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Reach Global Selects SmoothWall’s Web Filter to Protect Corporate Network

April 2010 by Marc Jacob

Internet security specialists SmoothWall, today announced that Reach Global, an innovative new-media services organisation, is using their Guardian web filter and firewall products to protect its IT network and preserve employee productivity levels.

Reach Global is an umbrella organisation that supplies tailor-made new-media services to the small and medium sized enterprise sector. The company features a group of five technology companies including a leading Internet marketing agency, the UK’s largest locally hosted search engine and No.1 commission free online estate agent. Reach Global is headquartered in Lancashire, with offices in London, Northern England, Ireland and Asia. The organisation relies heavily on the Internet to generate sales and therefore required a robust and cost-effective solution to filter inappropriate content without restricting work-related web use. To offer new-media services, staff (particularly in its call centre) are often required to access a number of web-based technologies. The company required a flexible system that would provide greater transparency around employee browsing habits so that senior staff could evaluate the time spent on certain websites, ultimately ensuring that staff productivity was kept to an optimum level.

Previously, Reach Global’s IT directors found that employees had been checking personal email accounts or logging on to social media sites such as Facebook during working hours. Being internet savvy, employees were able to easily bypass proxies and access blanket-banned sites without arousing suspicion.

The flexible level of control in SmoothWall’s Guardian web filter has helped Reach Global to provide a safe browsing experience for their staff, without affecting their ability to work effectively. SmoothWall’s intelligent approach to filtering (which involves dynamic analysis of content in real time) means customers like Reach Global can accurately filter out inappropriate content without inadvertently blocking legitimate web resources. Thanks to Guardian’s time-based filtering controls, the company has also been able to limit staff access to Facebook and other popular sites during breaks, which has led to increased productivity among the workforce.

The software’s built-in web security features have also helped to secure critical client data stored on their websites and eliminate any risk of breaches. This combined with the simple interface, customised flexibility, seamless integration and ease-of-use made SmoothWall the perfect choice for Reach Global. Kym Kinlin, Technical Director, Reach Global Group, commented: “By having SmoothWall’s technology in place, we have constant reliable internet access which is integral to what we do. SmoothWall covers every aspect of security that you would need in this environment, whether it is dedicated server hosting or managing a large number of people and their internet access, and this has made a huge difference to the organisation. Reach Global has made great time and cost savings and increased overall business efficiency.”

Tom Newton, Product Manager at SmoothWall, said: “For an organisation such as Reach Global - information is knowledge. Having access to our reporting tools, means the IT directors can log in and see the browsing habits of every member of the sales team. Having Guardian’s intelligent technology provides the company with a more flexible approach to restricting web access to suit their individual business needs, and operate more efficiently and securely overall.”

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