the natural chaos of everyday life, Internet users put modern technology
to work, relishing in the convenience and practicality of having
the entire world at their fingertips. Six hundred million users
are actively utilizing the Internet today and as a result become
an untapped resource for many businesses and organizations. Even
religious groups are benefiting from the merits of the Internet,
attracting congregants with convenient faith and continuous spiritual
support easily accessible behind the glow of a computer monitor.
As the largest religious
communication connection on the Internet, Jerry Gaffney Ministries
provides a modern approach to those seeking respite form the influences
of the outside world and who are in need of real-time encouragement
from others with similar beliefs and values. A non-profit Christian
organization, Gaffney Ministries effectively uses their online site
to bring faith and prayer to the organization's thousands of members.
Relying on their Internet presence as a place where congregants
can gain information on upcoming events, read controversial editorials
regarding religion and current events, and take part in an interactive
forum to support people in need of prayer, its security and integrity
must always remain in tact.
Founded in 1992, Gaffney
Ministries caters to just fewer than twenty thousand members nationwide.
As the most prominent prayer request forum-based website on the
Internet, Gaffney Ministries is always a foremost target for system
intrusion and compromise. With a large majority of communication
amongst their members handled through email and the numerous resources
available on their website, the security of their network is not
a luxury, but an integral component in the continued success of
Security, Scalability, Ease of Management, Enterprise Support
Ensuring the site is
always available to the public is an often time-consuming and complicated
task for Shawn Gaffney, the organization's webmaster. With only
seven employees making up the organization, and not a single expert
system administrator on staff, Gaffney Ministries needed a platform
that would grow with their changing needs, securely support their
website, and offer simplified administration capabilities and comprehensive
support services. "We are a very small organization and a large
portion of our budget is invested in our Internet presence. If we
are ever compromised so badly that we lose everything, there is
no way we could ever start over again. We simply do not have the
funds to recover from a major attack," Gaffney stated.
a Secure Alternative
Possessing a working
knowledge of Linux, Gaffney originally decided to go with a Red
Hat system to secure his email and webpages. Subsequent to purchasing
and successfully employing Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES, Gaffney
quickly realized that they did not offer sufficient support services
or system updates that were needed to assist with serious technical
and security issues. In spite of following the manufacturer's instructions
on secure configuration and maintenance of the system, their website
was left perpetually insecure and open to compromise. After enduring
a significant number of security breaches, including one that took
their entire site offline, Gaffney knew it was time to seek out
a more secure alternative. "We had purchased a Red Hat system only
to be compromised right away. I needed to find a system that would
offer the highest levels of security and be easy to use and maintain,
especially given my lack of knowledge regarding security," Gaffney
Digital: A Heavenly Solution
business" requirements and a limited budget, Gaffney turned to Guardian
Digital for a cost-effective solution incorporating enterprise-grade
security and functionality. Assessing each of their concerns and
requirements, Guardian Digital's enterprise solutions satisfied
all their needs and worked seamlessly with their individual environment.
Further, the flexibility offered by Guardian Digital's open source
approach allowed Gaffney to make customized changes to the system
so it would consistently adapt to the ever-changing needs of his
Secure Linux to be their core operating system, Gaffney relies on
the secure open source platform for simplified maintenance and powerful
protection for their business-critical website. EnGarde eases the
administrative duties necessary to keep the site secure, while delivering
all the functions necessary to continue to present a powerful and
holy online presence to their devoted congregation. "Having such
a powerful and secure system operating our virtual community allows
our parishioners to consistently be able to rely on each other for
support and direction, giving them a feeling of peace and family
amongst each other and confidence in our faith and in our church,"
Needing a secure
mail server to protect the hundreds of email messages that pass
through the organization's network on a daily basis, Guardian Digital
Secure Mail Suite was the ideal choice. Secure Mail Suite provides
essential confidentiality among email communications between employees
and outside members. "We receive messages on a daily basis regarding
everything from basic business functions to spiritual guidance requests.
In many cases, we are entrusted with our members' deepest thoughts,
fears and feelings and it is essential to me that the information
we receive is restricted to its intended destination," Gaffney stated.
security breaches with prior systems, Gaffney Ministries chose to
implement Guardian Digital Internet Defense and Detection System
to proactively protect their network from potential intruders and
cybervandals. This powerful intrusion detection and prevention system,
affords Gaffney the ability to thoroughly monitor and analyze system
activity while protecting the site from unlawful intrusions and
compromises, keeping the site 100% secure. "Before implementing
Guardian Digital products, we had no security on the network whatsoever.
We were wide open. Now I feel safe. The Guardian Digital system
gives me the peace of mind at night to know that when I wake up
in the morning I am not going to get the dreaded news that we've
been compromised yet again," said Gaffney.
Enterprise Support Services
Guardian Digital Master
Support services fulfilled their system requirements with comprehensive
technical support, the convenience of automatic updates, set-up
and configuration assistance, and much more. With a limited knowledge
of Linux, Gaffney was eager to learn how to configure and maintain
his system and the Guardian Digital expert Master Support team was
ready to help. "The support I have received is the best I have ever
had from any company. I had no special arrangement regarding support
and even so, every single question I asked was resolved immediately,"
Gaffney said. "They were kind and understanding of my individual
abilities, and they took the time to teach me along the way so I
could become self-sufficient. Instead of just fixing the issues,
they would explain to me line-by-line what they suggested we do
so that I would personally understand the changes we were making.
If there was something I could not handle, I knew I could count
on them to step-up and get my system up and running quickly," he
Understanding that support
is an integral part to ensuring secure set-up and configuration,
Guardian Digital technical support team went above and beyond, consistently
making themselves accessible to Gaffney Ministries. "The level of
attention to detail that Guardian Digital Master Support team provided
to us could only be possible from an organization that understands
the importance of service to a community; our congregation is beholden
to them for their efforts," Gaffney said.
Permanent Bulletproof Security, Efficient Online Presence
Looking no further then
Guardian Digital, Gaffney ministries implemented a number of Guardian
Digital's award-winning open source applications to create a cohesive
and ideal solution. Without a single successful compromise so far,
Guardian Digital has supplied the organization with a solution that
met all their needs, including a seamless transition, simplified
management and maintenance, bulletproof security and flawless functionality.
"The availability of automatic updates and the simplified web-based
management feature have proven to be invaluable to our organization.
Before Guardian Digital, we were completely reliant on ourselves
to scour the Internet looking for vendor security updates and apply
patches. We do not have the resources to hire a system administrator
nor do I have the time to consistently maintain the system on my
own. Guardian Digital lets me concentrate on my core responsibilities,
which is a priceless asset," Gaffney said.
Already seeing a significant
system performance increase, Gaffney Ministries could not be more
pleased with the services and product offerings of Guardian Digital.
Due to the reliability, security and the endless benefits of Guardian
Digital's products and services, Gaffney Ministries is now confident
in investing more resources to their online presence and as a result,
have devised aggressive plans for growth in this area. Planning
to continually upgrade and purchase new product offerings, Gaffney
Ministries and Guardian Digital have formed an unbreakable partnership.
Gaffney concludes by
saying "To anyone considering Guardian Digital products, all I can
say is you must try this system, especially if you do not have the
staff to monitor the security of your servers. It will give you
the peace of mind you need at night to know that everything is running
secure and efficiently. I would never leave Guardian Digital, they
have provided us with so many new security tools, I would be lost
without them. They have not only provided us with a fast and secure
operating system, but their Master Support is second to none."
Learn more about
the Guardian Digital products
used to develop these solutions.