• Restricted Budget
  • Limited Linux Experience
  • Strained IT Resources
  • Secure Web, DNS & Email
  • Simplified Administration
  • Automatic Security Updates
  • Monitoring Capabilities
  • Enterprise support services
  • EnGarde Secure Linux-website hosting
  • Secure Mail Suite-Secure email communications
  • Internet Defense and Detection System-Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Master Support & Services
  • Bulletproof security for web presence
  • Secure email for communication with members
  • Ability to monitor and prevent intrusion attempts
  • Elimination of system compromises
  Jerry Gaffney Ministries

With 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 the organization.

Requirements: 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.

Seeking 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 stated.

Guardian Digital: A Heavenly Solution

Having "big 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 organization.

Choosing EnGarde 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," Gaffney said.

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.

Suffering numerous 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.

Unparalleled 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 continues.

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.

Result: 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.

A Divine Partnership

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."

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