So as Wi-Fi becomes so critical to your future operations, the way in which Wi-Fi is managed becomes equally important. Whether troubleshooting a network, or learning from the data provided, or being proactive vs reactive, technologies like AI, machine learning and deep learning will be key considerations when looking at management solutions.

Below – we have an on-demand session delivered by the Director of Wireless Solutions at Extreme Networks, who speaks about why your next upgrade is so important and how to ensure you make the right choice. If you haven’t watched this already, we’d highly encourage you to check out the video below where you can hear the details of what’s happening in Wi-Fi today and what the key considerations are when deploying wireless technologies:

17th November 2020 | Categories: Cloud, Education, Free Trials & Offers, Managed Services, Networking

NEWS: How a ‘Mimecast Miss’ led to a wide-scale email breach

In a recent blog from Darktrace’s Dan Fein – a Director at the world’s leading provider of cyber security AI – they report of a recent email attack that was not detected to be malicious by email security solution, Mimecast, but which was later identified to be a wide-scale email compromise, highlighting the challenges that businesses face as they adopt new ways of working.

As we know, Mimecast is widely used across the legal sector, however as these well-researched and convincing impersonation attacks rise, so do the number of successful account takeovers which are becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to prevent.

This report of a logistics firm who had Mimecast operating in its Microsoft 365 environment demonstrates how traditional email tools – which create rules for what ‘bad’ emails look like based on past campaigns – are missing these novel and sophisticated hoax emails in the current threat landscape.

The firm in question was trialling Darktrace’s Antigena Email in passive mode, meaning it wasn’t configured to actively interfere, but simply observe the email dashboard allowing them to see what actions the said technology would have taken – and the consequences of relying purely on gateways to stop advanced threats.

In this instance, through compromising just one employee’s email account, the attacker accessed several sensitive files, gathering details of employees and credit card transactions, and then began communicating with others in the organisation, sending out over two hundred further emails to take hold of more employee accounts. This activity was picked up in real time by Darktrace’s Microsoft 365 SaaS module.

HOW THE ATTACK BEGAN

The company was under sustained attack from a cyber-criminal who had already performed account hijacks on a number of their trusted partners. Abusing their trusted relationships, the attacker sent out several tailored emails from these partners’ accounts to the Logistics company. All used the same convention in the subject – RFP for [compromised company’s name] – and all appeared to be credential harvesting.

Figure 1: A sample of the malicious emails from the hijacked accounts; the red icon indicating that Antigena Email would have held these emails back

Each of these emails contained a malicious payload, which was a file storage (SharePoint) link, hidden behind the below text. It’s likely the attacker did this to bypass mail link analysis. Mimecast did rewrite the link for analysis, but it failed to identify it as malicious.

Figure 2: Darktrace surfaces the text behind which the link was hidden

When clicked on, the link took the victim to a fake Microsoft login page for credential harvesting. This was an accurate replica of a genuine login page and sent email and password combinations directly to the attacker for further account compromise.

Figure 3: The fake Microsoft login page

A number of employees read the email, including the CEO; however only one person – a general manager – appeared to get their email account hijacked by the attacker.

HOW THE EMAIL BREACH WAS DETECTED 

About three hours after opening the malicious email, an anomalous SaaS login was detected on the account by Darktrace’s Antigena Email from an IP address not seen across the business before.

Open source analysis of the IP address showed that it was a high fraud risk ISP, which runs anonymising VPNs and servers – this may have been how the attacker overcame geofencing rules. Shortly afterwards, Darktrace detected an anonymous sharing link being created for a password file.

Figure 4: Darktrace’s SaaS Module revealing the anomalous creation of a link

Darktrace revealed that this file was subsequently accessed by the anomalous IP address. Deeper analysis showed that the attacker repeated this methodology, making previously protected resources publicly available, before immediately accessing them publicly via the same IP address. Darktrace AI observed the attacker accessing potentially sensitive information, including a file that appeared to hold information about credit card transactions, as well as a document containing passwords.

The following day, after the attacker had exhausted all sensitive information they could elicit from the compromised email account, they then used that account to send out further malicious emails to trusted business associates using the same methodology as before – sending fake and targeted RFPs in an attempt to compromise credentials. Darktrace’s SaaS module identified this anomalous behavior, graphically revealing that the attacker sent out over 1,600 tailored emails over the course of 25 minutes.

