Wednesday, 12 November 2008 03:20

RAMS Home Loans Secures Franchise Network with WatchGuard Deployment

WatchGuard® Technologies, a global leader in extensible network security and connectivity solutions, has been chosen to supply its Firebox X Peak™ 5500e Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance at RAMS Home Loans, a specialist in home loan lending.

This latest WatchGuard deployment at RAMS, which goes live this week, will support secure access to the RAMS corporate network for the company’s 100 strong franchisee network.

The decision to implement WatchGuard for the company’s franchisees follows successful and seamless implementation earlier in the year of two WatchGuard Firebox X Peak 5500e appliances at the company’s headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney. These were implemented to provide the high availability the organisation needed to ensure uptime, complete with load balancing and redundancy.

The Firebox Peak appliances replaced a combined Nokia and CheckPoint bundle point solution which was expensive to maintain and unable to meet the organisation’s requirements to cost-effectively scale in line with the organisation’s business growth.

Based on the success of this initial deployment, the new WatchGuard Peak appliance will now facilitate security for the company’s fast growing franchise network and secure access to the Internet and centrally held corporate data, including business files, email and Internet applications.

RAMS Home Loans independently-owned franchisees operate over 90 RAMS Home Loan Centres in both metropolitan and regional areas.

“Our RAMS Home Loan Centres are open six days a week and the franchisees and independent mortgage brokers are supported by a team of around 250 agents who process loans at two locations in Sydney. As a result, we required a modular security solution which could guarantee seamless and immediate integration to the company’s corporate MPLS network.”

“Following successful implementation earlier in the year, we found that the Internet ran faster with the WatchGuard Peak appliances and they also came with a very high level of support and professional experience. WatchGuard had all the functions we required for our security requirements at a price one quarter of our previous solution. Indeed, the cost of the annual maintenance fee for the previous Nokia point solution was more than the product itself and we were unable to opt out of this as it was mandatory.

“WatchGuard came to the table with a complete security solution, incorporating content management, anti-virus, spam filtering and reporting. At the same time, we found that it was easy to implement compared to our previous Cisco and CheckPoint solutions,” said Mark Austin, Head of IT, RAMS Financial Group.

WatchGuard Peak appliances offer zero day protection out of the box, with up to two gigabit-per-second firewall throughput. They provide organisations with full proxy firewall capabilities to prevent attacks from outside of the network as well as viruses, worms, or spyware brought in knowingly or unknowingly by internal users. In addition, the WatchGuard's suite of security services help boost protection in critical attack areas, including intrusion prevention.

In addition, real-time monitoring allows RAMS Home Loans to troubleshoot problems instantaneously and ensure that they are diagnosing the correct issues. Centralised management also enables the organisation to enforce security policies across all locations and users.

In selecting WatchGuard, RAMS worked closely with Harbour IT, a WatchGuard Expert partner headquartered in Sydney. Harbour IT reviewed the organisation’s infrastructure and helped determine the optimum combination of products.
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