youmex AG, a financial services firm in Frankfurt, Germany, relies on a trio of GFI Software products – GFI MailEssentials®, GFI WebMonitor® and GFI FaxMaker® – to secure its email, keep web surfing safe for end users in the company, and to make faxing cheaper, more efficient and secure.
For financial firms, especially one like youmex with a deep range of services, security and compliance are of paramount importance – particularly when dealing with publicly traded clients. youmex has been in this business since 1999 and has helped fund over 200 companies. Over five years ago youmex started working with tools from GFI Software. The decision process was one part technical, but the other part had everything to do with rigorous company requirements.
“We always do some tests. And if the tests are positive, we implement the software. We have to adhere to strict guidelines,” said Lars Jakubowski, Head of Information & Communication Technology for youmex. That testing paid off. “It was an easy implementation and offered a high security level. GFI products are easy to use and easy to implement in an existing IT structure,” he said.
Jakubowski has been in the IT business since 1999. Ten years later he joined youmex as a consultant and six years ago gained his current position.
For email security, youmex installed GFI MailEssentials directly on its gateway where it can scan and block both spam and malware. “The scanning of internal, incoming and outgoing mails is very good and fast. After the anti-spam scanner undergoes a learning phase, the system works well and we filter 99.9% of all incoming spam. False alarms area at a minimum. All these are very good results,” Jakubowski said. “After implementing GFI MailEssentials we have significantly fewer spam problems and no viruses have reached our mail server.”
End users are reaping the benefits. “The users in our company are more productive. They don’t have to delete spam or have to fear opening an e-mail,” Jakubowski said.
youmex makes sure its faxing is more efficient, convenient, secure and compliant thanks to GFI FaxMaker. With this tool, users can send and receive faxes right from their PC, even composing them in Microsoft Word and sending them from within Microsoft Outlook using email-to-fax.
The youmex installation is fully integrated with its telephony and IT infrastructure. GFI FaxMaker is “installed directly on the mail server. We need this in combination with a Cisco CallManager telephone server. The implementing was easy and we both send and receive faxes,” Jakubowski said.
With GFI FaxMaker, end users save time as it can often take 10 minutes to send a fax using a dedicated fax machine, especially when there is a line of people waiting. And GFI FaxMaker offers paper-free communication so you save money and go green at the same time.
GFI FaxMaker indeed has economic benefits, including less money spent buying and supporting dedicated fax hardware. “GFI FaxMaker reduces our costs. All incoming fax messages are sent to our mail server. The users don`t need to print the message and can forward the received PDF document to another user. This is very interesting. We have a department that is located in two cities – one in Frankfurt and another in Munich. They can send and receive sales and buy orders without printing and scanning. We save printer ink and paper. And we save on fax devices!” Jakubowski said. “We send fax messages over GFI FaxMaker too. We can do this in every application, as long as it has a print function. This is great and saves time.”
GFI WebMonitor secures web activity by offering up to three top antivirus engines, and also offers protection at the application layer, for thwarting the attacks of malicious web apps. The tool can also block or control access to web apps – such as file sharing – which might not meet corporate standards. The youmex implementation of GFI WebMonitor takes up a small hardware footprint, as is it installed on a virtual machine.
youmex didn’t just leap at the GFI tool, but looked first at other options. “The alternative was a squid proxy. That product is not easy to handle and it was not compatible with our existing IT. A squid is open source. We have a high security standard and therefore we needed a product like GFI WebMonitor”, Jakubowski noted. “Now we have the control over all incoming and outgoing mails and web traffic. This helps us to prevent compliance and legal issues. And the users can only download allowed content,” he explained.
Monitoring the web requires a bit of finesse with end users who have to learn about the system since it impacts their web experience. And in a complex environment, IT has to do some tuning. “We have banking – rating – and research software, and in the beginning had some trouble with it. But we solved all these issues within a week,” Jakubowski said. And now, “we can monitor all web traffic. And it allows us to prevent and stop all illegal content. The users cannot download any viruses or malicious code. Our targets are reached. The system is safe, and the users have accepted the concept.”
Good GFI experience
GFI must be doing something right if youmex is using three of its tools. Part of that is ease of use and management. “The products are working almost alone and don’t need a lot of time to monitor. Our IT is safe,” Jakubowski said.
There is a support advantage to having multiple tools from a single vendor -- this is the notion of a single neck to choke. “The support is good. If I contact a GFI support employee, I can ask another question about anther product,” Jakubowski concluded.
Disclaimer: All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. To the best of our knowledge, all details were correct at the time of publishing; this information is subject to change without notice.