SREI Infrastructure Ltd
SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) that focuses on infrastructure financing for large projects such as roads, airports, and hospitals. It also offers financing for the equipment related to such projects. Headquartered in Kolkata, it has 2,000 employees and 90 locations across India.
Leaving the safety of on-premises control
SREI’s decision to move its whole operation into the cloud and adopt a cloud first policy was prompted when its 13 year-old datacenter needed a complete re-vamp. Highly regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), its data had to be co-located in India and it eventually chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud vendor.
“We came to realize that we could not be segregated and shut down anymore,” says SREI’s VP of IT, Ritayan Banerjee. “We needed to open up to the external world and that is where larger security considerations came into play. We had to build a security perimeter around what we had and not just rely on AWS services.”
Flexibility and industry know-how
When its data resided on-premises, SREI relied on a traditional architecture controlled by a single entry/exit point and Fortinet firewalls. However, it realized that the security needs of the cloud were very different from on-premises.
Working in line with RBI security guidelines, SREI researched the market and decided that Check Point was the best choice, as Banerjee explains: “Check Point’s flexibility, its CloudGuard Posture Management offerings and its legacy and know-how in that field convinced us that this was the right way to go.”
SREI implemented Check Point CloudGuard Network Security firewalls and CloudGuard for security posture management. CloudGuard is integrated with an IBM QRadar threat intelligence application and there are a number of other API integrations for user identification and supporting services. Network complexity is avoided by using AWS Transit Gateway.
Secured data with increased visibility and highly efficient deployment
Ease of integration has been a key benefit for SREI. It can now integrate with third party locations in as little as 30 minutes when before the process would take a day.
“When we evaluated CloudGuard we really loved the product,” says Banerjee. “Being a highly regulated industry, we need to work on compliance and provide reports on an ‘as of now’ basis and it became very critical that we always have a snapshot of our policies and where we are with the cloud. Check Point CloudGuard gives us that snapshot and that is probably the biggest comfort to have.”
CloudGuard alerts enable the team to “track back”, pinpoint any problems and identify root causes. A task that previously would take days is now done in a couple of hours.
CloudGuard gives a consolidated view of what is going on in the network.” If someone from the operation team makes a change in the security policy, I get an immediate alert and I can check it”, says Banerjee.
With clear visibility of its traffic and threats, SREI can now see that it has an average of 20 qualified incidents a week, 25% of which are high severity, 50% medium and 25% low, and these are all dealt with safely by the Check Point solutions.
One of the other key benefits of Check Point CloudGuard is easy and quick integration. “Sometimes we move our offices from one place to another and using CloudGuard Network Security we integrated pretty easily and quickly and saved time.”
“Thanks to Check Point we can deploy on time easily and this helps us to scale up. Check Point CloudGuard extends the same security that we have in our data centers. Our customers’ data is safe whether it is in the data center or in the cloud.”
“If we had gone with any other partner our TCO would very easily be double what we have right now. That is based on the unusual scenario we are in now and I can imagine that we will have an even lower TCO in the second year,” says Banerjee. “As well as that 50% cost saving, contributions made by Check Point CloudGuard have also saved two to three person-years of effort.”
Getting used to the “new normal”:
“Before COVID-19, working from home was a big “no no”. Now, with Check Point’s solutions we are allowing not only IT employees to access critical data remotely. We even allow our employees to use their own equipment when accessing the data.”
The Check Point team added great value and supported us during deployment. With their know-how and experience the support team configured our cloud security correctly and quickly. Especially during upgrade and time off issues, the team stepped in and provided solutions.”
“The cloud is evolving every day. We are learning every day and Check Point gives us the agility we need for continuously innovating our business” says Banerjee.