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Case study In Dairy Industry

On October 14, 2020

“Securing data in a Dairy Industry is very essential as it includes the data of LiveStock , assets, applications, hardware, software and overall integration of the same.”

At Infopercept, we believe in protection and safety of data as it is vital to the growth of an organization.

A big Dairy Giant in the Middle East, had a strong foothold in the Dairy industry and were ready to expand their presence across other Asian countries. This big conglomerate used to produce products like milk, butter, cheese, and other dairy products. They were headquartered in the Middle East, with their plants in various locations, with in-house Live Stock of 5000, and a workforce of over 1500 employees. Industry: Dairy Industry

Solution Provider: Infopercept (A leading name in Managed Security Services)

The CIO of the company gave an account of their association with Infopercept.

“As the data kept increasing, it had become challenging to manage, and most importantly keeping it secure.

Infopercept joined us as an Ally to help set up a secure cyber infrastructure. They restructured our cyber defense strategies, repositioned our tools, applications, and infrastructure. They also briefed our IT staff in ways to counter attack and defend our organization from any type of cyber threats or attacks.” Further the CIO also added to his statement, “Infopercept was shortlisted after researching a number of security providers and we are happy with our choice. They have proved themselves by giving timely deliverables, and a thorough optimization of our existing tools, resources and budget. Apart from conducting the security audit, they did the appropriate discovery and analysis of our hardware and software;and this was just the beginning of effective asset management for our cyber security. It was further strengthened by setting up a Security Optimization Centre (SOC).”

Customer Requirement:

The Dairy giant’s top most priority was to focus on cyber security; their main strategy was to do “endpoint protection”.

The company always believed in and kept improvising on cyber security and they did the same for the security of various assets from time to time This was done since the inception of the company by installing its first basic antivirus twenty years back.

The CIO said, “ It is crucial to protect our data and treat it the same as resources, as it plays a crucial role in growth of a company”.

Rapid digitization and innovative tools have changed the way businesses operate today. Transactions to the tune of hundreds of dollars take place at the click of a button. At the same time the ease of operations carries a huge risk in the form of network security. The focus now is on securing the networks.

The company recently faced security issues in the form of data breaches, livestock data being compromised , threat from IOT based devices, virus attacks etc. This lacunae have created challenges in day to day operations for Endpoint protection, and this had a negative impact on the company’s business.

The recent developments, security threats and challenges have prompted the CIO of the company to short list the available security options so that the immediate security concerns can be addressed by the company.

The CIO further elaborated on the weak points in the security network. He said, “ As we used multiple applications and software along with the IOT based solutions , which were required for the automation for business, it resulted in a weak Patch management. This was the most vulnerable area for us and it had to be looked into urgently, as it was essential to take care of our automated, real-time patch management mechanism. Ideally we were looking for the tool for Endpoint solutions which can take control of overall components, integrated into the same package.”

Specific application control features in their earlier security software version , was another area to be looked into immediately. The Dairy company had more than thousands of work stations which were active and were located at the head quarter, processing plants, and retail outlets, and many were located at remote locations too. This required a huge bandwidth which was to be managed efficiently.

Apart from this, the company proactively decided to create a defense mechanism, especially against ransomware.

“ Now we were very cautious and understood that antivirus software alone was not enough to take care of the security needs. As of now the requirement was for a specific robust wider security framework, where important and specific business data can be stored , information is updated , secured against any possible threats, and ransomware attacks thwarted. We also wanted security intelligence to be leveraged for additional protection security networks.” This was again put forward by the CIO of the company.

To have a strong foothold in the Dairy Industry, the company had also implemented and introduced advanced sensing and monitoring technology. The dairy sector increasingly uses the possibilities of the “Internet of Things” for this access.

The company had implemented the process of automation in milking, crop production, and site-specific application of fertilizers. These were based on combinations of sensors and other data sources of the third party.

