Citizens & Farmers Financial Corporation Bankson Barracuda Networks for Web & Email Filtering
Background: Founded in 1927 C&F Bank steadily became a solid financial institution serving local community-based businesses and customers. Through the years C&F Bank has proved that dedicated well-trained employees a commitment to outstanding service and a diverse offering of quality financial products are the keys to success and growth.
Today the company has grown into a financial corporation with 18 branch offices and five wholly-owned subsidiaries: C&F Mortgage Corporation C&F Finance Company C&F Investment Services C&F Insurance Services and C&F Title Company. C&F Financial Corporation believes that their officers and staff are their most important assets critical to how the Corporation performs and supports the well being of its communities.
Challenges: The C&F Financial Corporation IT department consists of six team members and supports 600 users across its 18 branch locations and five subsideraries. With unrestricted access to the Internet keeping the organization's computing systems free of viruses and spyware was a huge problem. At C&F Mortgage alone the network administrator was spending 10 hours a week cleaning up infected computers.
Over time even with its then-existing Web filtering solution the Corporation saw evidence of how the Internet with its rich content and media types could be a huge distraction for employees while also placing increasing demands on the IT team and infrastructure. Vinson Berry network administrator for C&F Financial Corporation realized their existing Web filtering solution from Websense was not ideal.
"It required three servers to run and we spent a lot of time keeping them all in sync," said Berry says. "Authenticating users was tied to the active directory structure and mode so we constantly had to switch things around. In terms of managing the product most of what we wanted to do was an exercise in frustration."
Best Deployment Scenario - URL/Web Filtering
Solution provided by Baracuda Networks, Inc.: Looking for an integrated easy to use and intuitive security solution Berry turned to Barracuda Networks. During the 30-day free evaluation period he chose to run the Barracuda Web Filter 610 in audit mode for one week.
"We watched where users were going what it would or wouldn't have blocked; and we were astounded at the results," said Berry. That experience combined with significant cost savings clinched the deal. The Barracuda Web Filter blocks spyware at the gateway and desktop protects against viruses and effectively controls Web access - all in one box with no complex options to buy. Energize Updates are provided continuously by Barracuda Central an advanced security operations center where engineers work continuously to provide the most effective methods to combat the latest Internet threats.Increased bandwidth & productivity
After installing the Barracuda Web Filter Berry realized just how much bandwidth was utilized by streaming media sites such as YouTube and Yahoo! Radio all of which were often forgotten and left running in the background on employee desktops. Flash advertising widely used now on the majority of popular Web sites compounded the problem. Now with effective blocking rules in place for streaming media alone available bandwidth has increased by 25 percent.
"That bandwidth savings has allowed us to double the amount of traffic we have running across our Internet circuit," said Berry. "When we joined forces with C&F Mortgage we eliminated their circuit and had those users go through ours at no extra cost. That enabled a savings of $12000 per year right off the top."
In addition to bandwidth savings the rise in social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook forced Berry and his team to revisit how the Corporation should handle which Web sites.
Summary: The reliability performance and affordability of the Barracuda Networks solutions has ultimately helped to ease the strain on the IT staff at C&F Financial Corporation and has enabled Berry and his team to concentrate efforts on other important issues.
"In any job you want to be able to do more with less and when you can have something that basically runs itself that you have faith in - that's the product you really want to have," he said. "And that's how I feel about Barracuda Networks."
Barracuda Networks Inc.
3175 S. Winchester Blvd.
Campbell CA 95008