CASE STUDY \ Business IT

Firewall Upgrade and VPN Implementation Allows Planning Agency to Work Remotely


Network Infrastructure


Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG)

Project Overview

Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) is a not for profit planning agency located in Auburn, ME, serving local counties.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic forced the AVCOG to unexpectedly close their office and have their employees work remotely.
  • SymQuest configured and tested a new firewall and VPN, and remotely walked the client through the installation process.
  • All AVCOG employees can now work remotely with full functionality.

The Challenge

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the client to close their offices and required their employees to unexpectedly work remotely. The client was searching for a secure way for their employees to have full functionality during this time, as many of the staff members did not have company-issued laptops.

Additionally, the client’s existing firewall lacked the next-generation firewall features required in today’s security environment to be effective, and user licensing was required for the VPN to work correctly.

The Solution

SymQuest advised AVCOG purchase company laptops for their employees to use to ensure monitoring and managed anti-virus software was implemented. SymQuest was able to provide the correct specs for the laptops that were purchased, and connect remotely to quickly complete the user configuration, file shares,and print drivers.

SymQuest’s Network Operation Center also provided AVCOG’s internal IT support person with instructions on how to install the VPN client on all company-owned workstations.

Finally, to address the missing next-generation firewall features, SymQuest proposed replacing the current firewall with a FortiGate firewall, which also gave the client the ability to utilize the FortiClient VPN.

The Results

SymQuest’s business IT solutions created a secure remote work environment for the client. With the investment, FortiGate provided the necessary firewall defense and the included VPN, making it easier for the client to manage.

With SymQuest’s help, the client was able to have all employees securely work remotely within one week, while having full functionality.

Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG)

“We LOVE the VPN. Our staff is very happy! I have been working through numerous computer issues/change-overs—down to the last two issues and hope to get those resolved this week. Whew!”

– Lisa Bonney, Executive Assistant at AVCOG

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