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"Since 2001, Hardwyre has been the exclusive IT support company for the Parker Automotive Group. Steve and the entire team have given us excellent service, in a timely manner, at fair prices. You couldn't ask for anything more!"



- Randy D. Parsley
Operations Manager, Parker Automotive Group

 

WatchGuard Fireware Tightens Network Security at Russell Chevrolet

Network security is a top priority for Russell Chevrolet. As the largest car dealership in North Little Rock serving thousands of customers each month, protecting sensitive customer data is one of the company's biggest concerns.

To that end, Russell Chevrolet has had several effective security measures in place over the years. In fact, a network security consultation with Hardwyre revealed that the dealership had done exceedingly well in safeguarding its data from exterior threats – hackers would have had a difficult time penetrating the network from the outside.

However, the inspection also showed that the network wasn't as secure as it could have been from the inside. Why? Employees had unregulated, unfiltered access to the Internet. They could visit any site on the Web, including malicious sites that could potentially let malware, spyware and other internet bugs into the network. A potential network attack was a risk General Manager Brent Russell wasn't willing to take. He needed the ability to limit where his employees were going on the Internet. And with a lean IT staff, he needed a centralized security solution that was easy to use and maintain.


The Solution

Russell consulted further with Hardwyre about his perimeter network security weakness. After a thorough IT audit and research, Hardwyre recommended the WatchGuard Firewall running WebBlocker for its combination of robust security, powerful URL filtering and intuitive user management interface – all at the right price.

In 2004, Hardwyre installed the WatchGuard appliance at Russell Chevrolet along with an HP Proliant server running Windows 2003. Hardwyre also configured the hardware into Russell Chevrolet's remote networks at Russell GM and Russell Honda, which are located in separate buildings on the dealership lot. This gave Russell the ability to block his employees' access to unsafe sites even if he's not there in person to monitor and enforce an Internet Use Policy. 

Using WatchGuard, Russell has blocked access to risky peer-to-peer and social networking technologies – such as MySpace and Facebook, instant messaging, Bit Torrent, LimeWire and Web mail capabilities – that deliver bandwidth-hogging streaming media and often distribute malware.

The appliance's robust security capabilities cloak critical server information, control authorization methods, shun detected attacks, and scan HTTP traffic to block threats at the gateway, before they can enter the network. What's more, the solution's URL filtering uses a continually updated database, blocking more than 14.4 million sites. All of this has enabled Russell Chevrolet to balance Web access for work purposes with protecting employees and customers from inappropriate and potentially dangerous online content.


The Results

Since implementing the WatchGuard Fireware three years ago, Russell says he has noticed many improvements at his company. Most importantly, he says his employees spend more time working and less time surfing the Internet.

“WatchGuard has definitely boosted my employees' productivity,” he says about Hardwyre's solution.

Furthermore, Russell credits the appliance with giving him peace of mind about the security of his network. And in conjunction with an Internet Usage Policy and due diligence to restrict access to risky Web content, WatchGuard has also reduced the risk of Web-related legal suits for Russell Chevrolet.

How have his employees responded to their surfing limitations? Surprisingly well. Russell says he's had

relatively few complaints. And if employees request access to blocked Web sites, Russell says he grants access if they can justify using the sites for legitimate business needs. For example, several of his auto mechanics have asked to use eBay for purchasing used motors and car parts.

Throughout the network consultation, implementation and ongoing support process, Russell reports that Hardwyre has been extremely professional and responsive to his needs.

“Hardwyre has been pretty quick in answering my questions,” he says about working with the team of security experts. “They have proven themselves to be very knowledgeable about network security and the options available to me. I've been really pleased with their service.”

 
Hardwyre, Inc. a 804 Edgewood a Maumelle, AR 72113 a 501.851.2880 a info@hardwyre.com
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