Riverford is renowned for picking only the very best fresh organic vegetables and delivering them direct from farms to customers. When it comes to picking IT partners, the company is no less selective, choosing only those suppliers that it can really trust. Redscan has been providing secure WAN connectivity for Riverford across six sites for more than six years.
Riverford grows over a hundred different organic vegetable and herb varieties and delivers them in boxes to 47,000 homes across the country. Produce takes no more than two days to get from the fields to the doorstep, so customers are assured of receiving food that is as fresh as it is chemical-free.
The organisation has four farms and a butchery, located from Devon to North Yorkshire, in addition to a head office and a separate data centre. To ensure the successful operation of the business, it is absolutely essential for Riverford to have highly secure and reliable wide area network (WAN) connectivity between six of these geographically dispersed sites.
300 of the company’s 600 employees need to access the WAN regularly to do their jobs, and they could be anywhere in the country, in an office or even in a field. These employees use a combination of company-issued laptops, tablets and smartphones, as well as their own personal IT devices. “WAN security and virus scanning is as important for us as it is for any company,” says Jon Soellner, IT service manager at Riverford. “Yet, the growing use of personal smartphones and tablets among our employees increases our need for robust security, because we cannot govern what users do on these devices.”
Riverford subscribes to Redscan’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) service and enjoys all the benefits of a fully managed WAN security solution, including a managed firewall, remote access and intrusion detection. As part of this comprehensive service, all emails and web content are filtered and scanned for viruses to ensure that they pose no threat to the core IT network.
The Redscan UTM service is delivered via eight connected Redscan Service Delivery Platform (SDP) appliances, one at each of five remote sites, two at its head office and one at the Data Centre. These Redscan SDP devices are sized according to network traffic and are managed, updated and maintained remotely by Redscan’s security professionals.
For more than six years, Redscan has delivered highly secure WAN connectivity for Riverford. As a result, employees can access the company’s in-house email and Microsoft Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) application from any location nationwide without risk of infecting these critical business systems.
Even if employees are using their own personal smartphones or tablet devices, they pose no added threat to the security of Riverford’s corporate systems or customer data. All incoming WAN traffic is thoroughly filtered and checked, to give the business the best possible protection.
A fully managed service
Riverford particularly appreciates the fact that Redscan’s service is fully managed. The company’s IT team can, therefore, focus its attention on other business priorities – such as the Riverford e-commerce platform – and rely on Redscan to manage and maintain the WAN security with professionalism and diligence. “Everything gets done quickly and properly,” Soellner says.
If the company didn’t have a managed service, Soellner believes that its IT costs would be much higher. “As we don’t have to manage connectivity or security in house, we don’t have to employ anyone with specialist IT security skills, which makes it much easier for us to recruit people to our IT team,” he says. “Without the Redscan service, we would probably need to increase the headcount in the IT department, which would cost us more.”
Having a managed service from Redscan also helps Riverford to reduce risk, because all anti-virus and security updates are automatically loaded immediately. Soellner adds: “If we had to manage security updates ourselves, they might not be done in a timely manner because of other pressures on our time in the IT department.”
Riverford is confident that it gets good advice from Redscan too. “We trust Redscan, because we’ve never had any major issues,” Soellner comments. “Redscan’s security experts are really knowledgeable and supportive. When we have a challenge or want to do something unconventional, they will always help us out.”
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