IT security and control vendor Sophos Australia and New Zealand
today announced a major deal with international architectural
practice The Cox Group. The
practice will deploy Sophos's integrated Network Access Control
(NAC), Web Security, Email Security and Endpoint Security and
Control solutions to protect its personnel and confidential
intellectual property across seven cities in three countries.
In addition, Cox Group chose to engage the Sydney office of
Sophos Professional Services specifically for the proof-of-concept,
configuration, and implementation of the Sophos NAC software.
The system is currently being implemented internally by The Cox
Group with technical support provided by Sophos. The solution was
supplied by Sophos partner Corporate Express.
The Cox Group was established in Sydney in 1967 and has
diversified and grown to become an international practice with
offices in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, Beijing
and Dubai. Its award-winning projects include Star City Casino, the
new Hill Grandstand at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the United
Arab Emirates University Campus in Al Ain.
The Cox Group is one of a growing number of users to deploy
Sophos NAC Advanced, which is a software-based, vendor-neutral
solution that provides the ability to control who and what is
connecting to the network, and ensures all computers conform to a
defined security policy. Sophos NAC controls attempted network
access from any LAN or remote connection by employees and guests as
well as unauthorised and non-compliant computers.
Advanced provides The Cox Group with a highly cost-effective
and capable solution that seamlessly integrates with its existing
network infrastructure with zero disruption on users during
deployment. Furthermore, the solution has minimal impact on users
on an ongoing basis.
Asked why The Cox Group opted for Sophos NAC, Moreno Sartorello,
National IT Manager, replied: "Our business requirements dictate
that our widespread and sometimes mobile employees, and
occasionally our customers and business partners, have access to
the information and applications on our network.
"With that in mind, we wanted to ensure that any computer that
accesses our network is fully compliant with our security policy in
terms of up-to-date anti-malware protection. Also, that every PC,
server and laptop has the latest Windows patches. If any machine is
identified as non-compliant, we can then rectify the issue
immediately, before our users, intellectual property and other data
is put at risk.
"We're also going to use Sophos NAC to ensure every computer
matches exactly to our standard operating environment, which
includes Service Pack 2 on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and
"With Sophos NAC's detailed reporting, we can easily identify
any user behaviour that attempts to circumvent our security policy,
such as introducing an unprotected machine to our network. We can
then automatically kick that computer off our network while it
updates, and at the same time educate that employee about the
A long-time user of Sophos's anti-malware protection on its PCs,
laptops and servers, the practice will now also bolster its gateway
security with Sophos's Email Security and Web Security
"We're deploying Sophos's WS1000 web security appliance to
ensure our users can enjoy clean internet access," Sartorello
continued. "By their nature, many of our architects and other
employees are highly creative people who demand access to online
resources and websites which many other businesses might block,
such as Facebook and YouTube.
"We've taken the position that controlled access to these is OK,
and we'll use Sophos's Web Security appliance to afford our users a
greater level of protection against any website that is hosting
Sophos's appliance solutions offer an ideal match for The Cox
Group's computing environment.
"We simply plug the appliances in to our network, set up some
easily-customised rules and we can then leave the appliances to
scan our web traffic and emails knowing that they update with new
rules and protection automatically in the background," Sartorello
Sartorello also cited Sophos's centralised management as the key
component of the practice's security consolidation project:
"With Sophos, we will be able to manage every facet of our
endpoint, gateway and network access security from a single
console. Moreover, any of our three internal 'Sophos Champions' can
administer that console from whichever office they're based
With offices located in five different time zones, Sartorello
believes Sophos's comprehensive support operations provide the
practice with significant peace of mind.
"Sophos is highly responsive no matter what time of day we call.
Its 'follow the sun' approach to technical support ensures we can
immediately access a live technical expert over the phone, or by
email, if we have an issue that we don't have the time to sort out
While technical support has the highest priority within Sophos
and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all Sophos
customers as part of their licence fee, The Cox Group has signed up
for Sophos's Platinum Technical Support. This includes enhanced
service levels with target response and escalation times as well as
emergency onsite support.
Commenting on the new deal with The Cox Group, Sophos's Asia
Pacific Managing Director, Rob Forsyth, said, "Sophos Network
Access Control counters the risks involved with unauthorised
endpoint computers attempting to connect to networks set up to
enable businesses to compete in competitive global markets. The Cox
Group will now be able to automatically enforce its security
policies across widespread locations, while ensuring its
intellectual property and users are protected at all times."