Overseas travelers and workers don’t need to count on the universal distress code when they’re hooked up with International SOS. The world’s most comprehensive medical and security assistance company, International SOS is in the business of helping people.
The company provides services to leading multinational corporations, insurers, financial institutions, and government organizations, with more than 6,100 corporations and 60 million members worldwide. It has more than 3,700 employees, a global network of 24/7 alarm centers in 28 cities, 22 wholly owned international clinics, and a fleet of 10 dedicated air ambulances. Its employees speak 77 languages and are spread over remote site operations in more than 60 countries. More than a third of its employees are professional medical specialists such as doctors, nurses, medics, pharmacists, and aero-medical specialists.
International SOS used appliances to help secure communications, but found them to be unwieldy in emergencies and remote locations. At the same time, most firewall and VPN security solutions demand a great deal of patience and knowledge to set up, and receive only secondary focus in the remote field locations where medical and physical security emergencies must take precedence. Further, not every solution can be managed from a single console, and requires much attention from IT administrators. From the cost perspective, most appliances and other security solutions carry a high cost of ownership unnecessarily burdening a company. And finding local technical administration talents in remote locations, especially for specialized appliances, can be a problem.
International SOS migrated its hardware appliances to a centralized management Intel-based server running Check Point SecurePlatform™ with FireWall-1® and VPN-1® Pro™, coupled with Check Point ClusterXL®. SecuRemote® was installed on remote PC clients for International SOS’s emergency medical and physical security teams on assignments or in remote branch locations. ACE Authentication from RSA Security, a Check Point OPSEC (Open Platform for Security) partner, was installed on the PCs. There are a total of 35 VPN nodes.
For International SOS, Check Point’s solutions represent a refreshing change from its previously implemented hardware appliances.
SecurePlatform allows International SOS to easily install Check Point’s firewall and VPN combo on any PC in remote locations, without having to lug unwieldy and heavy appliances. With the easy setup and administration of Check Point’s SecurePlatform, any compatible PC can be configured with Check Point’s firewall and VPN in minutes. Gone are the days and even hours of setup and configuration associated with other complex security tools. International SOS is very positive about its new implementation. “I was very pleased with SecurePlatform running on a PC. The general assumption is that setting up a firewall takes a lot of time. But when I was shown that I can buy any PC, and within 30 minutes have the firewall running, I was totally convinced that this is what I need. It makes disaster recovery a no-brainer,” pointed out Kuan Sui Toh, group manager, Technology and Infrastructure, Corporate ICT.
International SOS also cited that the total cost of ownership (TCO) was one of the key reasons to move to Check Point solutions. The maintenance costs of appliances can be very high for both hardware and software according to International SOS, while a PC costs only SG$2,000 (around US$1,160).
With Check Point’s open platform through the OPSEC initiative, it is easy for International SOS to integrate third-party solutions, such as management and security tools, into the Check Point core firewall and VPN solutions without any compatibility issues.
International SOS saw the immense benefit of working with a single accountable vendor, Check Point, rather than having to work with multiple vendors with solutions that might have unknown compatibility and management issues. And Check Point’s centralized management console provides International SOS with easier management of all remote nodes.
Easily accessible worldwide support
Check Point is a globally recognized leader in Internet and network security, and trained professionals are easily located worldwide. In remote locations where troubleshooting or setup can be demanding, International SOS found that it could easily find local professionals who already are knowledgeable about Check Point. This would be quite difficult if the company had installed more esoteric hardware appliances.