Cisco Secure helps a technology company strengthen their security resilience.
Procellis, a compliance and cybersecurity management service provider, chose Cisco Secure to provide modern, integrated, and scalable solutions to their customers.
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Size: 20 employees
Procellis Technology is a small business that's able to provide big protection for other businesses with compliance, automation, and intrusion defense services. As a managed security provider, Procellis deeply understands the need for modern, integrated security solutions that offer comprehensive protection without being complicated. That's why Procellis chose the same product in their environment as the ones they serve to their customers: Cisco Secure.
One of the most important priorities that Procellis had when looking for a new security partner was closing the gaps in its security posture. Their biggest issue was with visibility and monitoring, which kept them from seeing their whole environment and prevented them from taking a more proactive approach to their security.
Any new security solution also needed to be scalable and easy to deploy. Their previous solution impacted people's ability to do their work, so users would disable protections or not install updates. Their new security solution needed to roll out automatically or in a way that didn't hinder their employees. Plus, since they use the same security solutions that they deploy to manage their clients' security, they needed something that could be implemented remotely, from any location.
Nate Haleen, the lead developer and division lead for programming at Procellis, and members of his team looked at several vendors before deciding on Cisco. "Why? The breadth and comprehensiveness of Cisco Secure's portfolio," Haleen says.
"We appreciate that one vendor has that many solutions," Haleen shares, adding that Cisco has "about the best customer service we get from any partner."
To meet their need for real-time visibility, real-time scanning, threat detection, and blocking, and a deeper understanding of incidents led them to implement:
“Cisco is constantly looking for better ways to block new and changing attack vectors. They're looking for ways to update and provide new features for their existing products and adding functionalities to those software titles.”Nate Haleen, Lead Developer and Division Lead for Programming and Cisco Insider Advocate
Haleen says that having all the dashboards available through SecureX delivers unified visibility for much faster detection and simpler, quicker solutions management. Instead of logging in to separate platforms or only opening dashboards when an incident is reported, Haleen's days now start by opening SecureX, looking through the dashboards and addressing any abnormalities or incidents, then using them for threat hunting. Because the dashboards display easy-to-understand visual information, Haleen says it's much easier to process a change from the previous days, which triggers a flag to look more deeply at what changed and why.
With these solutions, the security gaps have nearly disappeared. Real-time scanning has led to real-time protection that prevents threats as they happen. Visibility reporting shows that threats are being seen and prevented, which helps teams communicate to their higher-ups that their organization's assets are protected and that their investment in security has been worthwhile.
In addition to delivering on their security outcomes, Procellis supports the Student Freedom Initiative, an organization that addresses technology enhancements and other outcomes for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Generally, these schools don't have the monetary resources or endowments of more traditional schools. This translates to much smaller security teams. For these small institutions, a data breach can be an existential threat.
Procellis helps support HBCU security teams by working with them to meet their compliance goals—taking them through compliance assessments, rolling out cloud security products, and offering a year of service. With Procellis and Cisco Secure, the Student Freedom Initiative can more easily meet its mission of enabling HBCU transformation, resilience, and increased competitiveness.
Compared to their previous antivirus solution, Haleen says it's now minutes versus days to find out if there's been a security incident and notes, "The mean to-threat detection is dramatically faster."
Plus, in a short time, Haleen says that Secure Endpoint has helped stop over half a dozen potential compromises per month and identified dozens of vulnerable apps, while Cisco CloudLock cloud access security broker has provided meaningful data by digging into past events to prevent future incidents. Umbrella has stopped several dangerous executables a week and blocked over 100 web requests, and Haleen says, "It provides DNS blocking on dangerous sites, which is a layer of defense we didn't have before at all…I like that it protects the end user from themselves…There's really no other product I can find on the market that does the same thing."
While Haleen notes that they outsource their extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities, Cisco Secure products have still helped them improve their XDR outcomes, saying, "Because of the integrations and APIs available, the third party can use our existing security products and data to alert us."
In addition to the tangible benefits of reduced alerts, integrated dashboards, threat intelligence, and proactive incident response, Procellis is enjoying greater productivity and more peace of mind. End users don't circumvent security now because their work isn't impacted negatively. They also had the opportunity to show off their capabilities to their C-suite after an executive got a suspicious file and opened it. Secure Endpoint quarantined the file, and afterward it was analyzed by Secure Malware Analytics. Luckily, the file wasn't malicious, but Procellis can be confident that they have best-in-class protection against anything from internal threats to accidental employee mis-clicks.
Haleen knows that a cybersecurity attack can be a disaster for a small business. If something gets through, that means lost time and lost business. For a small organization like Procellis, Haleen says that losing even one computer is a huge problem. Secure Endpoint offers advanced endpoint protection across control points, helping strengthen resilience.
"There are a bunch of different attack vectors that are prevented, and anything that blocks an attack doesn't bring our resources down in the first place, which improves our uptime, which makes us more productive," Haleen adds.
And their roadmap to resilience doesn't stop there. In addition to their current protection and detection capabilities, Haleen says that he's looking forward to improving the zero-trust architecture and secure access service edge (SASE) implementation at Procellis by exploring the Cisco Secure Identity Services Engine (ISE).