ProductsOSMOFLO case study

The following is a case study featuring the implementation by OSMOFLO, an Australian company, of four GFI products to protect its network from viruses and spam, to monitor and control internet usage and to save time and money on faxing.
 

Company: OSMOFLO Pty Ltd
Location:
South Australia, Australia.
Contact:
David Taing, IT administrator
Industry:
Water treatment technology
Number of end-users:
100+
Products in use:
GFI FAXmaker, GFI WebMonitor, GFI MailEssentials, GFI MailSecurity
 

Quick read

OSMOFLO (http://www.osmoflo.com.au) is a leading desalination and water treatment company founded in 1991 in Australia and has commissioned over 250 water treatment plants throughout Australia and internationally. With 100 employees and growing, the company required a suite of solutions that enabled it to monitor internet browsing and downloading by its employees, as well as protect the company from the increasing volume of spam and emails containing malicious material. Furthermore, the company required a reliable solution to replace the fax server software it was running. The company’s solution has been to implement four of GFI’s nine products: GFI MailSecurity, a multiple anti-virus solution; GFI MailEssentials, anti-spam and anti-phishing; GFI WebMonitor, to monitor internet browsing and downloading; and GFI FAXmaker, the leading fax server on the market.
 

Challenges

Using innovative technology and engineering to provide communities and industry with an efficient water supply to meet their needs, OSMOFLO maintains a strong support channel with engineers available around the clock to service their many plants and clients across the region. With over 100 employees and the company being highly dependent on the internet to do business, OSMOFLO felt the need to adopt a number of solutions that would protect its systems and network at head office. The high dependency on email and the internet has helped to boost the company’s reach and opportunities but it also meant an increase in the number of threats in the form of email viruses, the growing volume of spam and phishing attempts.

With malicious individuals becoming more creative in their methods to steal data and intellectual property, OSMOFLO needed to be in a position to monitor and control internet browsing by its employees and what material they were downloading. Having already suffered one incident involving web downloads, the company was not taking any risks. OSMOFLO also wanted to change their existing fax server to one that allowed for expansion and additional features such as routing to individual email inboxes.
 

Solution

According to David Taing, OSMOFLO’s IT administrator, the company required a set of solutions that were capable of dynamically evolving to capture the changes of a highly dynamic environment and in a smart way. Having worked with GFI Software in the past, he was well aware of the quality and capabilities of each product.

“I have always used GFI products and I know what they are capable of. Having also worked in tech support for GFI, I had first hand knowledge of the technical team based in Adelaide. Not only are they very helpful but they go to extreme lengths to assist you. Adequate tech support was an important consideration,” Mr. Taing explained.

With the company for just over a year now, the first thing he did was to replace a number of products he found there with newer and more cost-effective solutions from GFI’s portfolio.

“The first thing I did was to replace the unreliable MS Fax service with GFI FAXmaker. It offers much more than MS Fax service both in terms of performance and features. I then replaced the company’s anti-spam and anti-virus solutions with GFI MailEssentials and GFI MailSecurity respectively. Finally, we chose GFI WebMonitor to allow us to monitor and control internet browsing and downloading by company employees,” he added.

According to Mr. Taing the problem with previously installed solutions was not just the technology but also people who were selling it.

“The company tried different products in the past but the solutions were provided by external providers. Being external means that they were more interested in selling a product and not making sure it suited the customer. I’ve experienced different off the shelf products and without beating around the bush I jumped directly into technology which works and has a proven track record.”
 

Benefits

Implementation of the four products was easy and in Mr. Taing’s words “pretty much idiot proof”.

“It really doesn’t take much. You double click and follow the bouncing ball. Prompts inform you if a restart of services is required. After that you’re basically done. All that you need to do then is configure the rules according to the way the company should work.”

The company noticed a number of immediate benefits.

“Users immediately noticed a decrease in spam mail in their mailbox, especially alias addresses and reception mailboxes. Everyone was singing praises about the new software. They thought that having 100+ spam emails was the norm and spending 20 minutes in the morning deleting them was just another task to complete. GFI MailEssentials solved that immediately.

Mr. Taing said OSMOFLO also noticed immediate benefits through the implementation of GFI WebMonitor. In the past they used to maintain their own list of blacklisted sites but the ever-changing trend was extremely difficult to maintain, and in most cases when they realised, it was too late.
“Users would download non-work material and would constantly be sitting on bandwidth hungry sites such as Youtube and the like. One event which caused problems was when a user searched and downloaded a crack for a popular photo editing software which we all know contains all sorts of malicious content.

“If we had GFI WebMonitor at the time not only would the site have been blocked automatically before a search could even be performed but an email notification would have been sent to me informing me of the activity so I could take corrective action. As a result I had to spend hours going through the daily logs and cleaning the compromised machine. Users obviously don’t like certain content blocked but they need to adhere to the IT policy,” Mr. Taing explained.

The most valuable benefit for OSMOFLO, however, “is that GFI’s products work and are backed up by knowledgeable people who can provide assistance and advice”.
 

Target reached

The challenges facing OSMOFLO were all addressed using GFI’s products. From a management and legal perspective, Mr. Taing said they provided an important, extra layer of security to the network and also instilled a deeper sense of security among the employees.

“The software basically keeps me informed on what’s happening on my network. It notifies the users and me if any configured policies are breached so they are also aware that they are being ‘watched’. Undoubtedly the ‘security’ bar has been raised considerably when compared to what used to be the case in the past.”

From a technology perspective, OSMOFLO sees GFI as a company supporting the new technology they have in place such as ISA 2006 and Exchange 2003 / 2007.

“What wins their case is the fact that they are always out there to test and develop their software to support trends in software and hardware development. Finally, GFI’s products are simply good value for money,” he added.
 

Links

For more information about GFI FAXmaker visit: http://www.gfi.com/faxmaker/
For more information about GFI WebMonitor visit http://www.gfi.com/webmon/
For more information about GFI MailEssentials visit http://www.gfi.com/mailessentials/
For more information about GFI MailSecurity visit http://www.gfi.com/mailsecurity/.
 


All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

January 2008