Helping Steelite International’s security match the innovation of its factory floor

Case study: Steelite International

Keeping up with changing security demands

Steelite has long had a robust approach to cybersecurity and has never suffered a serious security incident.

Andrew Bennett, UK IT Manager at Steelite, explains: “The company has always been ahead of the curve for the latest manufacturing technology and techniques, and we’ve come to mirror that on the IT side. We have a more proactive attitude to security than many manufacturers of our size.”

Reflecting this, Steelite has a long-standing partnership with WithSecure™. The relationship stretches back all the way to the days when WithSecure™ was known as Data Fellows.

Andrew elaborates: “I’ve been here for more than 25 years and the partnership predates even that. We’ve evaluated our partnership several times over the years, and we’ve always been satisfied with the company’s ability to keep us safe from cyber threats.”

Steelite recently began to place greater emphasis on its security capabilities after the manufacturer was acquired by Arbor Investments, a private equity firm specialising in food, beverage, and related industries, in 2019.

“Arbor has a security template that it applies to all of its partners,” Andrew explains. “We’re working closely with them on moving towards this, which means enhancing some of our capabilities and syncing up our IT solutions processes with our US operations.”

The UK and US operations have been working together on several IT projects, such as recently completing merging their email tenants. Alongside standardising IT processes and infrastructure, Steelite also needed to bring together security and add more capabilities, particularly around visibility.

Strengthening a long running relationship with WithSecure™

With more than two decades experience of working together, WithSecure™ was the natural choice of partner to continue enhancing Steelite’s security standing.

As a longtime partner, Steelite has gradually enhanced its security as WithSecure™ solutions have developed and improved. Part of this journey involved moving from using traditional antivirus, to endpoint detection and response (EDR) and endpoint protection (EPP) through the WithSecure™ Elements platform and beyond. Andrew explains: “We’ve always had a very good experience with

WithSecure™ endpoint protection, so we went with another set of benchmarking to confirm its suitability as part of our work with Arbor. One of the most obvious differences to the competitors we tried is the very efficient, lightweight setup. We could measure the drain on resources when we swapped Elements out to test other solutions.”

In addition to transitioning to EPP, Steelite also began using WithSecure’s vulnerability management solution, provided through the Elements platform. Consolidation was a focal point for the company, particularly due to its smaller IT team and resources. #

Finally, Steelite took a further step and sought to implement a managed detection and response (MDR) service to bolster its in-house team’s ability to detect and respond to cyber threats.

The team tested out various options before settling on WithSecure™ Countercept MDR, moving on from its previous use of Rapid Detection and Response. Andrew adds: “Countercept’s performance was excellent in our tests and it was also an attractive option because it’s a very lightweight, largely cloud-based offering. The ability to consolidate this with our other WithSecure™ solutions sealed the deal.”

How WithSecure™ delivers efficiency and peace of mind

Steelite now has WithSecure™ solutions implemented across the majority of its IT estate, with coverage including 500 users for EPP and Vulnerability Management, 450 for Countercept, and 530 Office365 users.

In addition to fitting the security template set out by its investor Arbor, the increased use of WithSecure™ solutions and services has had a notable impact on the company’s IT and security posture.

Andrew explains: “Ease of management is an important factor for a small team like ours, but we also have a strong focus on finding best of breed solutions. WithSecure™ reliably offers top quality solutions that place very few demands on our personnel or resources, so they cover both bases. All of the solutions are well integrated, so it’s very easy for us to keep on top of everything.”

Vulnerability Management has assisted with visibility and prioritization, enabling the Steelite team to easily identify potential issues and prioritize activity such as patching to cover the most critical vulnerabilities and endpoints.

“One you have that overview, security is less scary,” Andrew added. “It’s good to have that reinforcement that we’re in a strong position.”

The team has reaped the benefits of Countercept, capitalizing on the way the MDR service filters events. As the sensors require little-to-no supervision once deployed, the team doesn’t have to interact with them until they find something. Minor incidents are also resolved without reaching them.

Andrew continued: “We haven’t had a major incident in a long time, but the peace of mind is very valuable. We know that if a breach occurs in the middle of the night, Countercept will have us covered and will move quickly to isolate it and mitigate the impact.”

He concluded: “On the factory side, we’re innovators in the manufacturing space and always developing the latest techniques and technology. It’s important for our IT and security to reflect the factory floor and keep us ahead of the game.”

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  • Steelite International
  • Solutions from WithSecure

  • Countercept MDR, Elements EPP For Computers & Servers, Elements Vulnerability Management, Elements Collaboration Protection for O365
  • Industry

  • Manufacturing
  • Country

  • United Kingdom
  • About Steelite International

  • Steelite International is a leading manufacturer, designer, distributor and supplier for the hospitality sector, with a history stretching back over 40 years. The company produces high-quality tableware in china, metal, glass, wood and melamine. Founded in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Steelite has expanded internationally and services over 140 countries today.

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