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Funeral Services Operator Partners with Forcepoint on Network Security in a Competitive Market

One of Spain’s largest funeral home operators safeguards its network of branch offices with the help of Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall

Tree with light coming through branches

Headquarters

Spain

One of the largest funeral services providers on the Iberian Peninsula, this industry leader operates more than 100 funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematoriums. The funeral services market is growing more competitive and every edge counts—including having the best IT assets running smoothly and securely. Connecting the company’s Barcelona headquarters to its funeral homes and smaller contracting offices demands first-rate networking technology and the best firewalls available to protect it. The company gets the job done with 125 Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) appliances with centralized control and SD-WAN support.

Challenges

  • Maintain consistent, centrally managed network connectivity.
  • Scale network security cost effectively as needed.

Approach

  • Replace existing network security solution with Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall.

Results

  • Central management of network security achieved.
  • Reduced spending to securely add new branch offices to network.
  • Security meets current needs with easy path to scale and add new features.

Competition in funeral services has grown fiercer in recent years. Famously regarded by outsiders as “recession proof,” the trade has actually seen increased consolidation due to factors like higher life expectancies and declining demand for traditional services like funeral cars and open caskets. In such a competitive climate, keeping its operations running as smoothly as possible is a key to continued success for this funeral services company—and network security is a major part of that effort.

Mistakes caused by network security problems can happen in every industry, negatively impacting customers and harming a company’s reputation. But some businesses are under more pressure to avoid such errors than others—and funeral services providers are at the top of the list when it comes to the high reputational stakes of being “perfect.” This leading funeral services provider in Spain and Portugal knows that just one major mistake could harm its reputation, so it relies on Forcepoint to ensure the best possible network security for the more than 100 funeral homes, cemeteries, crematoriums, and contracting offices it operates.

The company also operates internationally, providing shipping of remains from Spain and Portugal to any country in the world and vice versa, as well as assistance with funeral arrangements for international customers.

In this capacity, it must also secure data it exchanges with global funeral services companies and other business partners.

More cost-effective networking with SD-WAN

The company performs more than 55,000 funeral services annually at its funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries located throughout the Iberian Peninsula. It also maintains additional contracting offices which coordinate services, billing, and other business tasks via a wide area network (WAN) maintained by a small IT team in its Barcelona headquarters.

Each location requires a firewall, internet access, and seamless network connections to headquarters and other branch offices, including VPN.

The company was unsatisfied with an existing firewall product that lacked Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) capabilities and turned to Forcepoint for a better solution. It wanted to leverage SD-WAN to create a more flexible and cost-efficient wide area network which could be more easily controlled from a central console at headquarters.

SD-WANs use software to connect sites directly to the internet over whichever commodity broadband links are most appropriate in each location, providing cost savings and faster deployment times. Configurations and access policies are centrally managed and easily applied across all sites, removing the need to manually administer each WAN device individually.

Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) can secure SD-WANs, so upgrading made sense.

Centralized network management does more with less

Deploying Forcepoint NGFW involved installing on-premise appliances in branch offices throughout Spain and Portugal. This gave the ability to secure its SD-WAN and safely use the network’s DSL and VPN capabilities. The deployment also gave the Barcelona team a single, central Secure Network Communication (SNC) console from which it could monitor and manage the entire network.

The IT team is now able to maintain a secure network while taking advantage of SD-WAN benefits like enhanced network traffic visibility, advanced controls, and high performance, as well as the extreme ease and relatively low cost of deploying SD-WAN at new locations.

NGFW’s “zero touch” deployment capability allows the team to add new branch offices to the network without the need for a technician onsite. And the company can rest assured that it will always support its customers with the best network security available.

Customer Profile

Operator of more than 100 funeral homes and other funeral facilities in Spain and Portugal.