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Web activity reporting yields results for dairy farmers.

InfoSecurity Europe : 24 January, 2008  (Application Story)
Bloxx reporting and web filtering tools helps control on-line activities at the Dairy Farmers of Britain, as explained by their Systems Manager, Stuart Carruthers.
Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFoB) is a company owned and run by British farmers, in a bid to empower the providers of dairy products in the UK. DFoB provides a broad range of products for both supermarkets as well as offering its own-branded dairy range. The company has over 42 sites around the UK made up of seven production sites and 35 depots around the country.

DFoB houses its two main offices in Cheshire and Newcastle. To virtually connect these offices, the dairy specialist has five forward facing servers which act as the basic platform to accept orders and carry information regarding former payments. As well as the company's orders, email is also transmitted over this network, so speed over the system is vital to ensure that business processes are slick and not backlogged.

At DFoB, the company held an open policy for its workers surfing the Internet. "We were using ScanSafe upstream on our proxy as a means to monitor our web traffic. However the performance of our Internet access was being vastly affected, as each time HTTP traffic was directed out of our system, it had to filter through two gateways, consequently slowing down our access to the net," explains Dairy Farmers of Britain Systems Manager, Stuart Carruthers.

"Our system was also becoming cluttered with material being downloaded by our staff, most of which was legitimate and necessary to their work, but nevertheless we needed to clamp down on the amount of material being housed on the system," explains Carruthers.

DFoB began to look into alternative methods to monitor its staff online. "We wanted to make more efforts to protect our staff by locking down the content they had access to, and in doing so, ensure that they didn't stumble across offensive websites," comments Carruthers. The company discovered Bloxx web filtering technology and concluded that the functionality met all its requirements.

DFoB purchased two TVT 1250 Bloxx boxes to sit on its network at the two main offices as a means to monitor all of the various PC ports on its disparate system. Bloxx TVT has the ability to actively track websites, which may give chance to open up an organisation's network to security threats and also allow the end user to waste valuable working hours. The tool allows the administrator to tailor the sensitivity and types of websites open for access by category, depending on the user where necessary. "We have created a company wide usage policy which we can adjust accordingly," explains Carruthers. "We can also use Bloxx to record the amount of material being downloaded and where necessary, ban sites which provide content that consumes too much of our bandwidth."

Since implementing Bloxx TVT, DFoB can ensure that an acceptable use policy is in place as a means to protect all members of staff online, ensuring that they are not offended by websites containing illicit content, their productivity is kept to optimum levels and its network is guarded against viruses online.

"The reporting feature on the Bloxx tool is excellent," comments Carruthers. "You can drill down and literally account for any particular element of activity that you need to. The basic reporting gives me a clear overview of online activity at DFoB, yet I also have the option to customise the reports at my will."

Designed with simplicity key to its core, Bloxx TVT is aimed at organisations requiring a robust yet cost effective web filtering tool. "We have saved a significant amount of money by choosing Bloxx technology; it would have been much more expensive to maintain the ScanSafe solution we were previously using."

"Not only is it important to keep your staff safe and on task whilst surfing, but also as with the example of DFoB, the content being downloaded needs to be monitored to relieve the communication pipe purely for relevant business purposes," comments Bloxx Sales and Marketing, Paul Irvine. "DFoB is reaping the immediate benefits from regulating its staff online and financially foresee a return in the long term."

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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