The National Theatre

United Kingdom

Company Size:

  • Small

Products Used:

Web Security

The GDPR impacts our entire security portfolio, so it’s crucial that we are in a good position when it rolls out next year. With Forcepoint as the cloud security platform, our strategy is to take into consideration employee behavior as well as technology that protects our end users, our IT department, and our actual business and data. 

George Tunnicliffe


The National Theatre is dedicated to making the very best in theatre production and sharing it with as many people as possible. In its three theatres on the South Bank in London it presents an eclectic mix of new plays and classics from the world repertoire, with up to 30 productions and more than 3,000 performances each year.

The National Theatre also tours throughout the UK and internationally, and the group participates in collaborations and co-productions with theatres globally. Popular shows often transfer to the West End and occasionally to Broadway. Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 6.5 million people at 2,500 venues in 60 countries.

The bustling box office, web site and National Theatre Live programs depend on a robust cybersecurity portfolio and agile IT strategy season after season. George Tunnicliffe, Head of IT Operations, leads a team of 12 to support 800 to 1,200 people who keep operations running, tickets selling, and theatre patrons returning to their seats.


An overloaded legacy security system

When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was approved and set to replace the previous EU Data Protection Directive, the National Theatre prepared extensively to get its data protection policies in order.

Adding to the challenges of complying with GDPR, the legacy cybersecurity appliance product had too many limitations to keep up with the required changes, so the IT team decided not to renew the subscription. According to Tunnicliffe, the existing solution could only be deployed on-premises, which created a single point of failure on the network. In addition, maintenance was taking too much time, and it could not easily be configured to keep up with user demands for performance, changing regulations and future requirements for stronger levels of data protection.

“The GDPR impacts our entire security portfolio, so it’s crucial that we are in a good position when it rolls out next year. Our strategy is to take into consideration employee behavior as well as technology that protects our end users, our IT department, and our actual business and data. Having these elements already in place can be the difference between making a few minor tweaks or a full systems update to stay within regulation for data protection and security.”
– George Tunnicliffe, Head of IT Operations, The National Theatre


Forcepoint Web Security Cloud delivers greater insight wherever users are located

The fast-approaching expiration of the previous solution left the National Theatre on a shortened timeframe. Tunnicliffe had used Forcepoint in previous companies, so he was familiar with the simplified deployment and comprehensive protection offered by Forcepoint Web Security Cloud.

“Forcepoint offered a true-cloud scenario. It meant that we didn’t have to adjust our infrastructure in order to implement this solution and any future solutions, which is my favorite way of doing things.”
– Tunnicliffe

Forcepoint Web Security Cloud provides in-line protection against advanced threats that use sophisticated detection evasion techniques to steal sensitive data. It is a proven leader in SaaS web content security, stopping more advanced, non-signature threats to data than any other solution. An easy, hassle-free deployment allowed the National Theatre to implement the solution in days, not months, using the Forcepoint set-up wizard and preconfigured templates, including GDPR-compliant ones.

Ease of deployment via the cloud made Tunnicliffe’s security decision simpler. The solution is hassle-free in terms of maintenance, as updates are done in-house and within hours. This provides greater visibility into their cloud environment and helps the team assess the impact of potential changes to users before making them.


National Theatre is ready for the future and GDPR

Since deploying Forcepoint Web Security Cloud, the National Theatre has gained a comprehensive, centrally managed solution that supports its strategy of effective security—wherever its users are. Forcepoint also gave Tunnicliffe and his team “up-to-the-millisecond” threat identification and user behavioral analysis.

“Since deployment, it’s been very quiet. We’ve not had to worry about the security solution—maintaining it or changing it. Forcepoint Web Security Cloud has been the perfect fit for the National Theatre.”
– Tunnicliffe

Finding the appropriate security controls to take forward was a crucial step towards being fully prepared for the GDPR. Having greater visibility into the motivations and behaviors of employees and customers as they interact with data and content is helping Tunnicliffe and his team safeguard the National Theatre’s data while protecting the safety of its end users.

“The clear objective moving forward is preparing for the GDPR. If we need to make adjustments to our security configuration, we can—quickly and easily. We’re confident Forcepoint is the solution that will keep protecting our data and our users.”
– Tunnicliffe

The GDPR places even greater emphasis on the value of safeguarding sensitive data. Tunnicliffe has successfully put the relevant people, processes and technology in place to continually deal with this new legal and regulatory requirement. 

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