As a provider of business services to two of Italy’s largest trade associations, FIASA handles a wealth of highly sensitive personal and corporate data. This puts FIASA in the position of having to pay the utmost attention to protecting the data it holds.
A more sophisticated position on threat prevention
“FIASA has a long history of taking cyber threats seriously,” says IT manager, Giovanni Montomoli. “We provide payroll processing services, invoice management, and overseeing accounts. These are all critical services for our members. We’ve had ‘traditional’ firewalls in place for years. There has always been a compromise between price and performance, but we’ve never suffered.”
However, the introduction of GDPR, and an awareness that the threat landscape was changing, led Montomoli to re-examine FIASA’s position. “There was a more powerful case for developing a 360° view of our customers’ data. I attended several security conferences and could see that threat prevention was evolving.”
Montomoli wanted to strengthen threat prevention for around 200 users of the FIASA network. The aim was to support mobile working, while reducing the strain on in-house management and help desk support.
Maximum security without impacting performance
Check Point SandBlast and Check Point 5000 Next Generation Firewalls offer a fully integrated, multi-layered solution tuned to deliver maximum security without impacting performance. The gateways provide FIASA with the most advanced threat prevention security.
“We considered a couple of options,” says Montomoli, “I’d like to tell you the decision was based on a thorough proof of concept. However, the truth is we heard some very good things about Check Point from our peers. Everything we heard told us that Check Point was versatile, effective, and could be trusted.”
His most critical concern was working alongside a partner experienced enough to manage the configuration. “Without Sarce as our partner, we might not have moved forward,” he admits. “This kind of project has to be managed by certified professionals. You cannot improvise.”
Secure, progressive and in control
To date, FIASA remains unaffected by security breaches. “No DDOS attacks, no information theft, nothing,” says Montomoli. “The difference is we’re detecting problems earlier. For instance, Check Point SandBlast’s Threat Extraction feature checks every email entering the organization and immediately removes any suspicious attachments. The attachment doesn’t even need to be opened.”
This has led to a 70% drop in daily calls made to the IT help desk. “Without a doubt, our users realize the effectiveness of the Check Point system,” he says.
Montomoli explains further that the Check Point solution can be used by non- experts. “The analysis of the logs is phenomenal,” he said. “It delivers high-level performance and it’s much easier to use than previous solutions.”
This has created two benefits. Firstly, it’s easier to manage the threat prevention landscape. IT staff can assess or implement new rules and create unified policies easily with the R80 security management dashboard. Secondly, at a user and corporate level, it has bolstered faith that FIASA is secure, progressive, and in control.
“From my point of view, as far as threats are concerned, it’s always better to move before, rather than move later, when it’s too late,” concludes Montomoli.