The data was divided into major four categories:

  1. Systems management for milking per cow per day and box time.
  2. Milk production variables i.e., milk yield, fat, protein and lactose.
  3. Quality of milk, milk color, milk temperature and somatic cell count.
  4. Nutrition and general cow health, these give us the data of how much pellet was fed, bodyweight, rumination and milk enzymes, and reproduction.

Many times the above data was compromised and was used to give false analysis. This led to loss of time and also impacted the business. There was delay in the delivery of dairy products and there was compromise on quality. The most important and massive loss was when the data was wrongly defined. The reallocation of the resources to modify the same was difficult and cost the company very heavily.

THE SOLUTION :

When the situation began to spiral out of control, the company decided to start looking for vendors and Managed Security Service Agencies,who could take care of the entire cyber security and provide a new endpoint protection solution.

The CIO had extensive knowledge of their deliverables and demands. He was looking for an MSSP capable of fulfilling all their security needs, preferable with a single window solution.

He said “I was looking all over for a replacement, and went through the entire database of the most common and prominent MSSA. During the short listing we found that some of them were okay, but we had our concerns as to whether they will be able to deliver as they lacked certain key features”. The CIO, after an exhausting search concluded that they would have to create a more complex IT security framework when he came across something exciting.

In his own words, “I came across Infopercept, mostly by chance to be honest, but I was immediately impressed. Their approach was unique. They stated that in this Digital warfare, Infopercept would like to join their prospective client as an Ally to them, to fight this Cyber Security battle”.

“I was impressed by the way they had positioned their battalions in the form of FIVE teams , RED, BLUE, PURPLE, PINK & GREEN .”

The foremost requirement was to conduct a cyber security audit, which was conducted by applying our four-fold strategy, briefed as under:

  1. Data Analysis:
    First our team mapped the entire movement of the data that was incoming and outgoing from the organization and the Data Storage Centre. and thevittles o f the data was captured.
  2. Mapping of Hardware, Software and available applications for the integration:
    Next step was mapping and analyzing the entire hardware, software and available applications that processes the data for integration. A tangible and actionable list was drawn which gave insights into which components were responsible for “compromising” the organization.
    White Listing of running applications was arrived at, this was done by suggesting required application software tool, which will do the scanning of all the running applications, and allowing only white listed applications to run.
  3. Defining the road map of Processes to be followed:
    Different types of processes were defined in chronological order to be followed, for cyber security programs, which included managing physical Property and Facilities. In short it was defined how to do asset management beyond the IT hardware devices and software programs; in a nutshell , how to safeguard the physical places and assets, where all the hardware is installed, data centre security etc.
  4. Resources Management:
    Managing of People or the resources plays an important role when we talk about asset management.
    When it comes to assets, they are limited to only the hardware and software and the most important asset, the human resource, is often ignored.
    Thus we first defined a process to make sure that adequate training was given to the in-house team to efficiently run the systems. Training calendars were drawn, regular training sessions slotted and made into a smooth and effectively run process. We also made sure that the employees have an understanding of their role in cyber security.
    This automatically defined the responsibility and accountability that rested on each person. So that in case a breach should occur, there will be no room for passing the buck.

After implementation of the above, following actions were taken for creating a strong cyber security platform :

