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Sophos UTM, Next-Gen Firewall Appliance Consolidates Network Security

Rapid growth in a company can be exciting. But it can also lead to a number of challenges, such as a lack of business processes and neglecting key IT functions like security. That’s what the CFO and director of IT of a mid-sized lighting company was up against when he called MicroAge’s Christopher Reinhard.

“There was no continuity in IT. Some people were just purchasing equipment off of Amazon. They’re growing quickly—that kind of reaction is actually pretty typical,” Chris says. “They brought us in to help assess their IT situation and to bring down costs.”

The primary IT goal was security. Because of the lack of purchasing and IT processes, the company was working with a number of security vendors.

“They had a lot of vendors, but they had no real control over the environment,” Chris says. “They often deal with sensitive data, so they wanted to lock it down and prevent breaches.” And just as importantly, Chris explains, they saw security improvements as a means to improving productivity.

A unified threat management (UTM) product made sense. So, Chris helped the client look at a number of providers, eventually settling on Sophos, which he says is an ideal solution for small to medium-sized enterprises.

“Sophos is security. That’s all they do,” Chris says. “It consolidates your security into a single pane of glass, which is great for the administrator,” he adds. “It really makes it easier for the administrator.”

Dave Fore, Channel Account Executive for Sophos, emphasizes that it’s a true integrated solution. “It is an appliance that allows clients to simplify by consolidating many network and gateway-level security solutions into a single appliance,” he says. “We protect better, because we provide visibility into Web traffic, network traffic, email traffic—everything. And all of this happens on one box. So we have a lot more context about the threats that are happening.”

Running the Sophos UTM & Next-Gen Firewall in high-availability mode in two locations (an office facility and factory location) is providing the client with maximum protection 24/7. Plus, Sophos can boast its boxes are currently the fastest UTM boxes on the market. And the console gives the IT director a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening on his network.

“They can see all the traffic, which is very cool,” Chris explains. “If you had something rogue go onto the network and pull from your bandwidth, you’d know it.”

As a result, the client has learned that employees are spending more time (and company bandwidth) than previously thought on YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites, and even streaming movies.

“Some stuff is OK, obviously, but some of this activity is just ridiculous,” Chris says. “Having these insights from Sophos helped our client be able to get his hands around it—and do something about it.”

The goal, Dave adds, is to help IT managers understand what’s going on so they can make informed decisions about policies. For example, departments that don’t have a business case for being on YouTube or Netflix can be blocked from those sites.

And it wasn’t long after deploying the Sophos UTM product that the client was a Sophos believer. Two months into the relationship, the client purchased Sophos’ Endpoint Protection product as well.

After working with Chris and Dave, the client’s security costs were cut in half—and they gained peace of mind that they didn’t have before.

“They have a true sense of security. They now know not only what’s coming into the environment—but also what’s going on inside the environment,” Chris says. “Everyone freaks out about external threats. But internal threats are what’s causing major data breaches. When you combine endpoint and network protection, you harden the environment from all types of threats.”

Isn’t time to secure your environment? Let Chris Reinhard help. Reach him at 480-366-2091 or

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Christopher Reinhard
24 Years Experience
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