Figure 5: A graphical representation of the burst of emails sent over a 25 minute period

WHY AI IS NECESSARY TO FIGHT MODERN EMAIL THREATS 

For the logistics company in question, this incident served as a wake-up call. The Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) running their cloud security was completely unaware of the account takeover, which was detected by Darktrace’s SaaS Module. The organisation realised that today’s email security challenge requires best in class technologies that can not only prevent phishing emails from reaching the inbox, but detect account takeovers and malicious outbound emails sent – should they get through and compromise an account.

This incident caused the organisation to deploy Antigena Email in active mode, allowing the technology to stop the most subtle and targeted threats that attempt to enter through the inbox based on its nuanced and contextual understanding of the normal ‘pattern of life’ for every user and device.

The reality is, hundreds of emails like this trick not only humans, but traditional security tools every day. It’s clear that when it comes to the growing email security challenge, the status quo is no longer good enough. With the modern workforce more dispersed and agile than ever, there is a growing need to protect remote users across SaaS collaboration platforms, whilst neutralising email attacks before they reach the inbox.

Thanks to Darktrace analyst Liam Dermody for his insights on the above threat find.


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Has Cyber Security AI Now Officially Outsmarted Humans?

We at NETprotocol work with AI every day and regularly hear these claims that it could – in the near future – outsmart us humans. Really? Is this a realistic claim to suggest that AI technology could out perform a human being? Afterall, AI wouldn’t actually exist if a human hadn’t created it to begin with.

That said, in certain fields of technology, the power of AI is simply groundbreaking. And cyber security is proving to be one of those. As Max Heinemeyer, Director of Threat Hunting at Darktrace pointed out in a recent blog, the odds are stacked against those working to defend their business or organisation from a cyber attack. Whilst savvy hackers only need to be successful at compromising one weak link to begin infiltration, those seeking to protect their data need to get it all right, all of the time.

And so this is where AI has come in to its own. With an expanding task list, cyber security experts are expected to monitor and identify threats coming from both inside and outside an organisation, often from multiple locations worldwide, identifying abnormalities before they cause any damage and reporting on these to Board members to justify their cause. Without knowing what the next threat is going to look like, it is impossible to keep ahead of the perpetrators whilst upholding day to day security standards.

Is there any doubt therefore that when it comes to cyber security, AI will and can do the job better and smarter than a team of expert humans could do? Digital networks handle terabytes of data every day – the scale is unthinkable for humans, who have limitations on how much information they can process at a time, and need regular breaks. But it’s more than just a scaling issue – the AI gets to better outcomes, uncovering damaging cyber attacks that the human can’t find.

Today, cyber AI technology is detecting the most sophisticated attacks out there including those from the sophisticated Chinese cyber espionage group known as APT41 and even the alleged Russian ransomware gang EvilCorp. As AI has advanced, it is now capable of pinpointing abnormal activity and behaviours which human teams are unable to detect amid the noise of normal digital activity – the first step in outsmarting humans.

The second step is more fundamental still – the AI now interrogates its own findings. In other words, instead of human beings looking at the outputs of the AI and applying their human understanding, AI is now taking care of this too. Known as an AI Analyst, this technology applies contextual understanding to launch a full-blown investigation into what has happened on the network. The result of the investigation is a much faster response to resolve the threat, plus a machine-generated, human-readable report about the incident.

The time savings are huge, and vital for overwhelmed human security teams. Where a human security analyst would take 3 hours on average to interrogate just one suspicious event – the AI does this in seconds. And the report can be generated in whatever language is required, enabling not just an instant response, but a global one too.

Cyber AI technology is now carrying out 1.4million investigations every week, elevating human teams to focus on tactical and strategic tasks like shaping long-term strategy and policies.

By 2021, the role of the ‘human’ security analyst will be changed for good. It will be normal for internal security investigations to be performed by AI. 2021 will also be the year where businesses fully embrace autonomous response – the application of AI that fights back against cyber-threats automatically, without a human being involved.

As we see this increased use of AI to defend our data, we are also seeing cyber attackers harnessing it’s power and using AI to identify a weakness in your security. This trend will only accelerate the growth of Cyber AI technology and eventually will cause Autonomous Response to be quite literally the means for survival – only AI can fight back against AI.

