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Unified threat management for abrasives manufacturer

ESoft : 11 June, 2008  (Application Story)
InstaGate EX2 being used for the global protection of Keypoint Abrasives' IT systems including real time e-mail monitoring and internet threat management
Keypoint Abrasives is Ireland's leading supplier of abrasive products, manufacturing items such as abrasives, safety workwear and footwear, among others. Its well-known brands include Klingspor, 3M, Solga, Kansas Workwear and Tomcat Safety Footwear. Keypoint's primary goal is to provide quality products at competitive prices and deliver the best possible service. The company's IT infrastructure, including its network security solution, is designed to support this goal of delivering optimum performance for all customer communications and transactions. Its original network security solution at startup (in 2002) was eSoft's InstaGate EX2 Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance. eSoft had been chosen over other industry leaders due to the solution's simplicity, reliability, ease of management, and cost-effectiveness.

Just recently, in April 2008, Keypoint needed more memory to keep its email and internet access completely secure and protected. Keypoint had grown significantly, more staff had joined and the number of contractors and partners needing access to the network and its resources had also increased, thereby increasing the number of PCs and remote devices to be monitored across the network. The company had simply outgrown the original InstaGate EX2.

Keypoint decided to stick with what had worked for the company and upgraded to eSoft's InstaGate 404e appliance, adding the security vendor's Email and Web ThreatPaks for comprehensive protection against email- and Internet-borne threats. Keypoint purchased the eSoft products and arranged installation via leading Irish IT security distributor Kilross Network Protection.

eSoft's InstaGate was designed and built from the ground up to be easy to set up, easy to manage and to provide best-of-class security and reporting. This lessens the burden for Gerard Boyle, IT Manager at Keypoint, and his colleagues.

"eSoft's InstaGate 404e solution has given better protection to our network and is future proofed for continued business growth," said Boyle. "It is very user friendly in terms of ease of use and management, plus it is extremely easy to teach our IT staff how to use eSoft's products. With eSoft's InstaGate 404e in place, we have the confidence of a secure and protected environment."

eSoft's ThreatMonitor is a graphical reporting tool available on the InstaGate designed to help organisations like Keypoint better understand their network traffic, diagnose problems and monitor the threats facing their network. ThreatMonitor collects, interprets and graphically summarises critical system and network information to help the company make more informed decisions regarding network usage and security policies. It provides a graphical window into each security subsystem, including Spyware, Intrusion Prevention, Virus, Spam, Web Surfing and system statistics. ThreatMonitor also provides status details on the automatic updates from eSoft's world-wide Threat Prevention Team including anti-virus signatures, new anti-spam rules, phishing detection, URL classifications and more, to keep each customer fully informed of real-time email and internet threats across all categories.

"We use [ThreatMonitor] almost daily - we get an automatic report emailed each night with the daily logs and statistics," said Boyle.

The InstaGate's Intrusion Prevention System keeps hackers outside the network and away from customers' confidential financial and personal information. It also protects the network from worms trying to spread by exploiting vulnerabilities, and blocks exploits delivered to web browsers and other client applications. The gateway automatically logs all attacks and optionally alerts an administrator when attacks that may be critical are in progress.

Spam is a universal problem, but with eSoft's Email ThreatPak handling all of Keypoint's email, Keypoint employees are rarely bothered by spam or phishing emails and are never bothered by viruses or infected attachments. eSoft's blend of spam-fighting technology includes advanced heuristics, signatures, a Bayesian learning tool and real-time IP reputation look-ups that are highly effective at blocking email coming from bots. Additionally, the content scanning engine enables the Administrator to quarantine emails that contain sensitive information, acting as another layer of Data Leakage Protection.

eSoft's Distributed Intelligence Architecture (DIA) makes use of eSoft's large install-base to quickly identify emerging threats and proactively block them. Reputation data, Botnet detection, identification of new exploits, malicious websites, malicious IP addresses and more give eSoft's Threat Prevention Team unparalleled visibility into zero-day threats so that signatures can be created and deployed through eSoft's patented SoftPak Director (SPD) in real-time or near-real-time. These tools give Keypoint the power to combat the ever-increasingly sophisticated and coordinated attacks on its network. Each eSoft security appliance self-updates all of its signatures constantly throughout day and night. Customised reports and mapping features allow network administrators to view where attacks are coming from, while also warning of potential problems.

Keypoint remains a happy eSoft customer after six years and, as the company continues to expand - with a new, recently opened 2,000 square foot trade shop in Dublin - it is prepared to protect its network against email and Internet threats with the eSoft solutions for many more years to come.
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