Morton Salt’s small team delivers superior cyber security with Check Point

“We have a small, but seasoned, team. We chose Check Point to replace Juniper firewalls and gained incredible visibility, scalability, and reporting capabilities. The difference was huge.”
Caleb Wilson, Director of IT Infrastructure, Morton Salt

Morton Salt
Morton Salt was founded in 1848, providing salt to customers in Chicago and to the Forty-Niners headed west to strike gold in California. Today the company provides food grade, road, safety, pharmaceutical, and industrial salt products. There are 20 Morton Salt facilities across the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas.

Protecting Business Assets
As a trusted authority on salt and its commercial production, Morton Salt has a wealth of intellectual property to defend, as well as customer information and other business assets. The IT team protects data flows and communications between six production mines, logistics partners, and more than 35 enterprise locations. Manufacturing production and control networks are physically separated from the corporate network to minimize risk.

Morton Salt had legacy perimeter firewalls in place, which were due for a refresh. As the threat environment had become much more dynamic and sophisticated, the team needed security solutions with much more breadth and depth. They wanted comprehensive insight across the organization as well as down to each endpoint.

“We have a small, but seasoned, team,” said Caleb Wilson, Director of IT Infrastructure for Morton Salt. “We chose Check Point to replace Juniper firewalls and gained incredible visibility, scalability, and reporting capabilities. The difference was huge.”

Right-Sized Protection
Morton Salt uses the Check Point 15600 Next Generation firewalls for fully integrated, multi-layered protection across the enterprise network, including branch office. The firewalls protect users, traffic, and applications. Each gateway provides application control, URL filtering, IPS, antivirus, and anti-bot defenses. All are integrated with Microsoft Active Directory, giving the team visibility down to the specific endpoints and users.

SandBlast Network is built into the firewalls, providing zero-day protection with Threat Emulation and Threat Extraction capabilities. SandBlast Threat Emulation performs deep CPU-level inspection to stop attacks before they can evade detection and deploy payloads. SandBlast Threat Extraction analyzes files and documents to remove potentially malicious elements before delivering safe content to users.

The team manages its global infrastructure with Check Point R80 cyber security management. They can view and work on systems, unify their policies, and optimize configurations all from a single pane of glass. Multi-tasking in the Check Point R80 SmartConsole makes it easy for team members to work on different areas at the same time without conflict, which saves time and simplifies management.

Centralized, Effective Security Operations
The Morton Salt IT team now has visibility across its global security infrastructure into threats at any level of infrastructure. Multi-administrator capabilities enable two or more team members to review logs, view the dashboard, or make policy changes simultaneously.

“Check Point R80 enables us to operate like a much larger SOC,” said Wilson. “We can proactively respond to threats and incidents without the large investment in security operations, control centers and human resources that would be needed to support them.”

Proactive Protection and Productivity

The Check Point R80 SmartEvent dashboard provides more than just broad visibility. Monitoring data and reporting logs in a single pane of glass enable the team to quickly view and analyze threats and immediately adapt policy or take steps for active defense. They can identify the root causes of user complaints—whether it’s network slowness or a potential threat. The team has instant visibility into user traffic patterns, resource consumption, and other indicators across the larger network so that they can quickly focus on what’s important.

“Check Point benefits are multifold,” said Wilson. “In addition to world-class protection, Check Point R80 cyber security management allows us to achieve high team efficiency, become more proactive, and even pinpoint potential future pain points.”

Multi-Level Protection
Integration with Active Directory delivers a detailed view of the network from a security perspective. The security team can see systems at the desktop level by IP address, and they also know machine identifiers and the user account attached to the device. This visibility lets them quickly identify users and machines that might be compromised or behaving in high-risk activity so they can continually strengthen the company’s security posture.

“Check Point has been eye-opening in providing granular visibility down to the endpoint level,” said Wilson. “For example, we’ve seen that a specific endpoint product is not delivering the results we expected. That visibility enables us to work with other IT team members to strengthen areas of weakness or vulnerability.”

SandBlast Network has played a huge role in assuring peace of mind. Wilson and his team gained new insight into actual threats, such as backdoor access, rootkits, and command- and-control threats. They can see the threat, see that it was stopped, and identify internal endpoints that need additional protection or policy around them.

“SandBlast Network stops between 72 and 100 threats per day,” said Wilson. “None have become an actual incident. SandBlast is more than enough assurance for me and my team so that we sleep better at night.”

Partnership for a Strong Security Posture
Morton Salt has high praise for its Check Point team—people in roles from sales and support to engineering. After working with a number of other firewall vendors, the company replaced them with Check Point.

“Check Point products certainly differentiate the company, but Check Point people are also a key differentiator for our team,” said Wilson. “Our partnership with Check Point has most certainly raised Morton Salt’s security posture to a high level.”

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