IFAW Captures Total Security with Check Point Endpoint Security

Check Point Endpoint Security allowed us to integrate all environments and it provides, frankly what I think, is the best level of total end-to-end security of any solution that’s out there. – Paul Ponte, Network Engineer, The International Fund for Animal Welfare

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) began four decades ago and has grown to become the world’s leading international animal welfare organization. With a support base of over two million contributors worldwide, IFAW connects government leaders, communities, and similar organizations together to accomplish real solutions for animal safety and environmental conservation. With offices on every continent except for Antarctica, IFAW has a broad base of support, which includes legal and political experts as well as internationally recognized scientists, to tackle global preservation and animal welfare challenges.

Being a Check Point customer for about eight years, IFAW was familiar with the quality and superiority of Check Point security solutions. So when users began experiencing problems with secure remote access, IFAW knew where to turn. With approximately 70 percent of employees working outside the organization’s headquarters, IFAW needed a secure remote access solution that could guarantee more internal security and controls, especially on mobile users.

The vast majority of mobile users were migrating away from using IFAW global dial-up access to the available broadband access options in hotels and conference rooms. “As that was happening, issues were starting to arise, including worm infestations, an increase in malware, and users coming back to the office with all kinds of software installed on their device that had not been installed by the IT department,” says Paul Ponte, a network engineer at IFAW.

Because IFAW has deployed extensive VPN solutions from Check Point, it was concerned that the remote workforce, who has access to confidential internal systems while on the road, would use a VPN tunnel to unknowingly inject something inappropriate inside network headquarters.

“We were concerned with the hardcore road warriors, the ones who only alight in an office somewhere in the world maybe two to three times a year,” says Ponte. “We needed something that would be completely interoperable with our existing Check Point infrastructure.”

IFAW found its solution in Check Point Endpoint Security™. The first single agent for total endpoint security that combines the highest-rated firewall, network access control (NAC), program control, antivirus, anti-spyware, data security, and remote access.

While considering product options, IFAW relied heavily on industry trade publications like Network World, Secure Computing, and others to provide a sounding board for potential solutions. “We took a look at everything that was out there,” says Ponte. “And Check Point immediately jumped out at us.”

“Check Point Endpoint Security allowed us to integrate all environments and it provides, frankly what I think, is the best level of total end-to-end security of any solution that’s out there,” says Ponte.

For IFAW, the main advantage of deploying Check Point security solutions was that their entire network was protected and secure.

Peace of mind

With Check Point security solutions, IFAW now feels confident that it can allow users to connect from virtually anywhere. With the high number of remote workers trying to access the network from locations around the globe, this feature saves IFAW time and money.

“The big business benefit is a direct result of being comfortable and secure enough with the security solution deployed that we now allow users to feel free to connect pretty much anywhere,” says Ponte. “We feel pretty confident in allowing our users to connect to outside third-party networks.”

According to Ponte, opening up their acceptable use and security policies has allowed workers to connect to any wired or wireless internet access system that they can find, in turn increasing worker productivity. And IT is experiencing benefits too. “For IT, hand-in-hand with that benefit, is a tremendous reduction in the amount of malware,” says Ponte.

Total end-to-end security

Check Point Endpoint Security is unique in that it includes both data security for preventing data loss and theft and a VPN client for secure remote access communications. A single management console enables administrators to view and modify endpoint security policy with ease and assurance. And Check Point Endpoint Security is unified with the Check Point unified security architecture, enabling monitoring, analysis, and reporting of endpoint security logs and events from SmartCenter™, Provider-1®, and Eventia® management systems.

“We had found that IFAW had grown organically, like a lot of organizations, but way too quickly,” says Ponte. “We had totally outgrown our environment and we had a lot of different systems that were doing authentication, different systems doing encryption, and so on.”

According to Ponte, the Check Point unified security architecture has actually allowed IFAW to enhance security because it eliminates the errors and administrative overhead of keeping lots of different security systems synchronized.

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