Calyx accelerates innovative medicine with trusted identity security program inclusive of vendor privileged access and Endpoint Privilege Security
Leading clinical research market provider entrusts the CyberArk Identity Security Platform to focus on supporting over 60,000 trials and more than 650 new drug approvals for top pharmaceutical companies.
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Calyx uses the CyberArk Identity Security Platform to provide secure and streamlined operational access for internal privileged users and vendors, implement least privilege across endpoints and enable users to maximize productivity without compromising business assets.
Headquartered in the UK and the U.S. and operating in six countries, Calyx is a market-leading Medical Imaging, eClinical and Regulatory solutions provider for the clinical research market. The company’s mission-critical software and tech-enabled services optimize delivery of life-saving treatments by accelerating and improving clinical trial outcomes. Calyx serves the world’s top pharmaceutical companies and has supported over 60,000 trials and more than 650 new drug approvals to-date.
A leader in the clinical trial industry, Calyx helps life science and biopharmaceutical clients transform scientific discoveries into new treatments and accelerates the availability of those therapies to improve patient health and save lives. To keep those medical pipelines running at top speed, it is crucial that Calyx utilizes a highly secure technology infrastructure. The man tasked with managing and optimizing that critical environment is John Joseph, Director, IT Security at Calyx.
Through 2020, Calyx was part of Parexel International and technology was managed in-house. When Calyx split off from Parexel in 2021, a key objective was to simplify and streamline operations to prioritize investments in technology development, customer delivery and customer relationships. John explained, “A strategic decision was made to outsource IT and Security operations but keep the engineering in house that enables us to focus all our resources on core product development.”
With this Herculean task on his hands, John worked to identify the right mix of vendors to support the business. To keep data safe, including patients’ personal information, classified material and patents, cybersecurity was one of the most vital and uppermost decisions, and partnering with CyberArk was an easy choice. “I had first-hand experience with CyberArk at a previous company and knew the value and peace –of mind they deliver,” John recalled. “Features such as passwordless access, session recording, audit and compliance, and trigger alerts create deep trust in the solution. We didn’t consider any other options because CyberArk is recognized for identity security excellence.”
John’s key challenges included securing 2,500 endpoints, 220 privileged users and up to 100 vendor access points a day. He explained “Patient data needs to be logged in real-time. Our employees need to be able to work at the speed of thought, maximize productivity and not be hampered by protocols. Our operation vendors need seamless access to our infrastructure to keep our systems up and running. It is critical that our identity security solutions empower these functions without compromise.”
Calyx’s platform serves customers that include the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, optimizing drug trials to bring new medicines to market faster. John shared, “Our applications monitor patient trials and hosts critical data so they must be secure and available. When we made the decision to outsource functions not directly related to design and engineering of our solutions, we needed security platforms we had confidence in to keep the business running.”
Calyx deployed three cloud-based capabilities of the CyberArk Identity Security Platform: CyberArk Privilege Cloud, CyberArk Vendor Privileged Access Manager and CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager.
Before launching CyberArk, John knew he had a significant problem with administrators sharing usernames and passwords. Now with CyberArk’s frictionless Privilege Cloud solution, internal administrators who manage domain controllers are protected and are contributing to a more sophisticated identity security posture.
“CyberArk provides an impressive Identity Security Platform. The CyberArk s Privilege Cloud solution monitors and records every session and vaults and rotates privileged credentials seamlessly. If someone inputs a command that may impact our environment, or if there is an incident, we can automatically terminate the session, rotate credentials and immediately receive an alert so we can take action.” John emphasized.
Calyx’s many third-party operations vendors span across IT and finance functions, and all utilize third-party access to the network via CyberArk Vendor Privileged Access Manager to safeguard the company from unauthorized users. John observed, “We don’t have the need to give third-party vendors a laptop or a Citrix VDI environment to enable secure access. With CyberArk Vendor PAM, we provide a simple URL and they get passwordless, VPN-less and agentless access so they can start their job and we can ensure we provide just enough access to our systems while isolating, monitoring and recording their sessions.”
With close to a hundred vendor logins each day, John keeps a close eye on traffic and peak hours. He said, “We run an access reconciliation report and constantly monitor to ensure that all connectors are available, because if we lose access, it can create a major disruption in the service to our customers.”
For Calyx employees, CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager helps implement role-specific least privilege on endpoints while maximizing productivity. “We are very conscious about ensuring that security is not an obstacle. We enable our teams to run and elevate privileges for those applications that they need to do their best work,” he disclosed. “At the same time, CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager enables us to block risky applications and behavior, which dramatically reduces the attack surface by removing local admin rights and create audit trails to continuously optimize our policies and satisfy compliance.”
For instance, creating policy-level controls for software downloads delivers endpoint protection that allows users to add productivity tools without creating risk to the business. John explained, “An employee may want to download a piece of software to automate scripts. CyberArk Endpoint Privilege Manager allows the user to do so within prescribed parameters, while verifying the hash values and MD5s, thereby maintaining the integrity of our infrastructure.”
“CyberArk is the global leader in identity security, both customers and partners gain a lot of confidence from that. Prospective clients learn that we take cybersecurity seriously and use a renowned identity security solution for privileged access management to keep their data safe. Vendors know CyberArk is a stand-out in the space and is a trusted, easy-to-use solution, which makes compliance with our procedures so much easier.”
– John Joseph, Director, IT Security, Calyx
In more tangible terms, CyberArk provides visibility into Calyx’s comprehensive cybersecurity landscape, enabling John and his team to drive the highest degree of identity security. As an example, with a full roster of operational vendors, the number of third-party employees accessing Calyx’s systems is an ever-flowing river. John described, “On-boarding a new vendor is easy; we will get a set of employees dedicated to us. But typically, the vendors are not great at keeping us apprised of changes to their line-up. CyberArk Vendor Privileged Access Manager allows us to run a report to identify users who haven’t logged in for 30 days, send that to the vendor for verification, and update our access protocols.”
CyberArk’s support team is another key advantage to keeping Calyx up and running. “CyberArk’s engineering team is extremely helpful and responsive,” observed John. He cited one example when an upgrade for a connector had been missed and his team had just one week to fix the issue: “CyberArk created a proper backup and addressed the ticket within two days. The work my engineers did in collaboration with CyberArk engineers was fantastic.”
As CyberArk is constantly evolving its products and solutions, John is building out a comprehensive identity security posture to complement his existing CyberArk deployment. He concluded, “I trust CyberArk’s security-first, Zero Trust mindset and powerful platform to keep our business securely moving so that we can continue to bring medical breakthroughs to market faster.”
- Protects 2,500 endpoints from threats and ensures safe downloading of productivity-enhancing software.
- Secures and streamlines up to 100 vendor access requests per day.
- Fast, secure one-click access to key systems.
- Client and vendor confidence in trusted solution
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