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Beaumont Legal Relies on Forcepoint to Safeguard Its Clients While They Purchase Their Dream Homes

Forcepoint and MSSP partner NETprotocol help this UK conveyancing law specialist protect client data, achieve uptime goals, and meet regulatory and certification standards.

People in a business meeting

Headquarters

United Kingdom

Beaumont Legal provides legal services that intersect closely with banking and financial services like mortgage lending. Because it represents its clients in major monetary transactions, it’s crucial that the law firm protect them and their financial information with the rigor of a bank. Beaumont Legal turned to Forcepoint and MSSP partner NETprotocol to replace a network security solution that wasn’t able to deliver redundant internet connectivity and firewall protocol. Today, Forcepoint NGFW delivers secure, maximum uptime to Beaumont Legal’s two branch offices and helps the law firm pass industry cybersecurity certification tests easily.

Challenges

  • Achieve near zero network downtime
  • Provide automatic failover internet connectivity and firewall protection across branch offices
  • Improve visibility into and control over network activity and configurations
  • Ensure compliance with data protection regulations and legal industry cybersecurity standards

Approach

  • Partner with MSSP NETprotocol to deploy Forcepoint NGFW across  two branch offices

Results

  • Achieved better than 99.99%network uptime and internet availability, supporting more billable hours
  • Change management is quicker and more responsive
  • Regulatory compliance and industry accreditation for cybersecurity achieved, leading to more business opportunities

Beaumont Legal is a leading UK law firm specializing in multiple practice areas at the intersection of legal and financial services, including conveyancing, wills and probate, commercial law, and litigation. Beaumont Legal, headquartered in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, assists clients with what is typically the biggest financial decision in their lives—the buying and selling of a home. The firm takes that responsibility very seriously, ensuring that its network security at home and branch offices meets a comprehensive list of stringent regulatory and industry standards for both legal and financial cybersecurity.

Beaumont Legal relies on Forcepoint and its managed security service provider (MSSP) partner NETprotocol to provide easy-to-manage, reliable, robust network security that complies with data security laws like the EU’s GDPR and passes industry-specific cybersecurity testing by legal accreditation firms like Lawyer Checker in the UK. In addition, maintaining “always on” network connectivity is crucial in legal services, because any downtime can impact a firm’s billable hours.

Raising the bar on network security

Before deploying Forcepoint, Beaumont Legal found the third-party firewall and network security solution it was using to be unreliable and a cause of too many network outages, opaque in terms of visibility into what was happening on the network, and slow to process configuration and policy changes as needed. The interruptions to internet connectivity were a particular sore spot for the firm, said Tony Makings, Head of IT Support at Beaumont Legal. “Any downtime as a result of an internet outage can have a major impact on staff productivity, client experience, and other conveyancers in the chain, as well as their clients,” he said.

Makings consulted with Forcepoint MSSP partner NETprotocol to develop a better solution. Beaumont Legal’s primary network security needs goals were:

  • Zero downtime
  • Automatic failover
  • Complete security
  • Ongoing visibility
  • Ease of management

The law firm has a head office with about 115 employees and a much smaller second site with just 15 people connecting to the network. Forcepoint and NETprotocol discovered that while each office had its own internet connection, the MPLS-based interoffice link was not capable of acting as a failover for internet access at either branch if their primary internet connection went down.

This lack of redundancy was easily remedied with Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (NGFW).

A solution for automatic uptime

Forcepoint NGFW features SD-WAN-compatible, multi-link technology to provide an automated failover process which minimizes the possibility of any downtime if one of Beaumont Legal’s internet connections or firewalls goes down. With two-node Forcepoint NGFW firewall clusters put in place at each office site, both sites are now connected via the interoffice link and network traffic is kept secure even if one site’s firewall is down, thanks to Forcepoint’s VLAN technology. Now, if one office’s internet connection or firewall setup fails, it automatically gains access to the other site’s internet and firewall protections because NETprotocol has configured the network switches to divert traffic from the interoffice link to the working NGFW cluster at the other office site. Once the connection at the down site is reestablished, the configuration reverts back to the standard automatically.

"By deploying this technology, we could ensure that Beaumont Legal were using their connectivity at its optimum across their offices. This meant that any downtime caused by a fault with either the link or hardware would no longer be an issue at any site. They now have a secure, enterprise-class SD-WAN solution and none of the complex management headaches,” said NETprotocol Security Consultant Mark Collins.

The result has been “better than 99.99% uptime” since Forcepoint NGFW was deployed, according to Makings.

“Management has been very happy with Forcepoint and with NETprotocol,” he said. “They’re happiest when they don’t notice the solution because it’s working—and they don’t notice NGFW, even when we make changes to the firewall, because we can do that quickly now, whereas we could be waiting days before a change was made with the prior solution."

Top-rated network security translates to more business opportunities 

In addition to the marked improvement on network downtime, Forcepoint NGFW has checked off the other network security boxes for Beaumont Legal, Makings said. In particular, the law firm appreciates the visibility into and control over their network  activity provided by the Forcepoint Security Management Center (SMC), which NETprotocol uses to manage and make changes to the solution.

“We now have a system that will failover connectivity should one of our two leased line internet connections, or our site-to-site links, go down. Likewise, we are now able to check logs and have the ability to make firewall changes ourselves if need be,” Makings said.

“Of course, the support from NETprotocol is excellent and if an issue occurs, we are generally contacted by their team telling us it’s been fixed before we realize anything has happened.”

Another major benefit to Forcepoint NGFW is that Beaumont Legal can make changes to its firewall clusters without taking them offline—in fact, NGFW delivers 70% less maintenance downtime than the solution it replaced. This capability and NGFW’s top rating for security against cyberattacks and other threats means Beaumont Legal is able to comply with GDPR and pass accreditation testing by Lawyer Checker with flying colors.

“Getting that accreditation is very advantageous because basically it means that more people will work with us and the more industry panels for things like mortgage lending that we can be on,” Makings said. “In conveyancing, we work with all sorts of different lenders and different banks providing financial services—and that’s both on behalf of our clients using the banks and also working with the banks as well for their legal side of things.

“There’s probably more money handled in conveyancing than in any other legal practice, because a house is the biggest thing most people buy in their lives. The amount of money that moves backwards and forwards is quite immense—and it needs to be dealt with securely at all times,” Makings said. “Forcepoint and NETprotocol help ensure we achieve that.”

Customer Profile

Law firm specializing in multiple practice areas, including conveyancing, wills and probate, and more.