Azets finds a flexible way to protect its assets
Consulting giant fends off ever growing and more complex range of cyber threats with cloud-native endpoint protection
Case study: Azets
When its contract with its former IT security provider expired in 2020, Norwegian financial and business consulting giant Azets decided it needed a more flexible and robust solution.
The Covid-19 pandemic had just hit, with almost half of its 6,500 employees switching to home working. As a result, Azets had to protect around 3,000 newly created home offices in addition to its existing 160 regional offices across the Nordics, the Baltics and the UK.
With so many dispersed employees, the organization knew it had to have far greater endpoint protection in place to stave off an ever growing and more complex range of cyber threats.
A raft of requirements
As well as the need to protect a much larger number of dispersed endpoints, Azets had plenty of additional requirements for its replacement security solution.
First, it had to be as unobtrusive as possible, so it didn’t impede employees’ productivity and cause them undue frustration – a problem the organization had encountered in the past. Azets also needed to be able to deploy specific USB-blocking functionality to meet the stringent data security compliance requirements of its customers, many of which operate in the heavily regulated financial sector.
Meanwhile, the organization’s security team sought greater visibility and control, with good APIs for reporting and fully customizable options for alerts and notifications. In addition, Azets wanted a solution that had the support and flexibility to keep protecting the organization effectively into the future, as new threats and security requirements emerge.
Finally, it was keen to find a solution that would meet all its needs for as fair and manageable a cost as possible.
Armed with this exacting list of business and technical requirements, Azets set up a working group of internal IT security experts to review potential vendors and draw up a shortlist for more detailed evaluation. As a result, it selected WithSecure as its new supplier.
WithSecure: a flexible friend
Price and flexibility were among the key factors that helped tip the scales in favor of WithSecure’s solution – in particular, the ability to apply licenses far more flexibly. WithSecure does not differentiate between clients and servers, making it much easier for Azets to manage changes in its IT environment. “That flexibility was a crucial factor in our choice. Now, if we have 50 surplus server licenses, we can simply convert them to client licenses when we need more of the latter and back to server licenses later if required. Previously, we had to buy extra client licenses even when we had unused server licenses lying around,” says Ole-Martin Bækkeli, CISO of Azets.
The system is also far easier to set up and use. “We can now do most things ourselves. Before, we had to contact our supplier and go through tedious troubleshooting steps whenever we needed to make any changes,” says Bækkeli.
“Previously, we had to buy extra client licenses even when we had unused server licenses lying around.”
Ole-Martin Bækkeli, CISO of Azets
Azets was delighted at how smoothly the WithSecure implementation progressed, particularly since it had been burnt in the past by complex solution deployments that had caused unforeseen challenges for the IT department and frustrating disruption for employees. “Removing the previous systems accounted for most of the work. Rolling out WithSecure services across many devices was easy, and all the feedback was positive. Employees are now experiencing better performance and fewer frustrations than ever before,” says Anders Løvhøiden, Azets’ Regional Security Officer.
“Employees are now experiencing better performance and fewer frustrations than ever before.”
Anders Løvhøiden, Regional Security Officer, Azets
Perfect procurement partners
Azets’ transition to WithSecure was made even easier thanks to its partnership with IT services and solutions house ADmire, which managed the procurement and negotiation process. “ADmire gave us complete confidence throughout, always responding quickly with a high level of service and open communications. In particular, it showed great skill and flexibility steering us through about ten weeks of contractual overlap, where we would effectively have had no protection,” says Bækkeli.
Kenneth Goldy, Director of ADmire’s IT Security Division, says: “Azets’ WithSecure Endpoint Protection solution has lowered costs at the same time as raising quality and service levels, which is a win for all of us. We live by satisfied customers and go to great lengths to make things work for all parties.”
“Azets’ WithSecure Endpoint Protection solution has lowered costs at the same time as raising quality and service levels, which is a win for all of us.”
Kenneth Goldy, Director of IT Security Division, ADmire
Visible business benefits
Now WithSecure’s solution has been in place for over a year, Azets is seeing even more of the benefits. As well as being far more flexible, user-friendly, and easier to maintain than its previous system, WithSecure Elements Endpoint Protection has given the organization the ability to make changes in real time if the need suddenly arises.
Notably, the solution has also vastly improved Azets’ visibility of what’s happening across its disparate IT estate. For example, it has been configured to send messages to the IT security department whenever it detects any suspicious behavior or activity.
“With WithSecure Endpoint Protection, we have gained a much better understanding of what is going on in the network across clients and servers. This level of visibility is a huge advantage, especially when a large proportion of the workforce is connecting via private networks in home offices,” says Løvhøiden.
Buoyed by the success of the deployment, the organization is now planning to further improve security using WithSecure Elements solutions.
“This level of visibility is a huge advantage, especially when a large proportion of the workforce is connecting via private networks in home offices.”
Anders Løvhøiden, Regional Security Officer, Azets
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