A recent survey highlighted this revealing 88% of security leaders say supercharged AI attacks are inevitable with over half of them anticipating the industry will see these attacks in the next 12 months.

Organisations will effectively delegate the first-line response to an emerging cyber-threat to machine algorithms, allowing the AI to react at computer-speed to fast-moving attacks. We are already used to the idea of AI recommending what to watch on Netflix based on our personal preferences – and there’s no difference in security, AI will be recommending what action to take in response to a cyber-attack.

In many cases, the action will be taken instantaneously to prevent the breach or damage – time is rarely on your side when dealing with computer-driven attacks. It is inevitabe that all of this will be normal protocol – AI will be expected to have your back at all times – when the team is busy, or they are resting at home, at the weekend, or simply when they can’t get there quickly enough.

So how does this affect the human role? The human role changes from the central character of threat detection and response, to a supporting role. But it also enables the human to step onto a bigger stage altogether and focus on shaping policy and longer term strategy.

AI has been advanced, perhaps to the greatest extent, in its ability to handle cyber-attacks. In cyber defence, AI has proven that it can outperform human capabilities in detecting, understanding and stopping cyber-threats. This step forward is necessary and should be welcomed – not feared.


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Extreme Networks announces UKI ‘Partner of the Year Award’

Founded in 1996 and with around 2800 employees worldwide, Extreme’s partner conference is always a big event for IT resellers who specialise in the networking space. Taking place over two days on 20th and 21st October 2020, this year’s was one that NETprotocol will remember above the rest!

Not least because the entire event was delivered virtually – but more so because NETprotocol were honoured to accept Extreme’s UKI ‘Partner of the Year’ Award 2020 – a huge achievement for this Yorkshire based IT consultancy in a year where they have seen unprecedented growth, thanks to the outstanding technical excellence of their team, who are each certified to the highest of standards.

“This award is a big deal not just for our business, but for me personally,” comments Paul Walker, Managing Director at NETprotocol.

“It is the 2nd national award we have received from Extreme in three years, having also been presented with ‘Innovation Partner of the Year’ Award in 2018 – a testament to our strength of partnership with Extreme, and for us, a message that we must be getting it right for our clients too,” he explains.

Bringing together their global channel community, Extreme’s Annual Partner Conference offered each attendee the opportunity to access a range of valuable sessions covering Extreme’s roadmap, marketing strategies, and interactive discussions. A range of hosts from Extreme’s leadership team, engineers and industry experts delivered strategic insights, product updates and best practices over the course of the event.

“We would like to congratulate NETprotocol on this achievement,” remarked Holly Anschutz, Head of Channel Sales – UK&I at Extreme. “This award is so very thoroughly deserved and we would like to thank the entire team for their hard work, dedication and support. Long may our partnership continue!”

The award success has come just three months after NETprotocol received news they had been promoted to be just one of an exclusive group of partners who achieved ‘Black Diamond’ status with Extreme, in July this year.

This recognition marked the high level of investment and time the team has committed to obtaining advanced skills and expertise across multiple networking technologies and solutions within Extreme’s portfolio. To achieve this status, a partner must have achieved three Extreme master specialisations.

As a Black Diamond partner, NETprotocol receives premium benefits which will in turn provide a better service to it’s customers and open up opportunities for clients to access the full range of products at highly competitive rates.

“We would like to thank Extreme for presenting this award to NETprotocol and look forward to working in continued partnership throughout 2021 and beyond,” Paul concludes.

21st October 2020 | Categories: Uncategorised

EDU NEWS: Yorkshire School Implement Digital Learning

New Cloud-Managed Wi-Fi Network Delivers Reliable Wi-Fi 6 Connectivity and a Powerful User Experience for Students & Staff at Harrogate Grammar School

Media Release Published by Extreme Networks: 21st September 2020

Extreme Networks, a cloud-driven networking company, in partnership with NETprotocol, has deployed ExtremeCloud™ IQ at Harrogate Grammar School to support its progressive 1:1 education approach. Based in North Yorkshire, Harrogate Grammar School is a non-selective school of 2,000 pupils that is part of the Red Kite Learning Trust, a group of 13 schools on a mission to offer students the best learning experience possible.

“Providing a 1:1 learning environment, inclusive to all, that helps maximise student potential is integral to what we do. We need a constant and reliable network connection to provide continuous access to education resources,” explains Iain Hails, Network Services Manager, Harrogate Grammar School.

