Enhanced Guest Network Protection Across Organisations

Johannesburg: January 21th, 2015 – The latest enhancement in security from Robinson Distribution is by WatchGuard (a leader in multi-function firewalls, today announced that it’s Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances) with the addition of guest access control and enhanced protection from security threads.

Free Wi-Fi was recently rated the most important in-room hotel amenity, above a bathroom with shower and daily housekeeping. While Internet access may be a priority, lax security controls often jeopardize guest network users and create a risky proposition for global travelers wanting to stay connected. A recent WatchGuard survey revealed that 71 percent of global hotels, restaurants and other hospitality organizations do not provide unique temporary user passwords for guest Wi-Fi networks, which could compromise corporate and guest network security.

With WatchGuard's new features, hospitality organizations can now tailor the user experience with custom hotspot splash pages branded with company logos. They can also provide flexible account options, such as configurable time limits, batch-generated usernames and passwords and password-only voucher options. Liability can also be minimized with custom terms and conditions. Convenience is enhanced by allowing guest administrator roles for non-IT staff to generate accounts.

The WatchGuard survey also found that 51 percent of global hospitality organizations do not monitor guest networks for suspect applications, malware or malicious activities; 62 percent do not monitor guest activity to limit bandwidth-intensive applications; and 48 percent do not use policy mapping or data visualization tools to monitor performance. This lapse of guest Internet and Wi-Fi network visibility and controls can have a significant impact on overall guest network performance and user experience on top of growing security risks.

“Our customers in South Africa and Africa which include hotel groups in Africa, Mauritius and Madagascar enjoy this enhancement already”, said Dirk Robinson, product manager for WatchGuard in Africa. “The ability to now create rules to control and protect our customer from the device to the end-point makes this option customers should consider in their Protection of Personal Information Policies (POPI), after all, we are responsible for our customer’s privacy.”

"Complimentary guest Internet and Wi-Fi network access is definitely a service that people who travel as much as I do have come to expect," said Dave R. Taylor, vice president of corporate strategy and product management for WatchGuard Technologies. "WatchGuard provides the peace of mind that hospitality organizations need to feel confident that their guest network users are protected and that network security and performance won't be compromised by uninvited guests. Our customers appreciate the increased visibility into and control over their guest wireless networks delivered by WatchGuard security appliances."