Bolton Wanderers FC scores with extra security

Formed in 1847 Bolton Wanderers Football Club (BWFC) is one of twelve founder members of the Football League and is currently part of the Barclays Premier League. The club moved to their new ground, The Reebok Stadium, in 1997. The stadium has four stands and holds a capacity of 28,000. Catering for thousands of fans every month during match season, BWFC are regularly looking for ways to improve business efficiency. One area it looked at to achieve this was IT. The club already had its own in-house IT department to develop and manage its IT infrastructure, but to help improve security at the club BWFC decided to implement a new IT security infrastructure and managed IT service that would compliment and enhance overall club security.

The solution

To fulfil the brief BWFC investigated a number of options and chose to use consultancy and project management services from IT and network security specialist Network Defence to provide and deploy the solutions they would need. Following a consultation centred on the Bolton Wanderers brief, Network Defence deployed a mix of network, email and web security solutions and services including:

Stonegates perimeter security solution: to control the flow of data between the network and the web.

AppGates remote access solution: to enable mobile working for employees and replace an existing VPN solution that gave very little functionality in terms of remote email or remote management of the network.

Cisco IPT Solution: to enable the club to exploit new voice and data technologies and, at the same time, replace a legacy telephone system.

IP CCTV Cameras: 40 IP CCTV cameras were installed onto the clubs Cisco infrastructure to improve physical security in and around the grounds.

Network Defences managed IT service: Providing round-the-clock IT support and management of all the applications and systems installed during the project and in the future to keep the network and data fully protected at all times, ensuring business continuity.

Additional elements included Mimecast email security and a Webmarshal web gateway.

The benefits

By partnering with Network Defence, BWFC have enabled greater business continuity by continually monitoring the status of the network and systems guarding against internal and external security threats, attacks and breaches. Dave Atkinson, IT manager for BWFC said: With Network Defences support services we have peace of mind. As well as being implemented to the highest professional standards, the solutions and systems that have been deployed will be supported by round-the-clock technical support, should we need it.  He continues: This service guarantees performance and ensures our networks and data are fully protected at all times.

The managed IT support service has also made compliance easy. In-depth reporting on security performance and responses is an integral part of the service, enabling them to meet IT reporting obligations. All day-to-day monitoring of the network and security status is carried out by Network Defence, so BWFC have been able to re-direct their resources to other tasks, increasing productivity in other core areas of the business.

Because of the multilayered approach to IT security implemented by Network Defence for BWFC new applications and systems have given a range of additional benefits including greater remote access security, seamless integration with existing systems as well as future proofing new telephony systems and the IP CCTV network.

The IT solutions deployed have not only strengthened the clubs security defences, but have also lead to a more cost-effective and efficient way of working, commented Dave Atkinson. He continued; Network Defence has provided us with cost-effective solutions, which give us the flexibility and above all a robust level of security that we require. We have been impressed with the way in which the IT solutions have been deployed and the results they have delivered and continue to deliver. Network Defence has ensured the roll-outs have been of a high standard and with their support service we have peace of mind that the solutions will be fully managed.  Their knowledge and good work has really helped to enhance the clubs business operations.  

Looking to the future

With the new solutions successfully enhancing business operations, BWFC are now working with Network Defence to expand on these deployments. They plan to further develop business operations by enabling even greater flexible working for staff and providing additional security for the club grounds.

Technologies Used:

        Network Perimeter Security
        Web and Email security
        VPN Mobile working / remote access
        Network Vulnerability testing
        Security Consultancy
        Network Infrastructure services
        Fully Managed Network services


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