Censornet quenches security thirst at Thatchers cider

Thatchers is a cidermaker based at Myrtle Farm, Sandford, Somerset. The family business has been running for four generations, making cider for over 100 years, and its knowledge about and passion for apples is reflected in the ciders it makes – authentic, full of flavour and with a distinct character that reflects Somerset cidermaking at its best. Thatchers has grown to become one of the world’s best loved cider brands, with customers in over 22 countries.

 

How IT factors in cider making

Technology has been an integral part in helping Thatchers grow as a business, ensuring the company can process orders and generate sales effectively as well as underpinning the supply chain. Its role is also to keep company data safe and the operating environment secure. But the company has grown significantly over the last ten years and had outgrown many of its systems and applications – as a result, it had become much more vulnerable to security breaches.

 

Making cider secure

With more and more sophisticated threats Thatchers looked to reduce their risk of being attacked. Senior IT Engineer, Hamish Ross and his team were keen to prevent Thatchers falling victim – as Hamish explains, “Data security is a key priority for us and we were keenly aware our old systems could no longer protect us. We urgently needed to lock down our systems and prevent an attack.”

 

Email Security

First on Thatchers’ priority list was an email filtering system that was straightforward to manage, could scale easily as the business continues to grow and could protect the business from malicious emails that could have viruses attached or links to infected sites. Censornet Email Security is a cloud-based email security and back up service that scans both inbound and outbound email for viruses, phishing threats, content violations and spam.

By doing this in the cloud it removes the processing and bandwidth burden on the local email server and provides a layer of resilience in case of local mail server failures. As Hamish explains, “Having all our emails filtered in the cloud means that there is no chance of us receiving an infected email. This is of massive importance to us.”

 

Securing Thatchers’ web gateway

Thatchers also required a web filter, which needed to be easy to manage and flexible enough to adapt to different types of user profiles. Thatchers has two distinct user groups – those who are based on the premises and those that work remotely. The challenge was to protect these user groups without impeding the flexibility of their working arrangement. Censornet’s Unified Security Service allowed Thatchers to control all aspects of its web access quickly and effectively, enabling the IT team to block unsuitable and offensive websites and anonymous proxy servers.

As Hamish says, “We needed to allow the off-site users the ability to access the Internet without going through a VPN, as it really hindered connectivity. But we wanted to ensure all users were as protected as possible. The secure web gateway allowed us to do this.”

 

Why Censornet was best

Although Hamish and his team researched a number of solutions, they opted for Censornet as they felt it offered Thatchers something other security companies couldn’t. “Censornet’s solutions are easy to implement, manage, are not overly complex and provided a more robust solution than other well known brands we looked at,” Hamish explains.

The new system gives Thatchers’ employees the connectivity they need without having to compromise on security. The web filter has been deployed to field operatives with the same protection and filtering from a central location without them being connected to Thatchers’ network either physically or via a VPN.

And the Thatchers’ IT team feels they are fully supported in their day-to-day activity. Hamish explains, “The support has been second to none – someone is always available for an online chat and will always stick around until an issue is resolved. Censornet is lightweight in management yet robust in its offerings. The solution provides us with a level of security over and above that which other well-known brands could provide and is much less complicated to use. And as we continue to grow as a business, we know that the Censornet system will grow with us.”