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Products Used: Web Security, Hosted Email Security
Websense® solutions help accounting firm see uptick in productivity
Websense solutions put an end to spam and keep malicious code out, while allowing us to benefit from sites like Facebook.
Ray Finck, Manager Information Systems, Lowe Lippmann
Lowe Lippmann, located in Melbourne, Australia, is one of the city’s premier, medium-sized chartered accountancy and business advisory practices. Founded in 1947, the company offers a wide variety of traditional and specialized services to keep up with diverse client requirements. Clients represent a broad range of industries varying in size from small companies to those with annual revenues in excess of $100 million.
In 2007 Lowe Lippmann was experiencing problems with their email and Web security. A rising tide of unsolicited email was accounting for more than 88 percent of all traffic. Spam was restricting and delaying the flow of legitimate client traffic. Staff were experiencing poor email performance, impacting the quality of service they were able to provide to clients. In addition, as staff browsed the Web on company computers, they were unintentionally downloading malicious code.
“We have around 100 Web users spread across two adjacent buildings,” says Lowe Lippmann's manager of Information Systems, Ray Finck. “Many of them are Generation Y who expect to be able to use the Web for anything they want. At the time, we had no restrictions on Web use, and we ended up experiencing multiple instances of malicious code entering the network. We needed an extra layer of security that was able to block such code before it could even come into the organisation.”
What Finck wanted was a way of screening websites before staff could access them — something that would alert IT to potential Web dangers and would block known malware-infected sites. He also wanted a solution that would eliminate the company’s growing spam problem.
Lowe Lippmann turned to Websense Hosted Email Security and Websense Web Security. “We didn't consider going to anything else,” Finck says. When we looked at the Websense Web Security interface, it seemed to have exactly what we wanted. We also saw tremendous value in moving toward a unified content security solution provided by one vendor for greater security and easier administration. It made it an easy decision.”
Websense Hosted Email Security and Websense Web Security were quickly installed, providing protection for all Lowe Lippmann Web users across its two sites. According to Finck, implementing both products was a painless and trouble-free process.
The Websense solutions delivered terrific results on all fronts. As soon as Websense Web Security went live, it began protecting the company's network. Every time a staff member attempts to access a website, Websense scans the content in milliseconds. Users are given access to the site only after the solution confirms that there are no known issues associated with the destination website.
As for spam problems, the amount of spam reaching the network immediately dropped from 88 percent of all traffic to less than 1 percent. To date, no malicious code has entered through the cloud-based email solution. Finck used the introduction of Websense Web Security to initiate changes to the company's Web access policies. Websense Web Security enabled the company to control employee use and access to various websites and Web social networking applications. He chose to exclude gaming, pornographic, and hate sites plus some social networking sites. Other social sites such as Facebook are available to staff members with specific usage policies. When quizzed as to why the company has enabled the use of Facebook, Finck says, “More and more companies are seeing a direct business need for it. For example, the Institute of Chartered Accountants has a young accountants’ forum on Facebook. It's work-related, so we needed to open it up.”
Giving access during non-work hours also means that staff doesn’t feel that the policy is too draconian, and they have been more willing to accept policies built around other social networking sites. “We don't block too much, because we know Websense is helping us to enable the safe usage of these sites that are very dynamic in nature,” Finck observes. “We are constantly reviewing sites. Access will continue to be tweaked over time. It's one of the things I like most about the product. It's very easy to implement policies.”
“Ultimately, we are very happy with the Websense products. Websense Hosted Email Security is doing its job and stopping any problems before they reach our server. Now we've introduced the same kind of thing for our Web users with Websense Web Security.” Finck says, adding, “Since implementing the Web security solution, we’ve seen the number of security incidents decline.”