Sara Assicurazioni Fortifies the Future of Insurance Services with Cisco Secure

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Updated:September 9, 2022

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Updated:September 9, 2022

Table of Contents



As Italy’s leading insurance company, Sara Assicurazioni is a cloud-first digital company serving a nationwide customer base with more than 600 employees and 600 agency offices. Sara’s cloud architecture and a hybrid workforce demanded Zero Trust and complete visibility into its extended network.

Executive Summary

Customer Name: Sara Assicurazioni

Industry: Insurance

Location: Rome, Italy

Number of Employees: 600+


·  Incompatible point security solutions failing to provide complete visibility
·  Multi-cloud architecture required a holistic and innovative approach to security
·  Need for a partner with a broad security portfolio to augment security strategy


·       Cisco SecureX
·       Cisco Firepower
·       Cisco Umbrella
·       Cisco Secure Endpoint
·       Cisco Secure Email


·  Full visibility into 2,000+ endpoints irrespective of user and device location
·  Threat investigation and remediation efficiency improved by 20%
·  Threat analysis effort reduced from eight days to only a few hours
·  Extended threat detection and response (XDR) capability
·  Zero Trust adoption became more streamlined


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Worsening threat landscape

When Sara Assicurazioni migrated its applications and services from on-premises to the cloud, the need for a holistic security architecture was paramount.

“In our push to increase our presence in the insurance market through digital innovation, our goal was to prevent data breaches and identify advanced cyber risk for our users. We wanted to make their journey in Sara Assicurazioni transparent, secure, and trustable.”


Nunzio Bucello

Chief Information Security Officer, Sara Assicurazioni


In achieving this goal, incompatibilities among multi-vendor point security solutions posed a significant challenge. In addition, Sara’s migration to a cloud-based architecture called for a new security approach to better protect the organization and its customers. “Since the infrastructure is now cloud-based, we had to change our mindset regarding cybersecurity as well. It was important to have the people, the process, the organization, and the technology under the same security umbrella,” says Luigi Vassallo, Sara’s chief operating officer and chief technology officer.

Sara’s digital infrastructure had three different customers: internal employees, agency offices spread over 1500 points of sale across Italy, and Sara’s insurance customers. Visibility into this diverse user base posed a big challenge for its small security team. Bucello says, “Our goal is to be a multi-cloud company with a distributed user base connected to multiple environments via a diverse mix of devices. The challenge was to have the right security platform that gives us the level of visibility we need.”

The pandemic presented new security challenges, expanding Sara’s attack surface just as organized threat activity became more prevalent. “With the rise of remote work, our employees and agency partners can now use any device, any connectivity, and work from any location,” explains Vassallo. “Managing these threats using point solutions was stressful for our cybersecurity team. This underscored the need for an innovative approach to security. We needed a strong security partner with great expertise in cloud technology who could protect the organization and our users with a comprehensive solution and facilitate advanced security architectures like Zero Trust.”

“We needed a strong security partner with great expertise in cloud technology who could protect the organization and our users with an expansive solution and facilitate advanced architectures like Zero Trust.”

Luigi Vassallo

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Sara Assicurazioni

Strong security partner

Sara Assicurazioni chose to use Cisco Secure to implement its Zero Trust strategy. With Cisco Umbrella, Cisco Secure Endpoint, Cisco AnyConnect, Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE), and Cisco SecureX, Cisco is helping the company to efficiently manage highly distributed agencies in diverse environments. “The main reason we chose Cisco is that only Cisco can offer a global security solution rather than covering one specific point,” says Vassallo. “Using overlay solutions like VPN technology, multifactor authentication with Duo, and Umbrella, we can have great control even if the surface of attack is increasing.”

