Grimaldi Group

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Summary

The Grimaldi Group relies on Barracuda Networks to address several issues related to Internet browsing, connection, load balancing and security.

The excellent value for money, range of solutions, speed of implementation, ease of use and prompt, high quality support, have made Barracuda the ideal technology partner for this multinational group specializing in freight and passenger transport.

Profile

  • The Grimaldi Group is a multinational integrated logistics group that specialises in the maritime transport of cars, rolling cargo, containers and passengers.

Challenges

  • Overly complex Internet browsing system.
  • Unreliable Internet connection.
  • Need to allow users all over the world to connect to the company’s systems securely.
  • Need to simplify management of the email database.
  • Need for a hardware load balancer for the new travel booking system.
  • Need to increase system security.

Solutions

  • Barracuda Web Filter
  • Barracuda Link Balancer
  • Barracuda SSL VPN
  • Barracuda Message Archiver
  • Barracuda Load Balancer
  • Barracuda CloudGen Firewall

Results

  • Greater ease of use.
  • Highly reliable Internet services.
  • Simple remote access to company systems via a browser.
  • Simplified email database management.
  • Greater security and protection for company systems.
  • Savings on appliance purchase and management costs.

The Company

Founded in 1947, the Grimaldi Group is a multinational integrated logistics group that specialises in the maritime transport of cars, rolling cargo, containers and passengers. Wholly owned by the Grimaldi family, the Group combines a global market vision with family traditions and values. The members of the Grimaldi family rely on an international team of highly specialized managers working in the head office in Naples and in its subsidiary companies and branches in over 25 countries.

The Grimaldi Group’s mission is to provide efficient, reliable, innovative and high quality services to transport goods and passengers by sea, while constantly identifying the needs and expectations of its customers. The Group is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, social responsibility and transport solutions that promote environmentally sustainable mobility.

The Group currently employs 10,000 people on land and at sea. Every week, Grimaldi ships dock at over 110 ports around the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas, as well as in Northern Europe, West Africa, North and South America and contributes to the development of many different countries.

All this is made possible by its use of advanced technologies and care for every area of business, one of the youngest, most modern and environmentally friendly fleets in the world, and substantial resources invested in staff training. The Group also complies with ISO 9002 quality standards and the ISO 14001 environmental management standards.

IT Infrastructure

The headquarters of the Grimaldi Group, in Naples, is home to the IT department, staffed by 20 people involved in developing software and managing the IT infrastructure. The company uses a comprehensive IT infrastructure, which includes four data centers, one of them in Naples, around fifty servers and, in Italy, 450 clients and an equal number of mailboxes.

The main applications of the group’s core business, which are freight and passenger transport, include both custom systems developed in-house and commercially available ERP systems. For freight transport, logistics management and billing, Grimaldi uses a proprietary system developed by the company’s IT department in the USA. For passenger traffic management, this year Grimaldi purchased an e-Booking system adopted both by Grimaldi Lines and Finnlines, a Group company that operates in the Baltic Sea.

A Trusted Partner in Addressing a Variety of Issues

Initially, Grimaldi had been looking for an Internet browsing system to replace the one it was using, which was complex and difficult to manage. “Basically we needed a simpler solution than the one we were using, which was very complex and required a dedicated person to deal exclusively with this activity”, says Giulio Capacchione, EDP Manager of the Grimaldi Group. “We therefore tested the Barracuda Web Security Gateway solution from Barracuda Networks, which quickly proved to be more consistent with our needs, being both simpler to manage and more effective at the same time”.

Implementing the Barracuda solution was also quick and easy “Another aspect that made a positive impression on us was the speed of the roll-out. A couple of days of training were enough to implement the solution in a live environment, a process which had been very complex and cumbersome with the previous solution”. The two Barracuda Web Security Gateway appliances adopted by Grimaldi were installed as a cluster to ensure high reliability.

One of the Grimaldi Group’s other requirements was a reliable Internet connection. As it uses the Internet for its e-commerce site, email and remote connections to its systems from other group offices, having a reliable connection is vital for Grimaldi’s business. For the connection, Grimaldi uses two of Italy’s biggest providers and has split its services between them based on internal rules. However, whenever a malfunction occurred in the network of one of the two providers, delivery of the services stopped. A solution therefore had to be found that would allow the company to ensure the high reliability of its services at all times. Grimaldi therefore adopted the Barracuda Link Balancer which, in the event of a failure to connect to one of the provider’s Internet connections, allows the services to be provided via the other automatically. “Following a detailed assessment of the products offered by different suppliers, we chose Barracuda because of the excellent value for money”, continues Capacchione.

Since the purchase of the Web Security Gateway and Link Balancer, Barracuda has supported Grimaldi in other projects as well. The company has adopted Barracuda SSL VPN, which enables its users around the world to connect to the company’s systems securely by simply using their browser. The company has also implemented Barracuda Message Archiver, an email archiving solution that works with the email system and makes a copy of the messages by reducing their size using an attachment compression system. This allows the size of the email database to be reduced, making it easier to manage.

The Grimaldi Group also uses Barracuda Load Balancer to balance a number of applications within its network. This is a result of its adoption of the new travel booking system, the architecture of which required a hardware load balancer. In the event of a system fault, Load Balancer can deal with requests sent to the server and handle them in an automated way. This means that the infrastructure performs better, thus improving the experience of the end user making the online booking. In this case as well, the support provided by Barracuda and ease of management allowed Grimaldi to implement the product in a very short space of time.

Recently, Grimaldi adopted the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall, allowing the Group to prevent a hacker attack on the company’s website. “Once again, a solution was implemented within a week that has allowed us to foil attacks and make a quantum leap forward in terms of quality and security”, adds Capacchione.

“The main reasons that led us to choose Barracuda solutions were primarily the variety of the offer, which covers several areas and has allowed us to meet different needs, the speed of implementation, the simplicity of the interface, the excellent value for money and the fact that we can always count on prompt and high quality support”, concludes Capacchione. “We should also add that, by adopting the Barracuda solutions, we have achieved significant cost savings on the purchase and management of appliances”.

About Barracuda

Barracuda simplifies IT with cloudenabled solutions that empower customers to protect their networks, applications, and data, regardless of where they reside. These powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable solutions are trusted by more than 150,000 organizations worldwide and are delivered in appliance, virtual appliance, cloud, and hybrid deployments. Barracuda’s customer-centric business model focuses on delivering highvalue, subscription-based IT solutions that provide end-to-end network and data security. For additional information, please visit www.barracuda.com.

Barracuda CloudGen Firewall Fast Facts

  • Integrated next-generation security
  • Full SD-WAN capabilities included
  • Full user/group awareness
  • Full application visibility and granular access control
  • Advanced Threat Protection (incl. sandboxing)
  • Built-in web security and IDS/IPS
  • Connection-friendly and robust VPN
  • QoS and link balancing
  • Industry-leading central management