Incommunities has implemented flexible and secure remote working for its staff using a solution from AppGate Network Security.
Incommunities, which manages 22,000 homes around Bradford, West Yorkshire, wanted to let remote workers and staff work when away from the office without compromising its infrastructure or data security. It also needed a single control point to define security policies and control and monitor access.
Andrew Bland, senior network administrator, Incommunities, said, “We were originally just looking for a replacement for our Citrix Secure Gateway and a secure instant messaging product. But AppGate’s approach made us look at things differently and think beyond traditional VPNs, so we changed our plan and bought AppGate’s unified access control solution.”
Bland added, “The most important feature for me is to have a single point of control for security. I now have a single, central point where we can define security policies, and control and monitor access for all users, whether they are tenants, employees or external suppliers.”
Incommunities’ network security previously relied on enforcing and monitoring the security of each application on the network, with the provision of online services proving particularly problematic. The AppGate server now manages all security, reducing the need for Incommunities to worry about the integrity of specific applications.
Vital housing and tenant data on Incommunities’ network is now better protected. Bland said, “For our remote workers, especially those on temporary sites such as building projects, we provide virtual PCs which they can access via Remote Desktop. It’s cheaper to operate, much faster and as a result everyone wants to use it. This is good because even if the laptop is stolen, the data remains onsite and fully secure.”
After less than a year, the security investment has delivered cost reductions, including making several ‘point’ applications almost redundant, with consequent savings on product support, licences and training. Further savings are expected with the provision of wireless access. Bland said, “Previously this would have required a dedicated wireless solution, but our system already supports wireless access so it is saving us a lot of money. What’s more, we can give secure remote access to any employee or partner anywhere, not just locations with dedicated VPN links, which is a further cost saving.”