To help Harrogate Grammar School realise their connected classroom aspirations, NETprotocol and Extreme Networks joined forces to deploy ExtremeWireless high-density Wi-Fi 6 access points and ExtremeCloud IQ, an advanced cloud management platform, and offer an end-to-end network management and operations solution.

In addition to implementing ExtremeCloud IQ, access points were added into classrooms to offer reliable connectivity for the 30+ devices in each room and to enhance coverage and minimise cross-channel interference with other rooms. The scalability, security and simplicity offered by this solution has further helped futureproof the school’s infrastructure to power a new connected and interactive learning experience for students and staff today, meet the educational technology needs of tomorrow.

The benefits of the solution deployed by Extreme Networks include:

  • Enhanced connectivity for all users: the solution provided by Extreme Networks has enabled staff, students and guests to operate more than 2,500 devices throughout the school at any given time. It provides a reliable and scalable network structure capable of catering for any future growth in the number of devices.
  • Provides Full Control and Visibility to IT staff: the cloud-driven network technology has provided the IT team with a secure and centralised network management solution. It enables the team to move access points and routers without any disruption to network connectivity.
  • Eliminates Network Access Issues and Delays: with the deployment of the new network students and staff are able to access any given resource without delay anywhere on the site and at any time.

“Harrogate Grammar School is an educational institution striving to provide the best teaching experience possible for its students. By placing the emphasis on technology to better connect and educate, they are advancing their teaching initiatives and placing student experience first. To achieve this 1:1 learning, in partnership with NETprotocol, we have built a robust, reliable, and resilient networking infrastructure to effortlessly meet the needs of staff, students and its visitors,” adds Dahwood Ahmed, Senior Country Manager UK&I, Extreme Networks.

“We are proud to support the Red Kite Learning Trust in implementing this same advanced solution across its other schools. The flexibility that our cloud-based approach provides will ensure that the students of today can enjoy the learning experience of tomorrow.”

Harrogate Grammar School’s mission to provide a connected and technology-focused learning environment has been realised through the adoption of ExtremeCloud IQ. It delivers 1:1 learning for students without networking limitations and has optimised staff productivity.

28th September 2020 | Categories: Cloud, Education, Managed Services, Networking

NETprotocol celebrates recent award of Premier Partner status by StorageCraft

As NETprotocol celebrates its 20th year of operation, the IT consultancy and solutions provider is delighted to announce it has been awarded Premier Partner status by leading data management vendor, StorageCraft.

Having seen continuous growth and rise in demand from clients for efficient data storage, backup and recovery solutions, NETprotocol’s relationship with StorageCraft has progressed from strength to strength in recent years.

NETprotocol provides IT Consultancy, Managed Services and Support to organisations which are heavily reliant on both storing and accessing customer and student data quickly and reliably. With a customer base that primarily focuses on the Legal and Education sectors, their partnership with StorageCraft has enabled them to build a best-in-class business continuity proposition, which meets the stringent and highly regulated needs of these data-rich industries.

Encompassing a complete data management solution, NETprotocol combines unrivalled industry knowledge with StorageCraft’s award-winning backup, disaster recovery and near-infinite scale-out storage technologies, offering an unrivalled proposition to clients across the UK.

“As part of their Partner Success Program, StorageCraft shares the latest industry knowledge with partners including technical training programmes, dedicated marketing resource and provides flexible billing options to suit individual client needs,” comments Matt Widdowson, Commercial Director at NETprotocol.

“They have the ability to offer a comprehensive range of enterprise-class data protection, recovery and storage technologies with complete ease, helping us remain focused on meeting client expectations and keeping their data both safe and accessible at all times,” Matt summarises.

StorageCraft has built a modular and flexible approach to working with partners in order that they can together differentiate what they offer and create tailored business continuity solutions for clients of all sizes.

For law firms and education providers in particular, keeping their critical information safe, accessible and optimised – whilst eliminating downtime – are essential tasks for IT management and serviced providers. NETprotocol work closely with StorageCraft to effectively manage and simplify the constant challenge of data growth and accessibility for these customers.

For more information on NETprotocol’s data protection solutions, please click below:

COVID Impact: Is It Time To Rebalance Your Tech Investments?

