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Cyber security solution provides disinfection specialist with clean security sweep

Protection of its intellectual property is vital for the continued success of Omnia-Klenz, a growing high-tech SME specialising in disinfection, water management and monitoring technologies.

The company has established lines to help domestic and commercial clients protect themselves from the risk of contracting waterborne infections such as Legionella. It has also just successfully completed trials of a revolutionary new system to complement infection control procedures used in managing water outlets in healthcare environments.

“We’ve got two key principle technologies,” says the company’s managing director, Ross Finch, explaining the work that goes in to bringing the company’s products to market. “For our disinfection system we did a lot of pioneering research with the universities of Manchester and Plymouth, looking into biofilms and bacteria in shower hoses and heads.

“The second, which is hot off the press, is a water monitoring and management system. We’ve now got some great results from using this technology in hospitals. As well as supporting infection control it can save NHS trusts money, cut their carbon footprint and cut energy and water use by 80-90 percent.”

He’s as enthusiastic as he is protective of the technologies Omnia-Klenz has developed and the research which informed their development. Hence a keen focus on network and data security.

Keen to fully secure its network the Glossop-headquartered business turned to Pennine IT Services which recommended installation of WatchGuard’s XTM 515 firewall.

“We have international patents and our own data and research and development papers and so security really was a priority,” he says. “Updating our firewall was key, not just from an internal data integrity perspective but externally, ensuring our data could not be hacked and stolen.”

Having previously experienced Pennine’s expertise and service, Ross confidently returned to the company for advice. “I’d worked with Pennine before at a previous business and they’d always done a great job. They delivered everything on time and were very cost-competitive. Their performance was proven to me so I didn’t hesitate to use them again.”

Having reviewed Omnia-Klenz’s requirements Pennine recommended connecting the WatchGuard XTM 515 to a wireless internal local area network and Motorola RFS4010 WiFi Controller.

… I trusted Pennine’s recommendation through their experiences with other clients who’ve demanded the highest levels of security.

ROSS FINCH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, OMNIA-KLENZ

The Watchguard rack system was designed specifically to offer enterprise level security to SMEs, without performance being sacrificed for affordability.

It incorporates intrusion prevention to detect and halt a broad range of network attack methodologies, including DOS, DDOS, IPAD, port scanning and spoofing. Other benefits include provision of virtual private networks (VPNs) to protect transmission of data, content blocking and automatic virus and malware definition updates.

The VPN is important as staff can be accessing the network from a variety of devices in the office or out in the field. “We spend our time working closely with our customers and NHS trusts and so security is paramount. Having a reliable remote working solution with 100 percent uptime that is completely secure was a clear priority for us.”

The firewall also minimally impacts network performance, offering a standard 2Gbps throughput and integral traffic management.

Crucially, recognising that many SMEs do not benefit from internal IT departments, it doesn’t require high level expertise to use and manage.

“The great thing about WatchGuard is that it’s simple and easy to use,” confirms Ross. “The checks I have to do to make sure that everything’s working are minimal. It updates definitions automatically and has intrusion prevention and content management services so nobody can get onto sites that would compromise security.”

He’s clearly happy with his procurement decision and the advice that informed it. “I trusted Pennine’s recommendation through their experiences with other clients who’ve demanded the highest levels of security.

“They listened to and understood my requirements for security, performance and VPN capability and WatchGuard was their preferred solution. I was very happy to go with that recommendation based on their expertise and my experience of working with Pennine on other projects.”

The solution has proven itself in practice, having now provided Omnia-Klenz with highly effective network security for over three years. His confidence in the system has been further highlighted by his subsequent decision to renew his WatchGuard licence through Pennine.