Mobility is the new normal in the working world. People now expect to be able to work on the go, to get ahead of their emails before they reach their office and to wrap things up on the evening commute, and it’s up to their employers to provide them with the tools to do so.
Mobile working can offer an increased level of flexibility, and, when rolled out correctly, help people to better balance their personal and professional lives. However, allowing employees to work from mobile devices can leave companies vulnerable to a range of security issues. To avoid cyber-criminals gaining access to potentially sensitive business information, therefore, it’s extremely important for organisations to implement the necessary security infrastructure to protect their critical assets.
Introducing O’Brien Fine Foods to the benefits of mobile working
Novi recently designed and implemented an all new IT infrastructure for O’Brien Fine Foods, specifically designed to enable mobile working for employees, while also providing increased network security, reliability and performance.
O’Brien Fine Foods, a family-run food company perhaps best known for its Brady Family and Homebird brands, has undergone steady growth in the past number of years and recently carried out a €14 million, 8,000sqm expansion at its headquarters in Timahoe, Co. Kildare. The nature of its business means that O’Briens has to maintain a 24-hour, ‘always-on’ production environment. This was putting a lot of strain on its IT systems and equipment and driving the need for a new infrastructure.
At the same time, the company wanted to provide its employees with the ability to work on the go. There are very few PCs in the new facility, and staff needed the ability to work from their own devices anywhere on the campus.
Novi had worked with O’Brien Fine Foods for a number of years, and so we were ideally placed to implement this new platform. Following an initial assessment, we installed a 10 gigabit backbone network that provides 1GB Wi-Fi across O’Brien’s entire facility. The availability of higher network speeds now enables the company’s employees to work wirelessly from their laptops, smartphones or tablets, anywhere on the site.
Safeguard against cyber-attacks
With all of these additional mobile devices in circulation it was crucial to ensure that O’Brien Fine Foods’ network remained secure and protected from threats. To this end, Novi deployed a Fortinet Firewall cluster at the heart of the new infrastructure. This allows the internal network to be segmented to avoid any potentially damaging event impacting on the core production systems, and provides a real safeguard against cyber-attacks.
We also installed perimeter firewalls that incorporate two-factor authentication to maximise security for anybody connecting to the network from a remote location. Finally, we utilised HPE and Microsoft technologies to make O’Brien Fine Foods’ servers accessible through the cloud. This provides O’Brien Fine Foods with systems that are highly available right across the business campus.
This project provided O’Brien Fine Foods with an infrastructure that improves its business performance and IT reliability, while maintaining the highest level of security. It has also given the company an unparalleled level of flexibility.