Business requirements and information security priorities have always had a tough time aligning. It’s even become something of a cliché these days to say that security is a block on agility, productivity and growth. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Rémy Cointreau’s recent collaboration with Centrify is a great example of how, when implemented correctly, security can actually support the business: in this instance, our move to a more agile, cloud-based infrastructure.
On the opening day of Infosecurity Europe in London, I explained to a packed audience exactly how the Centrify Identity Service is helping our employees work more productively and securely, whilst making life a lot easier for the IT department.
Our Journey to the Cloud
Despite annual turnover in excess of €900m, Rémy Cointreau is a relatively small firm in an incredibly competitive market. This means we have to take every opportunity to use new technology platforms to their advantage. I was brought on board to help drive this digital transformation within the organisation, by migrating to cloud-based infrastructure and applications including Office 365, SAP, and Amazon Web Services and Azure platforms.
We wanted our cloud-based apps to be accessible on any device, anywhere, anytime; for new employees to be onboarded quickly and easily; and for the whole system to be easy to roll-out and maintain for our 50-strong IT department. It became pretty clear that identity and access management would be a key component of this transition — after all, 81% of global hacking-related breaches last year used stolen or weak passwords, according to Verizon data. At our company, where employees need to access something like 20 apps per day on average, many were understandably falling back on bad habits, like password reuse.
Unfortunately, the IAM platform I inherited was only available in French and made it very expensive to add/secure new apps. As a new employee I also experienced first-hand the difficulties in on-boarding new employees: it took weeks before I was granted access to all the apps I needed to work effectively. It’s also true that password-related issues were responsible for nearly a third of help desk requests, adding extra cost and inefficiency to the IT back office.
Maximum Security, Minimum Friction
The Centrify Identity Service offered us exactly what we needed: single sign-on across all cloud-based applications through a consistent, unified portal whatever the location or device. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) secures log-ins to critical resources whilst incurring minimal friction for the user. New users are up and running in no time, boosting productivity, and they’re finding the new system fast, simple and intuitive once migrated over.
Even better, for the IT department it’s been relatively easy to deploy and manage and we’ve been able to integrate with Active Directory, which was important for us. For the business as a whole, the platform has also enabled us to be more agile in setting up new offices: all that’s required is a mobile device and a data plan to get employees in new regions set up.
As for the future, we’re building a SOC and hoping to feed log-in data through a SIEM to better automate the process of catching illegal access attempts. There are also discussions underway to potentially extend our relationship with Centrify into the privileged identity management space. As I explained to attendees at Infosecurity Europe, the firm hasn’t just been a technology provider but also a partner to us throughout the process, taking our feedback on board and working closely with my team to achieve the best possible results.
For me that’s the definition of a successful relationship.
Learn more about how Centrify’s services support Rémy Cointreau here.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this guest author blog are solely those of the contributor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Centrify.