QualitySolicitors Gould & Swayne

Law firm QualitySolicitors Gould & Swayne uses cloud security service, Cisco Umbrella, to protect their network and staff from malicious internet activity and unsuitable web content.


Gould & Swayne offers legal advice to individuals and businesses in Street, Glastonbury and Wells. The firm is part of a national network of law firms.


South West Communications Group had already deployed a cloud-hosted telephone system and leased line internet connectivity to serve the needs of their four sites. We also installed a firewall to protect them from malicious intrusion, but this would not protect any devices that were used off site or from unintentional, but potentially harmful requests, made via the internet.


swcomms recommended the firm use the cloud security product from Cisco called Umbrella. This product uses the domain name system (DNS), which acts like an internet phone book, to block malicious destinations before a connection is ever established.


When a user clicks on a link or types a URL, a DNS request initiates the process of connecting any device to the internet. Cisco Umbrella processes billions of DNS requests from millions of users every day to block a multitude of concurrent threats, including:

  • Newly seen domains that have become active very recently and are often used in new attacks
  • Sites that are hosting dynamic DNS content
  • Potentially harmful domains that exhibit suspicious behaviour


Cisco Umbrella also filters web content across multiple different categories. This gives the Gould & Swyane the opportunity to monitor and filter what their staff are looking at on their network to not only meet their duty of care requirements, but to also ensure productivity is not being compromised with access to unsuitable sites.


The firm can set the content categories they wish to block via a straightforward web-based portal. There is a choice of ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ protection or a custom service that allows IT teams to choose what content they want to block, such as ‘Alcohol’, ‘Adult Themes’ or ‘Drugs’. There are more than 90 categories to choose from and any changes will be live within 15 minutes.


The IT department can scrutinise reports on which users have been exposed to potential security threats by day and time. Reports can be scheduled on a daily, weekly, monthly, etc., basis and can be automatically emailed to interested parties. For instance, a report on thwarted threats can be sent to partners ahead of a board meeting.


Reports on domain requests that have been blocked or permitted give the IT department an idea of what staff are searching for online in working hours.


Similarly, any apps downloaded by staff are highlighted to decide whether they are safe to use. Cisco Umbrella categorises any deemed unsafe. For example, any app that requires the upload of data. Most businesses, especially a law firm, would not want their client data shared on an unapproved app. Again, apps are blocked with a simple click.


As a cloud service, Cisco Umbrella not only protects Gould & Swayne’s office PCs but also any laptops, tablets or mobile devices they use when they are off site. The firm’s duty of care extends beyond the boundaries of their branches.


Find out more about Cisco Umbrella in our short video or register for a free trial.

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