Osborne Clarke Ensures Staff Stay Safe on the Web with Gradian

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Osborne Clarke is an international legal practice with offices across Europe, North America. It also has a formal Association with Koh Vass & Co in Hong Kong. A top 25 UK law firm, Osborne Clarke has over 200 partners and 1,500 employees and is one of the 50 largest law firms in Germany by revenues. In 2015, Osborne Clarke was the first law firm ever to win two ‘Law Firm of the Year’ awards from both The Lawyer and Legal Business.

Web filtering is an imperative component of Osborne Clarke’s everyday operations: protecting the business from malicious web attacks, preventing any potential liability arising from inappropriate web content and reducing general Internet abuse. The company had an existing web filtering solution in place, but according to Myles Manning, IT Client Interface and Solutions Manager at Osborne Clarke LLP, it lacked the flexibility the company was looking for.

“We are great believers in ‘connected working’—enabling our people to work in a more agile manner, wherever and whenever they choose,” he says. “Our existing web filtering solution was not keeping pace with that mobility strategy. We devoted too much time to manually changing categories of websites our staff could or could not access, for instance, and the reporting was limited. The goal was to deploy a web filtering technology that met our stringent security policies, while adapting quickly and easily to the way we work.”

Gradian: Symantec Platinum Partner & Cloud Specialist

Step forward Gradian. Osborne Clarke had an existing relationship with this UK IT security specialist, and one of Symantec’s most trusted partners. Working as a collaborative team, Gradian consultants and Manning focused in on Symantec Web Security.Cloud. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution appeared to tick all the boxes: protecting Osborne Clarke from web-borne threats and allowing the team to control, monitor and enforce its pre-determined Web use policies quickly and easily.

Osborne Clarke needed to move fast though, since the licenses on the existing web filtering solution were due to expire imminently. “Gradian was responsive at this point,” says Manning. “They fast-tracked the Symantec solution and ensured we had a proof of concept live within five days.”

Symantec Web Security.Cloud provides Osborne Clarke with comprehensive, accurate and effective web filtering capability. For example, Manning and his team have the flexibility to block Web-borne malware and spyware, determine the appropriate Web usage policy across every office in the corporate network, and control which data leaves the network via the web. The Symantec solution comes with all the advantages of the cloud: fast deployment, no capital costs and instant upgrades.

“The categories in the Symantec solution are so logical. Our previous web filtering solution blocked all top domain level sites for certain countries, despite the fact Osborne Clarke has clients in these countries. The granularity of the Symantec solution allows us to easily choose the categories. This also applies to our office in Germany, a country with very strict rules governing privacy and web use,” says Manning.

Support for an Agile, Mobile Business Strategy

The web filtering technology also supports Osborne Clarke’s ‘connected working’ strategy. The Symantec.Cloud Smart Connect feature has also been implemented to protect users when they connect to the internet beyond the network environment. Manning continues, “Our fee-earning staff are moving from desktops to laptops, and we can now ensure security levels are maintained for these roaming and remote users when they are working away from the Osborne Clarke network.”

Manning is appreciative of the work done by Gradian. “You can understand why Gradian has quickly become one of Symantec’s most respected partners,” he says. “Consultants like Gradian take the ‘heavy lifting’ out of IT projects, so our team can move onto other pressing tasks. You can only do that with partners you trust implicitly—and Gradian is one of those partners.”

Manning has multiple examples from the frontline of how Gradian delivers this value-add service. “There’s no anonymous helpdesk where you log a call. We simply call them up and are instantly talking to a professional who understands our business, the challenges and pressures we face—and the fact you want your query resolved immediately. Through this, support time has dropped to just one or two calls a month. Gradian is also proactive, recommending options that enhance the quality and depth of our web filtering implementation.”

Osborne Clarke is also taking advantage of the reporting functionality in Symantec Web Security.Cloud. The in-depth reporting and detailed dashboard provide the administrators with the information needed to properly manage and secure the IT infrastructure. “We use these reports in regular operational meetings and they are useful for when Osborne Clarke is being audited by prospective clients.”

How does Manning sum up the contribution Gradian is making to Osborne Clarke? “Gradian’s Symantec expertise is excellent. They listen, they understand and they are straight-talking. Couple those factors with some of the best security technology on the market and they make an unbeatable combination,” he says.

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