ChannelLife NZ - Centralising security management

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Centralising security management

With the help of Gen-i & CA, Scenic Circle deals to it’s security problems.

Scenic Circle Hotels, a hotel owner and hotel property management company, provides an extensive network of hotels in major cities and resort areas throughout New Zealand. Currently, there are 17 hotels in the Scenic Circle Group, with additional properties planned. Headquartered in Christchurch, its network of wholly owned and managed hotels that are privately owned stretches from the Bay of Islands to Southland.

Extensive distributed network poses security challenge

When Scenic Circle Hotels decided to upgrade its virus protection software, the first task was to write down exactly what was required. “This crystallised our thinking,” says IT manager Piers Hutchings, “and gave our preferred software reseller Gen-i a precise document to work from.” Scenic Circle Hotels needed virus protection software that would be updated automatically to all 17 Scenic Circle Hotels with minimum user input. Hutchings also wanted virus protection for laptops and other mobile equipment that he and other members of his department use off site. “To put it simply, I wanted increased security with decreased support time,” he smiles. “I wanted a program that would do everything for me.”

Hutchings notes that the core security product Scenic Hotels was using wasn’t providing the degree of protection he felt was necessary. “Malware is coming in such an increasing range of shapes and sizes, that it has become essential to look at installing a program that would provide a better shield,” he observes.

“I wanted a program that would let me glance at the screen at my central console and know that everything is working.” Gen-i Christchurch Account Manager Shane Hollebon took charge of the improvement process for Scenic Circle. “I’ve been handling this account now for four years, so I’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s needed,” he explains.

Broad protection improves security

Gen-i recommended eTrustTM Secure Content Manager and eTrustTM PestPatrol Anti-Spyware “We know these products very well and were confident they would meet Scenic Circle’s requirements,” says Hollebon.

eTrust Secure Content Manager bundles anti-virus software with web and email filtering. It also defines rogue information, which offers users an important degree of time saving. eTrust Pest Patrol provides protection against spyware in all its guises, which has become a very common business issue.

“Although we had security solutions in place, we didn’t have specific protection against spyware, and I believed it was becoming much more of a threat,” says Hutchings. “If it were to infiltrate a machine to any degree, it could present significant security issues for both our organisations and individual employees, and with 180 users spread across our 17 sites so we badly needed protection against all types of spyware, even though it’s something that was not of concern for us a year or so ago.”

Ease of use minimises training requirements ”There’s no doubt the two products from CA International, Inc.’s (CA) which were recommended by Gen-i, were the best match to our specification document.” Because Gen-i’s Technical Consultant Shelley Lay is so familiar with Scenic Circle’s requirements and works so closely with him, Hutchings

decided not to implement any CA Education programs. “Shelley knows the CA products very well and what our needs are, so it was not necessary,” he says. “Most of what the programs do is automated and Shelley was easily able to show me what I needed to know.”

Centralised security management reduces IT administration

Shane Hollebon says that he and Shelley Lay try to meet with Scenic Hotels’ IT people regularly. “We don’t quite manage to meet as often as we’d like”, he admits, “but we certainly meet often enough for us to keep up to date with the company’s technical requirements and know what items need to be addressed so that Scenic Circle can achieve certain functions.” They know for instance that control through the central console is important to their client.

“Most of our hotels are in the South Island, but we also have a property in the Bay of Islands, another in Napier, three altogether in the North Island, so you can’t get much more spread out than that,” says Hutchings.

“I have to be able to manage our IT programs through the central console in Christchurch.”

Hutchings mentions also that price had some bearing on the choice of CA products.

“It was certainly not our most important criteria,” he notes, “but considering the CA solution was half the cost of some of the other contenders, it had some bearing on the final decision.”

Reliable solutions secure company

Hutchings likes the flexibility provided by CA’s licensing. “We’ve bought a three-year license for eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware and eTrust Secure Content Manager.

Considering how fast new malware appears, it’s absolutely vital to be constantly upgrading anti-virus software,” he says. “CA is a good, reputable company and we plan on continuing to use their products in the future – especially considering we get such good support from Gen-i”.

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