Chilena Consolidada is one of the leading insurance companies in Chile with a market presence that goes back over 150 years. Today the company has over 1,300 employees around the country and since 1991 forms part of the worldwide group Zurich Financial Services Group. Regularly audited by the Swiss-based group and the Latin American base, Chilena Consolidada required a solution that enabled the company's IT administrators to scan the network for vulnerabilities and improve security server-side and on the individual workstations. To this end, Chilena Consolidada successfully implemented GFI LanGuard, a network security and vulnerability management solution.
With over 150 years' experience in the insurance market, Chilena Consolidada is aware of the important role that it plays in the everyday life of those who have taken out insurance policies with the company. As one of the leading insurers in Chile, and a member of a worldwide financial services group, reputation and credibility are cornerstones of their business. With the bulk of client information today available in electronic format and data theft and fraud cases becoming increasingly common, it is of utmost importance to a company like Chilena Consolidada that its client data is secure and tamper-proof.
Securing data is but one aspect of network security that the firm has to deal with. One small chink in a company's armor is enough to result in data breaches and theft and more often than not, the problem is a missing patch on a workstation, weak passwords used by employees or open ports that are not secured. To this end, Chilena Consolidada felt the need to implement a security solution that could address in a fast and timely fashion all the vulnerabilities on its network and ensure the highest level of security possible on the network, thereby closing the window of opportunity for hackers and other security concerns.
For Chilena's chief of networking, Oscar Wilton, there are two main reasons why they required a vulnerability management solution.
"First we wanted a product that allowed us to scan the entire network and to identify those areas that could be a threat. We wanted a solution that showed us which servers and workstations had missing patches and other vulnerabilities and provided us with advice on how best to fix them," he explained.
"On the other hand, we are regularly audited by the Zurich Group in Switzerland and by our Latin American offices. So we needed to ensure that our network's security was up-to-scratch and secure," Mr. Wilton said.
GFI LanGuard was recommended to Chilena Consolidada by its office in Venezuela, which also uses the product for its vulnerability management and auditing requirements.
"Our office in Venezuela recommended the product so we contacted GFI's representative in the country, MESTE, and installed the 30-day trial version to see if it provided adequate support for our network and company size, Mr. Wilton said.
"We were very pleased with the product and went ahead with a full implementation for 1,024 nodes. We found a great partner in MESTE who helped us with the licensing, implementation and training for our administrators. The opportunity to speak with GFI's representative was an important added value because they provided us with excellent technical and commercial support," he added.
The product was also easy to install, Mr. Wilton said, and it proved to be a welcome tool for the administrator. With its easy-to-use interface, GFI LanGuard was up and running within a couple of hours and the first network scan went smoothly with no problems whatsoever.
He added that since all scans are now carried out at night, there has been negligible impact on network performance.
Mr Wilton said the company realized immediate benefits following the installation of GFI LanGuard.
"The first major benefit was that the product helped us to identify those servers and workstations that were missing patches and other vulnerabilities. Having the tools to fix the problems in a simple, fast and efficient manner was just what we were after. The solution also gave us peace of mind that all our computers were protected and free of any known vulnerabilities," Mr. Wilton explained.
Mr. Wilton said GFI LanGuard complemented their installation of Windows Software Update Service (WSUS) and overcame the latter's limitations. This resulted in a lower workload for the administrator and a much improved vulnerability and patch management process.
From a financial perspective, Mr. Wilton said the product for such a large network was not on the cheap side, but the need to carry out the audit was far too important for them.
"It does not come cheap but I believe we have seen an immediate return on investment because of the good results we obtained. If anything, it has certainly boosted productivity by saving us operational time and effort," he said.
According to the company all its objectives were met following the implementation of GFI LanGuard.
"The product does what it is supposed to do in a simple and efficient manner. It has helped us address two issues: the need to secure our computers from the latest threats and to be able to audit our network," Mr Wilton said.
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