LJ Hooker secures its network

LJ Hooker is in the final stages of a network security rollout that will allow the real estate franchisor to protect and manage its corporate headquarters against external attacks.

The Fortinet systems have been rolled out across eight of LJ Hooker's operation centres in Australian and New Zealand capital cities. Because the LJ Hooker agency network is made up of 800 franchisees, network administrator Chris Smith said the independently run agencies were not required to implement the same system.

"We can suggest our preferred system to our franchisees, but we are in no position to impose it on them," he said.

So far, LJ Hooker has installed two FortGate-800 systems, a FortiGate-60, a FortiMail-400 Gateway and the FortiLog-100.

Previously, the real estate franchisor's security infrastructure was a piecemeal network inhabited by random antivirus and firewall applications. This caused administration problems for Smith who had trouble keeping track of virus entry points.

"It put a lot of pressure on the network, because if viruses weren't stopped at the gateway they would run rampant in the system," he said.

"The new system has transformed our network from an externally close-viewed system to a very manageable state," he said.

The company started the rollout 18 months ago and is expecting completion within the next three months. Once complete, Smith said the total cost would amount to $140,000.

"It was a simple choice for us, because of the ease to deploy and the value for money," he said.

"What stood out most for us was that Fortinet offered a complete package of intrusion prevention, detection and firewalls," he said. "It has also allowed us to develop VPN for various business processes that we are just rolling out now."

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