I stopped to have a sandwich in an airport recently, and it brought a smile to my face to see a familiar WatchGuard red appliance behind the counter just below the cash register. Worldwide regulations like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) have increased the demand for security appliances in even the smallest retail locations, including kiosks in shopping malls, small hotels, and franchise restaurants. Additionally, Healthcare and privacy regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the United States and the data privacy directive in the European Union have driven the need for security. Seeing the red box, I knew that my credit card information was in good hands.
WatchGuard appliances are now running in places like dentists, doctors’ offices, and small clinics. Although these are wildly different industry environments, one thing these locations all have in common is that they don’t have dedicated IT staff on site. Security and network configuration is provided by a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) or the central IT staff for the distributed enterprise, clinic group or retail chain.
At WatchGuard, our mission is to provide solutions that are easy to deploy, easy to manage, and generally accessible to companies of all sizes. To succeed in these environments, we need to provide solutions that can be setup securely without sending a technician out every time, especially for companies that are managing hundreds of locations. All of WatchGuard’s Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances, including our new WatchGuard Firebox T30 and T50 models include access to the company’s unique RapidDeploy feature that enables centralized IT teams to pre-configure appliances for quick and non-technical installation at distributed remote sites.
Here’s a common challenge we see. When installing a new appliance in a remote location, someone needs to unpack and set up the IT equipment. This will often be the store manager or an employee who may lack technical skills. They may have a computer at home, but no technical responsibilities in the workplace. They do not know much about IT other than how to start their laptop, browse the Internet, watch Netflix, and use Microsoft Word, etc. Therefore, no matter how clear the corporate instructions are, they still seem like a foreign language.
With Rapid Deploy, the local staff just needs to plug in the Firebox’s power and Internet cables. It then establishes a connection, and pulls the appropriate configuration file from either the WatchGuard cloud or the central management server. This even works in cases where the IP address is assigned statically and not via DHCP. It also works in environments where the local site needs to connect back to the corporate management server through a third party device with NAT implemented. Such scenarios are common in shopping malls, airports, and healthcare campuses.
Does this sound like a challenge you’ve been facing? Find out more about how WatchGuard can help, here.