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400 Caribou Coffee Locations Now Wi-Fi Secured by OpenDNS Enterprise

Caribou Coffee Company has deployed OpenDNS Enterprise, to secure the free public Wi-Fi it offers at more than 400 locations. Caribou Coffee, which has rapidly grown to become the nation’s second largest coffeehouse chain, is using OpenDNS to protect both customers and its network from Internet threats.

Caribou Coffee’s team knew that free public Wi-Fi is a service that delivers substantial value to customers, some of whom rely on it daily for telecommuting, but providing the service for more than 400 stores adds significant risk for an organization.

That’s because given the of proliferation malware and botnets on mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other personal devices, and the need to ensure content is appropriate for all coffeehouse guests, it can be nearly impossible to protect the network and manage traffic. Too, traditional appliance or software-based filtering solutions and malware prevention tactics require expensive deployment and dedicated IT resources for ongoing maintenance and updates.

“We provide free public Wi-Fi at more than 400 locations nationwide and our customers trust us to deliver a safe and comfortable environment where they can study, get work done or simply browse the Web,” says Joel Salminen, who manages network and systems engineering for Caribou Coffee.

“Because Internet security is our highest priority, we needed a solution that was trustworthy and dependable, but would still be lightweight and non-intrusive to the customer experience.”

The Caribou Coffee IT team was familiar with OpenDNS for its speedy and ultra-reliable DNS resolution and knew the service was a trusted name in Internet security. After exhaustively comparing OpenDNS Enterprise with software and appliance-based options for Web filtering and malware protection, Caribou selected OpenDNS Enterprise because the scalable, cloud-based service offered them the ability to better accommodate the rapidly-growing Caribou Coffee brand with a more comprehensive level of protection.

OpenDNS Enterprise is able to protect both Caribou Coffee’s network and customers by blocking malware in two ways. The service prevents access to sites that are known to contain malicious software and disables communication between infected devices and the malware’s online host.

This multi-pronged tactic ensures that no matter what Internet-connected device comes onto Caribou Coffee’s network, it’s protected from inbound and outbound malware transmission and won’t communicate sensitive information or perform nefarious acts.

“At any given time there can be thousands of people using our public Wi-Fi networks, so it was imperative that we got the filtering and security right the first time and could ensure any device using the Internet at a Caribou Coffee location was safe,” Salminen added.

“I would absolutely recommend OpenDNS Enterprise to other security and network administrators as it’s quick to deploy, tremendously reliable and quite cost-effective compared to what else is on the market.”

Since deploying OpenDNS Enterprise, the Caribou Coffee IT Team has been able to accommodate updates quickly in order to better serve customers. OpenDNS Enterprise for all Caribou Coffee locations can be managed through a single Web-based Dashboard and the team can easily monitor network trends such as usage spikes or attempts to visit malicious sites.

Leveraging the in-depth reporting, the team now experiences significant improvement to network security and reliability of the free Wi-Fi program.
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