Cisco’s integrated security portfolio eliminated the challenges of multi-vendor complexity. “All the Cisco Secure products speak the same language, providing us with fully integrated visibility and the ability to correlate information across the network better,” explains Bucello. “We have different ways to analyze the problem. We can start from a single point, like Umbrella or Secure Endpoint, and jump to SecureX to get complete visibility into what’s happening. Suppose we want to correlate with all the logs. In that case, we can start from SecureX to correlate all the information from Cisco Firepower, our Wi-Fi network, Secure Endpoint, or the other Cisco products we have in place. And from this point, we have visibility of everything that happened in the environment.”

The holistic visibility enabled by Cisco SecureX makes a big difference for Sara’s nimble security team in protecting its widely distributed employees and agencies. “By using SecureX, we have a clear view of all the threats discovered by all the tools. This is useful because we can manage those threats with a single tool. We have all the information we need in one tool that we can use for day-to-day operations,” says Paolo Perrucci, director of Information and Communications Technology architectures and operations at Sara Assicurazioni.

“Today, our team doesn’t need to spend days trying to understand what’s happening to solve the problem. We can now solve them in hours, not days, making us more efficient and happier.”


Paolo Perrucci

Director of Information and Communications Technology architectures, Sara Assicurazioni.


Cisco’s end-to-end portfolio covering every vector, from the network to the client to the cloud, is crucial to Sara’s security team because it provides a holistic and integrated approach to security. “Along with best-of-breed solutions, the security architecture is informed by Cisco Talos, the industry’s largest threat intelligence network for not only discovering threats but also blocking threats daily,” Vassallo points out.

Zero Trust and XDR strategy

Cisco Secure supports Sara’s Zero Trust journey by securing devices inside and outside its trusted boundaries. “Cisco Secure Endpoint solution with Umbrella, AnyConnect, and the Identity Service Engine enables us to control and monitor any device without having any software installed,” Vassallo explains. “We can prevent and contain attacks, and Umbrella notifies us if something goes wrong anywhere in our digital infrastructure. These capabilities are central to our Zero Trust approach.”

In the second phase of Sara’s digitization process, the security team implemented their extended detection and response (XDR) strategy with SecureX and Cisco Secure Endpoint. This gave them complete visibility into threats across their vast network. It also reduced threat analysis from as many as eight days to only a few hours.

Better business resilience

Unified visibility using the Cisco Secure portfolio enables Sara’s security team to prevent threats proactively. Our decentralized users, endpoints, and cloud-based servers and workloads contribute to a large attack surface. With Cisco, we have the right level of visibility on this surface,” remarks Perrucci.

With the Cisco-enabled XDR strategy, the security team can, for example, correlate what happens now on an endpoint with what the firewall saw a few hours ago to avoid the most dangerous attacks. At the moment, we have about 2,000 endpoints controlled by Cisco technology, which intercepted 400 threats in the last 30 days,” says Vassallo. By validating suspicious files, the security team can thwart sophisticated threats. “In the same time frame, we had about 3 million different files analyzed and 1,000 transactions blocked,” adds Vassallo.

With Cisco Secure, time and effort spent on threat investigation have drastically reduced. “Threat investigation is no longer as time-consuming an activity as it used to be before the Cisco adoption,” says Perrucci. “Today, we spend less time on threat investigation, which translates to a nearly 20% increase in efficiency.”

The results are more security resilience and better business outcomes. “Our resilience today is higher than what it used to be three or four years ago,” remarks Perrucci. “And today, we can offer new services without having to worry about threats or risks because we know that we have the tools to prevent several types of attacks to protect that service.”

In conclusion, Vassallo emphasizes how having a better security posture empowers Sara Assicurazioni to pursue new business opportunities with more confidence. “Thanks to Cisco Secure, I'm quite confident that our security posture is now many times better because we are leveraging more scalable, state-of-the-art security solutions. Thanks to Cisco, when I explain where we are to our stakeholders and board members, I can reassure them that we are in control.”

“Thanks to Cisco Secure, I'm quite confident that our security posture is many times better because we are leveraging more scalable, state-of-the-art security solutions.”

Luigi Vassallo

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Sara Assicurazioni

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