This article was first published in the Autumn 2014 issue of Speak
DavCo Restaurants is one of the top five Wendy’s franchisees, employing approximately 4,500 people at more than 150 restaurants in the mid-Atlantic region, including the Baltimore, Washington DC and northern Virginia markets. Each Wendy’s restaurant has a back-office PC running Microsoft Office, Micros POS software and local anti-virus software, as well as internet browser access to third-party web portals for e-mail, calendaring, inventory and supplies. Previously, DavCo had no firewalls deployed at its restaurants, as it had hired an internet service provider to provide a private network that gave each store its own dedicated access to specified white-listed websites.
“We didn’t worry because we weren’t wide open to the public internet,” says Stacy Duncan, vice president of IT at DavCo Restaurants. “But PCI changed everything.”
To become PCI DSS compliant and securely transmit credit card transactions over the internet, DavCo needed to deploy firewalls at all restaurant sites to ensure it was adequately segmenting the network and securing credit card data.
“The process of becoming PCI-compliant has been incredibly challenging and complex,” says Duncan. “We needed to ensure good network segmentation and find a solution that could provide seamless, secure and easy-to-manage network security and remote access across the entire distributed network.”
Duncan also wanted to enhance remote access in order to more efficiently maintain and administer employees’ remote PCs from home.
“I used to take a laptop home every day and use PC Anywhere to connect to my office desktop files,” states Duncan. “But I couldn’t access my network drives unless I went back to the office.” To select the best solution, DavCo relied upon its trusted technology partner, RedZone Technologies, a specialised IT solutions and security company based in Annapolis, Maryland in the US.
DavCo considered firewall solutions from Fortinet, Juniper, WatchGuard and Dell SonicWALL. In final evaluations, Dell SonicWALL and RedZone Technologies conducted a real-world performance test of Dell SonicWALL and Fortinet appliances using nightly batch download traffic at two of DavCo’s restaurant sites.
“For DavCo, it comes down to ensuring throughput to run unified threat management full-throttle between devices with network segmentation during normal operations as well as the nightly batches, so that they don’t end up queuing and dropping updates,” says James Crifasi, CTO at RedZone Technologies. “Dell SonicWALL proved to be much faster than Fortinet.”
With assistance from RedZone, DavCo deployed paired Dell SonicWALL Network Security Appliance (NSA) 4500 firewalls at its headquarters and Dell SonicWALL TZ 210 firewalls at 151 Wendy’s sites.
With uncompromising protection and performance, the NSA 4500 provides DavCo with an extensive array of advanced networking, high-availability and configuration flexibility features. Dell SonicWALL next-generation firewalls tightly integrate Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection with a high- speed intrusion prevention system (IPS), gateway anti-virus, file and content inspection, and application intelligence, control and visualisation. DavCo also implemented guest wi-fi in its corporate office using Dell SonicWALL SonicPoint-Ne Dual-Band 802.11a/b/g/n wireless access points.
For remote access, DavCo deployed a Dell SonicWALL Secure Remote Access (SRA) 4200 appliance at its headquarters. To centrally monitor, manage and report on all of the Dell SonicWALL appliances, DavCo also deployed a Dell SonicWALL E-Class Universal Management Appliance EM5000.
“Standardising on Dell SonicWALL has given us the connectivity we needed, while keeping everybody else outside so that we can protect and secure our network,” acknowledges Duncan. “Dell SonicWALL gave us all of the layers we needed for PCI. We wouldn’t be compliant without it. And that keeps our auditors happy.” Moreover, Duncan lowered total cost of ownership.
“We did not have to buy separate software to run security services, because gateway anti-virus and anti- spyware were already on the firewall,” explains Duncan. “That was a huge advantage for us.”
Previously, DavCo had relied on Google Docs to share documents between distributed and mobile employees, but users would download multiple separate documents to their local PCs. The SRA 4200 lets multiple remote users easily connect to share a single document at a centralised network location, eliminating duplication and enhancing collaboration.
“The SRA is awesome,” declares Duncan. “There’s definitely an increase in productivity. Authorised users can now access their corporate computer, or specific folders that they need on the server, 24/7 from their home, just like they’re sitting in the office working. We never really had that capability before.” Duncan also discovered additional value beyond remote productivity.
“The SRA has helped us to get more information out to the stores in an automated fashion. For example, the stores can now view their profit and loss data over a secure web portal,” Duncan elaborates. “What’s more, we were able to implement two-factor authentication using a one-time password sent via text message, adding another wall of security for PCI compliance.”
Leveraging Dell SonicWALL’s powerful IPS, gateway anti-virus and other security features, DavCo is able to deliver the maximum protection needed to ensure PCI DSS compliance. Moreover, DavCo has also enhanced productivity across its distributed network of 151 Wendy’s sites by easing centralised management and enabling employee connectivity through secure remote access.
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