Global consultancy refines user experience with CyberArk identity
Leading Consultancy Firm Enhances Security And Achieves 90% Productivity Improvement
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Founded over 50 years ago, this global consultancy has 70 offices around the world providing a range of human resources, recruitment and consulting services for organizations across all key business sectors including technology, finance, government, healthcare and manufacturing.
- Industry: Professional Services
- Annual Revenue: US$700 Million
- Employees: 5,000
- CyberArk Product & Services: CyberArk Identity
“Never again!” was the resounding cry across the organization when this global consultancy was hit by an identity attack and was forced to pay a ransom. As a leading provider of business consulting, the company had to ensure the best possible means to defend against cyber attacks. The consultancy works with clients on highly sensitive projects and handles valuable business and personal data. Indeed, many clients demand a demonstration of robust security capabilities.
To counter an increasing number and sophistication of cyber attacks, the company deployed a formidable solution using best-in-class products, services, and policies with a particular attention to Identity and Access Management (IAM) capabilities. The type and volume of attempted attacks on the business had increased significantly, as had the sophistication.
Facing Constant Phishing, Injection and Identity-Focused Attacks
The senior security engineer for the business shared, “We are under constant attack from all manner of threats. Although we had several defenses and cyber security training and awareness programs in place, attacks were getting so frequent and threateningly effective, with the legacy controls we struggled to reset credentials and secure accounts.”
The business had managed to fend off these attacks, but the growing number and complexity demanded a more robust response. The existing approach, based on Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) and in-house developed multifactor authentication (MFA) scripts, was no longer optimal and a burden to manage, maintain and audit. In addition, the business was shifting from an on-premises to cloud environment – using AWS and Azure – and standardizing on the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 suite.
With over 5,000 users needing access to multiple systems, access management and provisioning presented unique challenges. The security engineer stated, “We needed to ensure users have seamless access to applications, that everybody gets onboarded easily, and everyone has targeted access, while only providing privileged access where and when it is needed. Equally important, we did not want to put users in the position of having to write down or bear the burden of remembering all of their credentials.”
Prior to selecting CyberArk Identity, this global consultancy evaluated several market-leading IAM vendors. The CyberArk Identity solution provided the preeminent combination of security, flexibility, and cost. In addition, CyberArk Identity’s highly differentiated services – such as User Behavior Analytics (UBA) that visualizes risky access activity, and App Gateway, which simplifies access to custom applications –were a perfect fit for the company’s long-term security strategy.
It only took one week for the company to deploy three distinct CyberArk Identity tenants. The first tenant provided Single Sign-On to over 600 business applications and secured access to each application with adaptive MFA. The second tenant was used for software development, which helped secure and properly authenticate access to AWS and Azure environments for nearly 200 developers. The final CyberArk Identity tenant was dedicated to securing clients access to customer-facing applications.
With CyberArk Identity deployed, the company was able to monitor all user access activity, enforce MFA for highly sensitive applications and track the use of certain applications to help reduce risk involving unauthorized account access.
“Support from CyberArk is great, easy, fast and efficient to access,” said the security engineer. “It is rare to find – in a large organization like CyberArk – the level and quality of support we receive. In addition, we appreciate having visibility into the product roadmap and having regular upgrades as well as improvements. As a result, we are now looking at other solutions from CyberArk for privileged access and endpoint management.” CyberArk Identity has now become one of the consultancy’s most important business applications.
“CyberArk is vital to our ability to deliver a high-quality and secure service to our clients. Given the level of threat we face, we would have big problems without CyberArk,”
– Senior Security Engineer, Global Consultancy
Another key advantage of CyberArk Identity was a significant reduction of security management overhead. Since the business only has a small information security team, CyberArk Identity UBA was essential to filtering out important threats from false positives. Specifically, CyberArk Identity UBA helped to autonomously detect anomalous activity, protecting the company from attacks.
The security engineer further explained how CyberArk has had a dramatic impact on protecting the business and its clients. He noted, “There is a simple example that shows how CyberArk has improved security for our business: Before CyberArk, for an application like Office 365 we were constantly getting potentially compromised account warnings; now that number has fallen by 99%!”
The company estimates that through ease of use, efficiency gains, and added features, the cost of using and deploying CyberArk is up to ten times more cost effective than alternative products and solutions.
CyberArk provides a single point of management for all users and identities, which means access can be configured in one place and then provisioned to multiple applications quickly and easily. Another important management benefit is monitoring and tracking user activity in real-time, and effortlessly securing identities with custom policies.
Once IAM was set up with CyberArk, little or no additional control or management has been required.
For example, originally when someone left the company, several administrators had to manually dismantle the authentication associated with that user. Now, CyberArk performs this automatically. In addition, when users start or stop using a third-party application like Salesforce, CyberArk will automatically create or disable access. These efficient processes with CyberArk are not only helping the consultancy reduce errors caused by manual practices, but also cut management time from several days to two or three hours, a productivity improvement of almost 90%.
Additionally, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and staff were forced to work remotely, the business started receiving many alerts about anonymous logins that CyberArk was able to identify as false positives. At the time, MFA was just beginning to be used and CyberArk enabled the business to quickly roll out MFA to make remote access more secure during lockdown.
Being able to embed CyberArk Identity services so clients can access applications has been critical in demonstrating a strong and resilient security solution, as well as providing a frictionless sign-on experience. Moreover, for both clients and employees, CyberArk has minimal impact on user experiences and helps simplify identity access management across the infrastructure.
- 99% reduction in the number of accounts more vulnerable to compromise
- Improved security management productivity by 90%
- Achieved 10x cost effectiveness against competing IAM solutions
- Increased ease-of-use for employees and clients
- Refined user experience
- Simplified management of IAM during the COVID-19 pandemic
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