Lester Aldridge LLP is a leading law firm with over 350 staff based across four sites in the UK, including Bournemouth, Southampton and London. With regular appearances in The Sunday Times' list of 100 'Best Companies to Work For', the esteemed law firm is recognised by clients and industry experts as one of 'the South Coast's finest'.
As a medium-sized, multi-disciplined legal practice operating across multiple offices, Lester Aldridge relies upon email and the Internet for communication and research on a daily basis. The firm was securing and filtering its email messages with Webroot E-Mail Security Software as a Service (SaaS), but it was lacking a proactive Web security solution. With research showing that Web-borne malware has increased by up to 540 percent in the last three years - and with almost 5.5 million individual malicious programs identified during 2007 alone - Lester Aldridge knew that Web threat protection was a vital part of its network security. Moreover, with up to 1,000 new variants of existing malware discovered daily, the firm needed real-time protection against known and unknown threat variants.
To help mitigate these risks, Lester Aldridge developed a corporate Internet usage policy to protect its employees - and thereby the business - from Web-based malware and inappropriate content whilst they utilised the Internet for research. However, once these corporate guidelines were created, the key issue became how to police and enforce the policy. The firm needed a flexible system that would provide granular control, enabling any member of the team to access appropriate research information regardless of its content. For example, solicitors seeking precedents in sexual discrimination cases might require exceptions to a Web policy that prohibited employees from accessing content that was sexual in nature.
Another key challenge was social networking, which was prevalent at the firm, particularly amongst the younger of the company's 350 employees. The business needed the ability to handle access to social networks as a potential means of communication with key contacts whilst ensuring that these sites would not hamper productivity. Finally, because the team is dispersed across numerous locations and employees often work off-site, any effective solution would need to protect all users, irrespective of their location.
As a Webroot E-Mail Security SaaS customer, Lester Aldridge sees numerous benefits in the software-as-a-service approach. The service simplifies management and seamlessly secures email for all of the firm's offices, effectively stopping spam messages, blocking viruses and ensuring that staff comply with corporate usage guidelines and industry best practices. Based on the business value and benefits Webroot provides for email security, Lester Aldridge decided to complete its network security by implementing Webroot Web Security SaaS for Internet policy enforcement across the company. Case Study
The flexibility of Webroot Web Security SaaS has proven to be a key benefit to Lester Aldridge. The solution incorporates a 'Groups' functionality that provides the flexibility employees require to efficiently conduct research. Specific individuals or groups of individuals can be made exempt from certain aspects of the Internet usage policy on either a temporary or permanent basis, and settings can quickly and easily be altered on a case-by-case basis if needed.
In addition to the ability to waive policy enforcement via the 'Groups' functionality, Lester Aldridge uses the system's 'Coached Access' feature to promote self-policing of the service. When users attempt to access questionable sites, they are presented with a customisable page that asks whether they are aware of the Web page's content and gives them the option to proceed or cancel the Web request. The outcome is then flagged and reported to the administrator. This helpful feature enables Lester Aldridge to soften its approach to Web usage and empower users to decide whether the page is work-related and appropriate. Whilst the overall use of social networking is discouraged as a potential distraction, the service is sufficiently adaptable to allow exceptions if and when required.
Roaming user support ensures that users who are working off-site remain protected by the service. Because the Webroot service sits in-the-cloud, laptop users can authenticate directly with the service rather than establishing a VPN connection to the corporate network, saving company bandwidth and network resources.
As a result of Lester Aldridge's adoption of Webroot Web Security SaaS, the business and its employees are now protected from Web-borne threats and inappropriate content whilst maintaining the ability to realise the full potential of the Internet as a resource.
"The senior team at Lester Aldridge strongly believes that 'prevention is better than cure' in terms of encouraging appropriate use of the Internet. The functionality that Webroot Web Security SaaS provides has delivered better manageability, better value and better protection than other SaaS or network based security products." - Neil Prevett, Director of IT & Communications, Lester Aldridge LLP, Solicitors
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