Top 3 Business Impacts & Recommendations For CIOs: Lessons Learned From COVID-19

The impacts of COVID-19 – which businesses have experienced large and small – serve as a wake-up call for those that are unprepared for the long-term implications of this or a similar pandemic, and what is now being referred to as the #newnormal.

As a result of the impacts of COVID-19, enterprises globally are facing the difficulties of supply chain disruption and employee immobilisation. Since COVID-19 is contagious, businesses are also evaluating the prospect of cancelling in-person meetings, conferences and events. Consumer demand has been impacted differently across industries. Some enterprises have experienced dramatic negative impacts, such as travel and public transportation, while others are experiencing major demand spikes – like pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

Most businesses are focused on dealing with the short-term impacts of coronavirus, but it’s critical to recognise the long-term impacts, too. Because traditional channels of operation and communication have been disrupted, the value of digital channels has never been more evident. Thus, CIOs can present a better business case as digitalisation serves as a wake-up call for businesses that are potentially overly focused on daily operational needs rather than digital investments and long-term flexibility. To better prepare for future growth, it’s advisable for organizations to rebalance business priorities and technology investments now.

“COVID-19 has disrupted operations and will have prolonged impacts on continuity of operations, modes of working and growth patterns. CIOs need to respond to the crisis with both short- and long-term actions to increase resilience against future disruptions, and prepare for rebound and growth.” – Gartner, Inc. in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak: Short- and Long-Term Actions for CIOs

Top 3 COVID-19 Impacts CIOs Should Be Aware of and Be Responding To Today

1. Organisations are struggling with business continuity while many employees are stranded in various locations without immediate plans for returning.

Quarantine measures and travel restrictions are abounding globally, leading to significant uncertainty as to when employees may return to their respective work locations. Employees who have managed to return to home base are typically asked to self-quarantine for seven to 14 days. To compound matters, travel restrictions seem indefinite, making it hard to predict when business operations can resume rather than running on limited capacity or remaining suspended entirely. As a result of the geographic disparity of employees and general uncertainty, the demand for cloud based technology and collaboration tools has surged as businesses have worked tediously to enable remote workforces.

There are many hard-hitting lessons garnered from the COVID-19 crisis that may very well be valuable for long-term business flexibility and sustainability. Remote work is sure to become more mainstream post COVID-19; thus, businesses should be preparing for the change. CIOs will do well to develop a robust digital workplace strategy to improve overall efficiency, ensure business continuity and enable employees to work remotely successfully.

2. Changes in market demands are drastic, leading to major stress for businesses

Fluctuating market demands are impacting businesses in a dichotomous fashion: first, many industries are facing considerable declines in demand. Financial challenges are a serious problem as cash flows deplete. Conversely, some industries are experiencing major demand spikes: online grocery, medical equipment and supplies, education, etc. However, many of these organisations simply weren’t prepared with the proper employees or facilities to cope, resulting in frustrated, disengaged customers.

Businesses will need to enable self-service options and diversify their investments in digital tools to respond more effectively to changing demand through digital channels. Making these investments will allow organisations to be more strategic and resilient in the long term.

3. Unclear or limited information is leading to misinformed business decisions, which is increasing employee anxiety and resulting in unpreparedness for future rebound and growth plans
Information on COVID-19 is pouring in from a myriad of sources and government entities. Due to the mix of information, it’s an uncertain environment in which to makes decisions as to when employees can return to the office. Many employees are feeling anxious because corporate communications don’t always address key concerns. Businesses should utilise data to support their go-forward decision making and communicate progress and changes to employees. It’s also a good time to test the quality of data and analytics capabilities designed to influence business decisions.

The above is an overview of the primary business impacts CIOs should be aware of and responding to during this time. In the FULL GARTNER REPORT, you’ll gain a more comprehensive overview that includes short and long-term recommendations for CIOs.

Why Schools Are Choosing ExtremeCloud IQ Networks?

As digital transformation takes hold in the education sector, schools are facing rising pressures to better engage with students, enhancing their learning experiences and improving results.

New styles of teaching and technologies are allowing students to thrive including the use of personal devices, digital resources and applications, virtual learning environments and online assessements. All of these changes however place increased pressure on your network to perform reliably, whilst meeting security and compliance requirements.

This short video shows how Extreme’s cloud-driven networking solutions simplify the complexity of the smart classroom, while maintaining student safety and security on a resilient network infrastructure from the edge to the campus data centre…

WATCH HOW IT WORKS

1st September 2020 | Categories: Cloud, Education, Networking

#HashTag LegalIT Newsletter – from Summer 2020

For Legal IT Professionals from Legal IT Experts….

