Untangle Solves City Network Challenges

Background

The City of Bridgeton is a municipality located in St. Louis county, Missouri. It is the primary transport hub within Greater St. Louis, with a population of over 11,000, plus 100,000 visitors traveling through every year. The City of Bridgeton consists of five departments including Public Works, Police, Parks & Recreation, Municipal Court, and Administration.

Tom Rickard, an IT Specialist, was hired in 2010 to fix their challenges with slow internet performance, set up a network for each department’s specific needs, and find a solution that could provide secure, free public Wi-Fi.

Technology Solution

Untangle NG Firewall was recommended to Rickard by a fellow IT professional. Since NG Firewall is available as a free download, Rickard was able to install it on a virtual machine for evaluation. After testing out the different applications and the overall functionality of the solution, Rickard deployed NG Firewall on an existing server at the Public Works department. “The city has 150 devices throughout the 5 departments accessing the internet. With limited security in place, I was cleaning up spam and viruses everyday. As soon as I installed NG Firewall, the spam and viruses stopped,” said Rickard.

With the Public Works department network cleaned up, Rickard decided to implement NG Firewall in the Police and Parks & Recreation departments. One unique feature of NG Firewall is the ability to create multiple virtual racks, much like a traditional server rack. Racks allow the IT administrator to set up different policy rules to define network privileges based on username, groups, time, day and other criteria. Rickard set up an internal network for the Parks & Recreation department with strong security and tight controls. He then set up a public Wi-Fi network to provide access for BYOD devices. By segmenting the networks, Rickard was able to provide the correct privileges and security levels based on the risk profile of the users. “The City provides free WIFI in most of its public facilities, which includes the Athletic Complex, Aquatic Park, and Recreation Center,” said Rickard.

With limited security in place, I was cleaning up spam and viruses everyday. As soon as I installed NG Firewall, the spam and viruses stopped.

Tom Rickard, City of Bridgeton

Business Results

Untangle NG Firewall has given the City of Bridgeton control over each department network, while also providing WiFi to the public, without compromising the private and sensitive information within each department. The combination of the Captive Portal, Web Filter, Virus Blocker, and Spam Blocker applications helped Rickard to stop the spam and viruses that had been plaguing the network every day. Bandwidth Control and Application Control provided visibility into and control over the bandwidth usage on the network. “If the internet is slow, I can easily go in and see what’s going on,” said Rickard. “If someone is running an application that is hogging the bandwidth, I can simply restrict their access.”

“We would have had to hire someone full-time in order to keep up with the high levels of spam and viruses we were tackling every day,” continued Rickard. “The total cost of the NG Firewall deployments are a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.” NG Firewall’s Reports and Dashboard also allow Rickard to easily customize his own reports to provide visibility into what is important to him. Moving forward, Rickard plans to customize more rules and policies for each of the departments.

Untangle makes my job easier… If someone is running an application that is hogging the bandwidth, I can simply restrict their access.

Tom Rickard, City of Bridgeton

NG Firewall Fast Facts

  • Secures the network at the gateway
  • Real-time drill down reports
  • Deploy on your server, virtual machine or Untangle appliance

About Untangle NG Firewall

  • Untangle’s NG Firewall platform combines Unified Threat Management—to address all the key network threats—with policy management tools that enable you to define access and control by individuals, groups or company-wide. NG Firewall enables you to quickly and easily create the network policies that deliver the perfect balance between security and productivity.