  1. Infopercept assigned three members of the RED team who were instructed and deployed to take an offensive approach, from Left, Right and Centre. They scanned and penetrated the entire system and had a look at the threat applications, VPN as an attached surface, database, and covered all the end points.
  2. Right integration and optimization were required, and remapping of the entire architecture was done.
  3. Client SOC team members were shadowed: After the first action, clients SOC team members were not able to detect the threats sent by RED team members. Now it was time for Shadowing of the SOC team members by Infopercept. PINK TEAM, worked as an ALLY to SHADOW existing client’s compliance team and captured the limitations of their team and suggested the right way of approach.
  4. Now it was the turn of the BLUE TEAM, whose team members, the cybersecurity warriors worked 24/ 7 and plunged into action and did through monitoring of the activities.
  5. A green signal was given to the GREEN TEAM members,who as an ALLY, further helped the client adapt to the defense in-depth strategy. They trained the client team members and prepared them to be defensive in case of future cyber attacks.
  6. And last but not the least, the main USP of Infopercept is OPTIMIZATION. For this the PURPLE TEAM members, as an ALLY of the Client, worked out the best possible up-to-date optimization strategy.
  7. Implementation of ISO 27001 certification was done and all norms were followed as described by the certifying authority.
“All the five teams worked closely with singular focus and in a well-defined manner. With the right mix of security tools, devices, and optimization, they gave new life to our entire IT infrastructure which was now well-equipped to fight any cyber attack.”commented the CIO.

The client was now 100% secure with threat prevention care. The patch management was fully integrated and the application control which was challenged earlier was now working at the optimum level.

The most challenging ransomware protection was at its best with the help of Deception technology, and now the entire hardware, software and data centre were totally secured by Endpoint Solutions as suggested by Infopercept.

After the patch management, web content control and email were also secured.

Security Optimization Centre:

SOC was aptly set up and deployed with solutions suggested as per the threats and attacks trend mapped: SIEM Solutions, Security Orchestration, Automation and Response, Endpoint Detection and Response, Deception Technology.

The Sequel of Solutions & Strategies suggested and deployed by Infopercept:

“ It had started giving us amazing results!” said the CIO, “Our systems were well protected and secured with end point solutions, data was now safe and very well encrypted with the Deception tools”.

Now the client had the appropriate tools to protect their assets. Infopercept made it easy for the client to know their greatest risks and vulnerabilities , be it in the form of data or any asset. It also taught them to execute the cyber security program through the Security Optimization Centre.

The company started observing the refined changes in their IT environment, as soon as all the solutions were taken into action and use. “It was quite stunning!” was the first reaction of the CIO, “Almost everything in our information infrastructure was now moving smoothly, much faster and at optimum efficiency “.

Improvisation on the Endpoint solutions, as suggested by Infopercept, was much quicker and efficient. The CIO opined that, “Any smooth functioning, or operation will not always be a key consideration in terms of cyber security, rather it is most important to see how the vendor does the deliveries on right time, and to their satisfaction.” The CIO also found that Infopercept kept their promise of timely and apt deliverables regarding protection”.

“The anti-malware for both operating systems , Windows and Mac had gone beyond our expectations and that too at a very fine tuned consistency level”.

“Firewalling capability turned out to be at the pinnacle output”, was the statement of the CIO. He further stated, “And the main lacuna or the black sheep was our weak patch management. Infopercept was able to identify and address our weak area in a fine tuned manner. The integration with other security components was commendable.

The company was pleased with the security management. Be it Endpoint security solutions, for workstations , or be it cloud-hosted endpoint security products, both the solutions were good. “All our data center and main offices, our large network of stores across the country, and most importantly our livestock data, were managed centrally and securely. This also boosted the security of our remotely located hardware and software and helped us increase our productivity and contribute towards the company’s growth as well. ” CIO explains.

Overall, the Dairy Company was very satisfied with the services provided by Infopercept.

Further, after three months they executed the second phase of the Cyber security plan. We developed their cyber security with additional tools deployment. We started managing vulnerability management software, Radar and endpoint detection and response solution, Rapid Detection & Response. “We are extremely pleased to have appointed Infopercept as our MSSP.”, the CIO quoted. Not only did Infopercept suggest to us the optimization of the products but also their cost-effective and correct usage. My team and myself enjoyed working with the local team here in the Middle East! We’re getting excellent service and support.”

The CIO then concluded by saying, “ No one can beat Infopercept for their real time, in-depth visibility into real-life cyber attacks. We were able to bridge the gap between detection and response, utilizing unmatched threat intelligence solutions”