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Chelsea And Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust Speeds Up Firewall Protection With Crossbeam Systems

June 19th, 2006

Crossbeam Systems, the leader in protecting the world´s largest networks, has announced that Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust has deployed its C-Series platforms in order to streamline firewall protection. As part of its strategy to upgrade its network to Gigabit performance, the Trust has consolidated all of its Check Point firewalls onto Crossbeam platforms, as they enable greater throughput and reduce management complexity. The installation of the C-Series platforms was managed by Crossbeam authorised partner, IMERJA. Before opting for Crossbeam, the Trust undertook an in-depth comparative analysis of products from Cisco, Sun and Nokia.

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust is an integrated acute teaching hospital serving a community in the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham, Wandsworth and Westminster. It is also a centre of excellence in a number of specialties and so provides specialist healthcare services to people living outside this immediate catchment area. Its new Gigabit network links the Trust´s five sites, enables quick and secure access to online patient records and supports other critical services, such as ´Numbers for Babies´, which allows the immediate registration of births.

Serving the Trust´s 2,700 staff, the network is also accessed by other authorised NHS organisations, including local Primary Healthcare Trusts, and external trusted third parties. With these high usage demands on the network and the Trust´s need to transport and protect timely and very sensitive patient data, it is crucial that its firewalls do not create a bottleneck in the smooth flow of information.

Prior to upgrading to Crossbeam, the Trust was running its Check Point firewall protection on Sun Solaris servers. Concerned that this infrastructure would slow down the transfer of data on the new Gigabit network, the Trust turned to Crossbeam because of its ability to support increased port density and multi-Gigabit throughput speeds.

As the Crossbeam C-Series is appliance-based, it also eases firewall management. While the Trust´s IT personnel previously needed to manage the server and its operating system, as well as its firewalls, the new Crossbeam appliance has a single management interface. This simplicity frees up more time and resources for staff to concentrate on other mission critical activities.

“The sensitive nature of the information kept on the Trust´s network means that security is vitally important, however, we can´t let this level of security negatively impact the speed of our network. There are many occasions when hospital staff simply must have immediate access to online information,” said Bill Gordon, Assistant Director of IT, Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust. “By consolidating our Check Point firewalls onto Crossbeam platforms we have been able to maintain our robust security policies whilst at the same time boosting network performance.”

Crossbeam authorised partner, IMERJA, managed the entire installation of the Trust´s Crossbeam platforms. Going forward, IMERJA has also been awarded the contract to provide 24-hour support and proactive management.

Crossbeam´s C-Series platforms deliver enterprise-strength security to medium-sized organisations as well as to the remote and branch offices of larger businesses. They are designed to help customers consolidate and upgrade their network security infrastructures, resulting in tremendous savings in capital and operational expenses.

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