ACI needed a cloud-based security solution that was both scalable and easily automated, allowing its IT team to push out consistent policies and securely provision new devices without having to spend all of its time onboarding employees.
“It’s so easy to acquire a company and just forget about it and let it do its own thing,” Fay says. “The hard part is incorporating its core security functionality and understanding how its security model compares with ours.”
Palo Alto Networks’ Next-Generation Security Platform fit the bill perfectly: “Having a cloud-based solution helps us to be a little more security agnostic and then decide which areas we want to address.”
Cloud-Based Malware Protection Simplifies Integration
Because it takes in more than 3 petabytes of employee data every month, ACI’s tech team also needed the ability to quickly identify and isolate new malware threats before they spread. While it looked at a variety of threat intelligence solutions, the company ultimately came back to Palo Alto Networks’ solution, WildFire Malware Analysis.
“When we went through our RFP process, we realized that Palo Alto had a cloud-based malware sandbox that’s fully integrated with the rest of its security suite,” he says. “We could push it into all of our next-gen firewalls, and when it detected anomalies it would send them to Palo Alto’s cloud service for analysis.”
Because ACI operates in markets around the globe, it also needed a solution that could adapt to different regulatory compliance schemes.
“I felt pretty confident that we could examine real-time traffic, get comprehensive reports on threats and vulnerabilities, and provide a security process that would pass audits,” says Fay. “It’s not a theoretical discussion any longer. If you’re not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation, the financial loss can be huge.”
Using Palo Alto Networks’ security suite has paid off for ACI in other ways. It boosted network speeds by 40 percent and enabled the company to increase the number of client smartphones it could onboard by 50 percent. Now, instead of being merely a cost center, its advanced security capabilities have become a competitive advantage.
“To be a successful CIO, you need to have a technology roadmap that differentiates you from your competitors,” he says. “Customers can come to our site, put in their data and feel secure doing so. Because if they don’t, they’re going to go somewhere else.”