Safeguarding Critical Customer Business Data
DriveSavers depends on solid network security to protect its network, employee computers, and customer data.
"The self-defending capabilities of this network are a huge advantage for us. Now, any strange behavior is blocked—even if it is unidentified."—Michael Hall, director of PC engineering, DriveSavers Data Recovery
EMichael Hall is proud of the fact that his company, DriveSavers Data Recovery, "regularly, literally saves businesses." He is not exaggerating. Founded two decades ago in a Silicon Valley garage, DriveSavers has become one of the top data recovery companies in the world—with a track record of rescuing data from hard drives that have been through warehouse fires, bus crashes, and even several days at the bottom of the Amazon River.
Given the nature of DriveSavers' business, the company must worry about not only the security of its own applications, but also the rescued customer data that resides on its network—much of which is highly sensitive data.
"We save e-mail servers, databases, and proprietary information for companies that are developing new product lines," says Hall, director of PC engineering for DriveSavers. "We need to be able to say with 100 percent confidence that we can protect that information."
The need for strong, verifiable security has grown as DriveSavers has taken on more large corporate and financial customers. The company needed a network security solution that not only provided solid protection for its clients' most important business information, but was easy to manage. The solution would also need to protect its employee desktop and laptop computers against viruses and other threats—whether they were working in the office or from home.
DriveSavers had long relied on Cisco Premier Certified Partner, HEIT Consulting, Inc., to provide managed security services, and once again turned to its trusted advisor. The firm recommended installing new Cisco security solutions as part of a complete managed security service provided by HEIT.
The new Cisco network lets DriveSavers provide strong protection against viruses and other network threats. And if a new threat appears, the intelligent system can protect DriveSavers before damage is done.
"The self-defending capabilities of this network are a huge advantage for us," says Hall. "We had virus protection, but I was always concerned about a new virus hitting us before our antivirus vendors came up with a patch. Now, any strange behavior is blocked—even if it is unidentified."
If there is an intrusion on an employee's network PC, the PC automatically alerts the rest of the network, and the network proactively stops it.
"Most of the solutions out there will detect an intrusion, but then we would have to go in and manually make a change or figure out what is happening," says Dan Holt, principal consultant for HEIT. "The Cisco Self-Defending Network protects itself. It provides preventive, rather than reactive security."
Having a single, complete security solution helps DriveSavers better track and manage network security issues. Automating these time-consuming management tasks frees DriveSavers employees to focus on other business issues.
"Everything that we have deployed has saved us a tremendous amount of time," says Hall. "For me personally, I would say these solutions save me a day and a half a week, or about a week's worth of work every month. I think that is probably a conservative estimate."
At the heart of DriveSavers' Cisco Self-Defending Network is a Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliance. The solution replaces the company's separate security devices with one network appliance that provides firewall and intrusion prevention system (IPS) services. Firewall protection allows valid business traffic to flow through the network, while keeping out unwelcome visitors.
The Cisco ASA also includes a built-in IPS that protects the DriveSavers network against threats like application and operating system vulnerabilities, directed attacks, worms, and other harmful applications
DriveSavers employees also use the virtual private network (VPN) technology in the Cisco ASA to stay productive outside the office. With a secure VPN connection, employees can work from home or on the road as safely and easily as if they were at their desks.
"Having multiple solutions in a single platform is a major advantage, both for us and for DriveSavers," says Holt. "It is easier to manage, takes up less rack space, and costs a lot less. If we were to deploy separate firewalls, IPS solutions, and VPN concentrators, we would be looking at probably double or even triple the cost."
With a secure Cisco network in place, DriveSavers can give customers and its own employees the peace of mind in knowing that their key business data is always protected.
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