The Richmond Fellowship Scotland

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is a charity that supports around 2,500 people who have a broad range of needs to live as independently as possible in their own homes and communities. It manages in the region of 190 services in both rural and urban settings, and works with 28 local authorities.

The largest provider of social care services in Scotland, The Richmond Fellowship Scotland provides high-quality, personalised, and person-centred, outcome-focused support, which can range from a few hours a week to 24/7. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has experience providing services to people with mental health difficulties, learning disabilities, positive behaviour support needs, alcohol and drug abuse problems, alcohol-related brain damage, as well as older people, people with dementia, children and young people, autistic people, and people in contact with the criminal justice system.

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is a growing mental health support services charity based in Scotland. Over time, the charity has faced new and evolving challenges, such as growing staff numbers based across many sites, and greater quantities and strains of malware and threats.

Regardless of the changing landscape, The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has always remained loyal to Phoenix and our partner Sophos. Here, we discuss the reasons why they have continued to work with both companies over the course of 15 years.

The challenge

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has worked with Phoenix and Sophos to overcome the following challenges:

Emerging threats

Malicious activity such as malware, spam, phishing sites, and ransomware are all on the rise, and with thousands of employees, the team at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is aware that all aspects of IT need to be secure, with failsafe software and reliable supportive advice from industry leaders.

Consolidation of security solutions

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland needs to be able to manage its IT security setup quickly and easily, without spending hours keeping track of what’s going on every day. This requires a consolidated lineup of security software from one vendor, with each product integrating seamlessly with the next – that is also easy to get to grips with, without hours of training or maintenance requirements.

Remote staff and multiple office spaces

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has 3,300 staff based at over 106 sites, from large office buildings to one single support staff member staying overnight in a Supported Person’s spare bedroom. Regardless of where they are, all staff need secure online access and a way to safely connect to the organisation’s systems.

Hundreds of mobile devices in use on the move

170 smartphones and 100 laptops are constantly in use in the field. Keeping track of these and keeping them secure – and the data they access safe – is critical to protect confidential Supported Person data and the integrity of the organisation.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

According to Michael Marek, ICT manager at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland: “GDPR is a big issue for us, and we needed a solution where we could easily switch on email encryption and lock down mobile devices without needing to pay more money.”

We will always talk to Phoenix to get their advice and guidance. Every time we talk to them they are excellent at providing suggestions and answers to our questions.
Steven Marshall, ICT Support EngineerThe Richmond Fellowship Scotland

The solution

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has worked with Phoenix and Sophos to overcome the following challenges:

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has consolidated a number of products, including firewalls, web filtering and mail filtering and instead now just uses Sophos UTM and Sophos Exploit Prevention incorporating the same functionality.

Sophos UTM replaced Microsoft ISA and allows all remote staff to easily log in to the organisation’s systems regardless of where they are – in an office or on the move. It has an intuitive user interface and can be quickly set up to protect networks and users. It also makes day-to-day management tasks very easy.

Sophos Exploit Prevention stops ever-prevalent ransomware viruses in their tracks. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland saw the product during a webinar with Sophos and liked its proactive nature. The team there spoke to Phoenix to get their advice and decided to go ahead with the product. They have been delighted with their decision for peace of mind and ease of use.

Sophos Mobile Control easily manages all the smartphones The Richmond Fellowship Scotland has in use, wherever they may be. Any smartphone that goes astray can easily be locked down and wiped, helping to keep confidential data safe. Sophos Mobile Control also allows The Richmond Fellowship Scotland to restrict how smartphones are used at work – ideal for GDPR – and without paying any extra.

The benefits

Michael summarises the IT security benefits experienced at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland by saying:

“There are always new threats out there, so we keep a close eye on the industry and we are guided by Sophos and Phoenix. IT security-wise we are compliant with GDPR and we haven’t needed to invest any more money for this – it was just a case of switching elements on within Sophos UTM. Everything we receive from Sophos is on time and within budget, and we save time by using Sophos products; it’s all so intuitive we know where everything is and where to look. Phoenix also helped us with consolidating our security systems, and these are now all running effectively together, protecting our gateway.”

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland will continue to work with Sophos and Phoenix for the foreseeable future, safe in the knowledge that the two organisations are working closely together to provide cost-effective and trusted security solutions for the charity.