For the latest news, views and trends in the Legal Technology sector, click on the links below:

For more information or advice on any of the topics covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice: 

Law Firm Eliminates Downtime & Security Risk

LEGAL FIRM Automates 3-way Failover to Eliminate Risk of Downtime and Potential Loss of Network Security

ABOUT BEAUMONT LEGAL

Beaumont Legal is a well-established provider of legal services specialising in multiple practice areas including Conveyancing, Wills & Probate, Commercial Law and Litigation. As one of the UK’s leading conveyancing law firms, they have built a strong reputation over many years and pride themselves on client care and efficiency.

Tony Makings is Head of IT Support at the firm and is responsible for maintaining their IT infrastructure and servers, whilst ensuring business continuity at all times. He contacted NETprotocol with various concerns which needed resolving including; having no visibility of current firewall rules; experiencing long waits for any firewall reconfiguration work; and there being no failover capability in the event of any loss or interruption of internet connectivity.

“The solution that NETprotocol has implemented has exceeded what we thought was possible; to have three-way failover provides us with absolute peace of mind. I am really impressed by the knowledge and professionalism of the team at NETprotocol – from sales through to implementation. Matt and the technical team were readily available when I had any questions and their engineers worked through the weekend to ensure everything was up and running correctly.”

TONY MAKINGS, HEAD OF IT SUPPORT, www.beaumontlegal.co.uk

BEAUMONT LEGAL’S CHALLENGE

Due to their main specialism being conveyancing, any downtime as a result of internet outage can have a major impact on staff productivity, client experience and other conveyancers in the chain (and their clients). On reviewing the firewall deployment at both of Beaumont’s offices, NETprotocol found that there was a direct interoffice link between the two sites and each office had an established connection to the internet. Existing firewall technology did not however use the interoffice link as a failover for internet access, which would normally take effect if one office lost its connectivity.

THEIR NEEDS

In the event of an office losing its internet connection or firewall security, Beaumont Legal needed to ensure this would automatically failover to use the other office’s connection and/or firewall – upholding complete security and business continuity in the event of an unexpected outage. Whilst achieving this, Tony Makings also highlighted that they needed to gain ongoing visibility of the rules setup on their firewall, allowing him to manage these effectively and ensure the security of their systems and client data could be maintained at all times.

THE SOLUTION

After a number of meetings to discuss the best solution for Beaumont Legal, we agreed a plan which would fit with their existing infrastructure. As their previous technology was not working as intended, NETprotocol proposed Forcepoint’s next-generation SD-WAN Firewall solution, in order to facilitate complete security and business continuity.

This was firstly achieved by connecting both sites via the interoffice link – where if either the internet connection or the firewall set up should fail for one office, it would gain immediate access to the other site’s internet or firewall set up. This is an automatic process and no administrator intervention is required.

Secondly, NETprotocol then used the interoffice link to pass both local and internet traffic between the 2 offices, so again – failover could take place if an internet connection was lost at either of the sites. Traffic remains secure from both sites as this has been kept separate using VLAN technology. Finally, the third stage of the deployment was to optimise security and ensure this would not be compromised should an outage arise. To achieve this, NETprotocol configured the switches so, should the system lose an entire next-generation firewall cluster from one office, it will divert any traffic down the interoffice link to the other firewall, which once checked, would be delivered to its original destination.

On completion of this work, Beaumont Legal had 2 offices, each with a 2-node firewall cluster. They can now therefore safely lose an internet connection, or even an entire firewall cluster at either office, and still function.

KEY BENEFITS & OUTCOMES

With Forcepoint’s next-gen SD WAN multilink technology, this entire failover process now happens automatically to minimise the possibility of any downtime and will revert back when the connection is reinstated. Furthermore, VPN connections to both offices are available across both internet connections thanks to the Next Gen SD-WAN technology. This again means that if one internet connection was to fail, both offices would automatically be available for VPN connectivity, with no action needed from the end user.

When working in the legal sector, you can’t put a value on guaranteed security and compliance which is what Beaumont Legal have now achieved. Tony also highlights the time-saving benefits of the technologies installed by NETprotocol, removing the need for long delays should any reconfiguration be required.

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