Nebulas Security Centralises and Enhances Security Configuration and Network Management for Foseco Plc

Nebulas Security ensured the implementation went ahead quickly and smoothly. Their professional attitude and ability to anticipate our needs made for an effective project where everyone understood the benefits and felt committed to the objectives. Were now operating much more efficiently and are well prepared for future growth. Craig Morris, Information Security Manager, Foseco Plc.

A UK company with headquarters in Tamworth, Staffordshire, Foseco Plc supplies products and solutions to the foundry industry. The company delivers significant added value to its customers through a unique mix of chemical products, application skills and innovation. This enables improved casting yield, reduced scrap, higher cast quality, increased productivity and improved safety and environmental performance. Operating on an international scale with companies in 34 countries and 2500 employees, Foseco Plc is a rich resource of technical and engineering expertise.

The Challenge
With the business thriving and extending across a diversity of international boundaries, the International IT team, based at Tamworth, needed to find a solution that would help ensure the integrity of Fosecos information assets across the globe. We are an expanding business with new businesses being opened in eastern Europe and the Far East , explains Roger Chadderton, IT Director at Foseco Plc. One of our challenges is to ensure that we apply the same stringent network security standards across the world .

The task of securing data across the Foseco infrastructure without compromising the existing network falls to Craig Morris, Fosecos Information Security Manager: Foseco International IT maintains a comprehensive list of performance and security criteria which remote sites must meet before they can be connected to our network. This ensures internal integrity and external security, he explains. These criteria form part of a continuous network monitoring and improvement service which relies on the regular distribution of upgrades, patches and management tools across the entire Foseco business.

Our established process for managing new network integration and testing works effectively, says Craig Morris, but the ongoing changes in our business and the variety of systems and networks we deal with means we needed to be able to automate the processes more

The Solution
The quest for faster network integration and maintenance without any drop in performance or security eventually led Foseco Plc to Nebulas Security. We liked the flexibility and technical capabilities of their security configuration management tool, BigFix Enterpise Suite, from BigFix Inc. explains Roger Chadderton.

Nebulas Security provided an evaluation program for Foseco Plc, who began implementing a BigFix pilot which ran in Tamworth for a month. Craig Morris closely supervised the pilot, putting the product through a series of demanding tests. These included patch distribution and configuration, virus definition updates, remote security configuration and the rollout and set-up of new applications.

Once we were satisfied with BigFix technical capabilities, it took just three days to roll out the product across the Tamworth site, comments Craig Morris. Throughout, Nebulas Security provided excellent levels of support which minimised any technical hassles and ensured that we were quickly able to understand the benefits and get the most out of the new technology.

Now working across many of Fosecos international sites, BigFix provides a highly automated distributed security monitoring and patch configuration tool. What was once a delicate process of guiding users through a complex set-up over the phone is now a simple, efficient operation managed by the IT department. Users arent even aware of it, comments Craig Morris. As part of its service, Nebulas Security provided added value by demonstrating other aspects of BigFix, such as its ability to compile a comprehensive IT Asset Register and report generation. Craigs successful project has meant we have met our immediate objective - we now have centralised management and reporting of the patch levels of machines across our enterprise concludes Roger Chadderton.

The Future
BigFix now performs the functions of many products and people in a fraction of the time. Problematic time lags between product installations at the first and last site have been eliminated through centralised control and simultaneous, organisation-wide updates. This eliminates any potential security weaknesses and shifts the responsibility for monitoring and updates away from small or remote sites, back to the central IT team in Tamworth.

Foseco Plc is also working with Nebulas to Beta test BigFix to rollout and maintain a spyware application. This will mean that Foseco is better placed to respond promptly to new threats in this area as soon as they appear.

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