Powerful, Scalable, Secure

Well Thought-Out Barracuda NextGen Firewall F Configuration Concept Convinces Sanochemia

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Introduction

There are few sectors that place higher demands on the security of technical information systems than the pharmaceutical industry. Medication and pharmaceutical ingredients as well as manufacturing processes are the culmination of years of cost-intensive research work, which means that losing company secrets could have catastrophic consequences in competitive terms.

The social significance of medicine production also means that extensive state regulations have to be complied with, which should exclude manipulation of critical data at all times. So pharmaceutical companies have to prove the highest security standards, while at the same time, optimizing their infrastructures in economic terms. These include the implementation of efficient management concepts for distributed networks as well as protecting the business continuity with highly available functionality. This was precisely the challenge facing the Austrian Sanochemia Pharmazeutika AG, a company specializing in the research and development of innovative therapeutic agents for the central nervous system.

The central IT department at the Sanochemia Group had long been aware that the old security solution was pushing at its capacity limits with the growing number of users. The entire communication with different subsidiaries ran via two firewalls at the main location whereby one gateway was solely responsible for VPN and the other for email and Internet. In order to guarantee smooth data flow, the company was considering the introduction of a high availability solution. However, it soon became apparent that updating the implemented hardware appliances was not an economically feasible option. It would also have been impossible to expand the high availability to the lines.

"The centralized management concept and the high scalability of the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series have already shown immense advantages for our company both in technical as well as economic terms."
- Harald Messner, IT Manager, Sanochemia Pharmazeutica AG

Profile

  • Sanochemia Pharmazeutika AG
  • 176 employees across 4 locations

Challenges

  • Creating a uniform firewall infrastructure
  • Bandwidth prioritization
  • Efficient and affordable management of the complete solution
  • Create a scalable solution for future infrastructure expansion

Solution

  • Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series
  • Barracuda NextGen Control Center

Results

  • Highly reliable and secure distributed network with Centralized management of all locations
  • Business continuity with high availability functionality
  • Reduction of administrative IT work

Implementation in Record Time

Disaster struck right in the midst of these considerations: One Friday afternoon, the firewalls failed and complete ready status had to be restored by the following Monday morning. Working flat-out, a solution was sought together with the company’s longstanding IT partner SYSTREX Datentechnik GmbH. SYSTREX recommended the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series, due to its especially simple installation and configuration. The solution was implemented in an incredibly short time span, so that the full functionality was restored on Sunday morning using the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series.

High Availability and Traffic Intelligence Integrated Permanently

Subsequent to a company-wide transition period, all subsidiaries and warehouses at Sanochemia are now connected with the main offices via Barracuda NextGen Firewalls. The external offices access all critical applications via VPN and Citrix Terminal Servers, including—most importantly—the ERP system and additional business applications. If communications with Germany were to collapse, there would be two locations no longer able to deliver. This would result in direct revenue losses of tens of thousands of Euros per day.

Barracuda NextGen Firewalls not only ensure the gateway’s redundancy, but also that of the lines. If a connection fails then the Barracuda NextGen Firewalls automatically divert the data traffic to alternative lines. The Traffic Intelligence feature on the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series ensures that the benefits of this technology are optimized. Barracuda integrates the bandwidth management directly at the firewall/VPN gateway level. This not only means that different IP technologies can be used in parallel for the connection, but also that application data can be distributed according to priority onto the available bandwidths.

Centralized Management of All Gateways

Administrators monitor the status of remote gateways with the central Barracuda NextGen Control Center, manage the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series configurations and software, define global rules and regulations, and compile information from individual or multiple gateways. The central configurations management comprises not only VPN and firewall policies, but also parameters such as software licenses.

Siegfried Kumnig, Technical IT Manager at Sanochemia AG, is convinced by the Barracuda NextGen F-Series management concept: “We do not need any security administration staff at the external sites. All rules and configurations can be defined and tested at our headquarters. The respective settings are then sent to the subsidiaries per configuration file and activated centrally—so we can be absolutely certain that time-critical changes are implemented company-wide quickly and consistently. One management interface considerably simplifies work for the administrator” explains Kumnig.

Flexibility for a Growing Company

New locations are integrated organically into the growing network as soon as they are integrated into the ERP system as autonomous mandates. Additionally, no bottlenecks are to be expected with the dynamic rise in the number of employees since the special architecture of Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series allows flexible upgrades. Independent of the software license, more powerful hardware platforms with additional network cards can be implemented as required to increase throughput without limitations.

Accordingly Messner is certain that the right partner for further growth has been found with Barracuda. “By investing in solutions designed for the future, our infrastructure is much better equipped and prepared to cope with the demands ahead. In our opinion the future market leader definitely will be Barracuda."

About Barracuda

Protecting users, applications, and data for more than 150,000 organisations worldwide, Barracuda Networks has developed a global reputation as the go-to leader for powerful, easy-to-use, affordable IT solutions. The company’s proven customer-centric business model focuses on delivering highvalue, subscription-based IT solutions for security and storage. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com or follow us on Twitter@barracudaEMEA.

About the Barracuda NextGen Firewall F

The Barracuda NextGen Firewall F-Series is the enterprise-grade network firewall that combines comprehensive, next-generation firewall capabilities - based on application visibility and useridentity awareness - with optimal efficiency and throughput. Coordinated WAN optimization, centralized management, and cloud-hosted content filtering and reporting are just a few of the key features supporting enterprise requirements.

Barracuda NextGen Firewall F400 Fast Facts

  • Integrated next-generation security
  • Granular control of user activity
  • Effective WAN management
  • Connection-friendly and robust VPN
  • QoS and link balancing
  • Central management