Work from home securely

1 July 2020 Cyber Security

First Consulting Alliance (FCA), one of South Africa’s integrated business solutions partners in the information services arena, announced that the company has enabled its customers, more than 40 South African organisations and their 1500 employees, to work cyber-securely from home.

The company deployed next-generation solutions from Sophos to provide enterprise-level IT security to these organisations during the national lockdown due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The organisations are from the healthcare, finance and manufacturing sectors.


Dave Stewart.

FCA worked quickly to ensure that its customers could handle the sudden demands of many new ‘work from home’ users when South Africa implemented the lockdown. In its initial setup phase, FCA enabled client-based VPN access to its customer base within just two days. With Sophos XG Firewall, IPSec VPN – using the Sophos Connect client – and SSL VPN provide remote access for users to safely access corporate data as if they were in the office and ensure web traffic is scanned and reported on centrally.

The technology also encrypts communications, helping to stop man-in-the-middle traffic sniffing attacks. In the next phase, the company implemented Sophos Synchronised Security, which automatically blocks connections between an infected remote client and the corporate network, preventing any potential infections from moving laterally throughout the network.

“As a trusted IT service provider, we had to ensure business continuity for our customers’ employees while they were shifting from the office to working from home. Maintaining the same level of enterprise security during this uncertain and unpredictable time was our top priority,” said Dave Stewart, managing director of FCA.

“We use Sophos Server Protection and Endpoint Protection to defend against ransomware and other attacks. First Consulting Alliance is our trusted IT service provider, and due to a combination of its great service delivery during the lockdown and Sophos’ security technology, we are able to work efficiently and know that our business is protected against cyberattacks,” said L De Zeoten, financial director, Quad Logistics International.

Speaking on how First Consulting and Sophos helped them work safely during the lock down, Carla Johnston, managing director of 123 Consulting, said, “First Consulting Alliance has been our IT service provider for many years. The team’s service is excellent, and they are always ready to assist and advise on the best solutions for our business. They seamlessly implemented a secure VPN environment with Sophos’ security, which gives us peace of mind that our users are fully protected while they work remotely due to COVID-19. We highly recommend both First Consulting Alliance and Sophos based on their excellent offering and service.”




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