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Bloxx nips social networking in the bud at Big Yellow.

InfoSecurity Europe : 16 January, 2008  (Application Story)
Big Yellow storage company tackles the growing problem of unauthorised web access by deploying Bloxx proxy server to control employee access.
Big Yellow employs 250 staff and has rapidly established itself as the leading self storage brand in London and the South of England. It has now embarked on an expansion plan to cover the rest of Britain.

It has pioneered the development in the latest generation of self storage facilities, which utilise state of the art customer service and technology, with its stores located in high profile, easy to access main road locations. This has helped to create the most recognised brand names in the storage industry.

"Our strategy is to continue to invest in quality properties at the premium end of the self storage market and to expand the reach of the brand nationally. To date we have acquired 69 stores of which 45 are now open," explains Big Yellow IT Manager, Stuart Grinnall. "When fully built out, the portfolio will provide over 4.1 million sq ft of storage space."

Big Yellow was having a problem with employees becoming addicted to Facebook and other social networking sites; visiting them to excess during working hours. Previously, Grinnall tried to use Microsoft ISA Server to manage web access. "However, I found that the reporting was very limited and there wasn't any anti-virus or ability to filter by content type," he explains. "I wanted to find a solution that would provide me with improved control over the websites our users were able to access."

Big Yellow installed the Bloxx appliance as a proxy server on its network. The appliance was integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and is configured to filter web traffic depending on the end user. Bloxx web filtering technology is an easy, drop-in hardware solution which uses internationally patent pending technology to analyse and block web sites quicker and more accurately than other web filters using manual classification and keyword scoring alone. Bloxx helps establishments such as Big Yellow proactively manage users' access to web content which might lower productivity, expose the organisation to risk and liability or pose a network security threat.

Grinnall was impressed by the flexible group policies within the Bloxx internet filtering solution. "We love the fact that we can tailor the sensitivity of Bloxx within the company, limiting access to certain sites in the stores much more than in head office. We literally define every site the stores are allowed to access with a more relaxed policy within head office."

Grinnall utilises Bloxx's thorough and clear reporting; consulting the reports monthly allows them to ensure group Internet policies are working sufficiently or if they need fine tuning. "Since installing Bloxx we have seen a marked reduction in the amount of non-work related web use across the company. We have been able to highlight users whose web use is excessive and apply separate policies to further control their access," explains Grinnall.

"The ability to restrict access to a list of specified domains is very useful. We were developing a real issue with employees accessing Facebook during working hours, Bloxx helped us to quickly identify excessive usage and easily restrict access to it along with other social networking sites," adds Grinnall.

"Non-work related surfing including visits to social networking sites such as Facebook can have a significant financial and legal impact on businesses, regardless of their size," comments Bloxx Sales and Marketing Director, Paul Irvine. "Big Yellow has been able to utilise Bloxx to rectify this and also have a better understanding of its staff's overall web usage."

Bloxx is exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe 2008, Europe's number one dedicated Information security event. Now in its 13th year, the show continues to provide an unrivalled education programme, new products & services, over 300 exhibitors and 11,700 visitors from every segment of the industry. Held on the 22nd - 24th April 2008 in the Grand Hall, Olympia, this is a must attend event for all professionals involved in Information Security.

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