Tight Internet security is absolutely essential for Hillarys Blinds, a market-leading company that makes nearly 30,000 blinds, curtains and shutters every week. The managed security service provided by Redscan increases the company’s protection from hackers and malware, blocks nuisance spams and removes a significant maintenance burden from the IT team.
The Internet and email play a fundamental role in the day-to-day running of Hillarys Blinds, the largest manufacturer of made-to-measure window blinds in the UK. A significant amount of the company’s business is generated through its Internet-based operation, web-blinds.com, and approximately 800 part-time sales advisors use mobile point-of-sales terminals to process orders in customers’ homes. “Simply put, without a secure communications infrastructure, the company wouldn’t be able to operate properly,” says Phil Squire, senior system administrator at Hillarys Blinds.
Hillarys Blinds was using a dedicated hardware firewall, email filter and web proxy server, but soon found that managing multiple technologies can be a burden. “Using three solutions meant that we incurred not just considerable financial costs; we were also paying a high price from an administration perspective. So while the separate solutions were largely effective at solving our original security problems, the amount of resources required to maintain them became a big overhead in itself.”
Although Hillarys Blinds’ email gateway system was effective at trapping malware-laden message attachments, its performance at filtering spam was unsatisfactory. “At first, the spam was more of an inconvenience but gradually more and more junk emails were evading the spam filter and finding their way into employees’ in-boxes, which meant staff had to delete the spam manually,” says Squire.
Hillarys Blinds selected Redscan’s Service Delivery Platform (Redscan SDP) and subscribed to Redscan’s unified threat management (UTM) service. It deployed two Redscan appliances on site, running parallel with one another, load balancing the traffic during regular operations and providing automatic failover for high redundancy. “We were very impressed by the real-time updates of the scanning engine and its comprehensive data monitoring capabilities,” says Squire.
Critically, the Redscan SDP helps Hillarys Blinds to easily demonstrate its compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). “One of the requirements of PCI DSS is that we install and maintain a firewall configuration, to protect cardholder data, and prove that we have this in place,” explains Squire. “Redscan enabled us to do this, which was a significant reason for choosing it.”
The Redscan SDP has increased security for Hillarys Blinds, blocking more than 1,800 virus-laden emails and denying nearly 15,000 unauthorised web access attempts every month. Squire says: “Previously, we suffered from directory harvest attacks, but Redscan helped us implement a solution whereby the mail recipient is verified against our internal user list before the email is allowed through. As a result, we are seeing several hundreds of thousands of attacks being blocked per week, as well as many other emails containing potentially dangerous attachments.”
Following the deployment of the Redscan SDP, employees at Hillarys Blinds noticed a substantial reduction in the volume of spam reaching their in-boxes. On average,the solution filters out more than 65,000 unwanted spam emails every month. User complaints about spam have stopped,while the IT team has reported an improvement in the performance of internal mail servers. Most significantly, the company is now confident that its systems are protected at all times. “Redscan uses PUSH technology so all security updates are automatically pushed out online,” says Squire. “This means that, no matter what new threats appear, we know that we’re always protected, 24/7.”
Fully managed service
Finally, the new managed service from Redscan saves time in the IT department of Hillarys Blinds, as administrators have to neither load security updates nor manage and maintain three separate systems.
What our customers say
"Redscan’s hands on approach identified security flaws that had previously been overlooked by other vendors"
Technical Operations Manager, Sporting Index
"We have been very impressed by the quality of Redscan’s engagement, communication and reporting. We will not hesitate to use them for any future testing requirements."
Information Security Officer, LDF
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