Protecting Staff in a Perimeter-Free World

Company: Veramed

Industry:
Pharmaceutical Research

Solution:
Web Security and Cloud Application Security (CASB)

Protect clients, staff, and information with greater insight into web and cloud usage, proactively defend a cloud only business and support compliance with international security standards

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Mark JonesAssociate Director, IT
 
Veramed is a contract research organisation operating in the pharmaceutical industry. It provides statistical analysis for clients running clinical trials, growing to 275 employees in the last 10 years with offices in the UK, Ukraine, US, and several other locations.

Founded at the start of the cloud boom, Veramed had never had on-premise servers or traditional perimeter security. However, for businesses without their own perimeter, monitoring and protecting staff can be tricky. This was the challenge that faced Veramed’s IT team.

How to secure and monitor in a cloud-only world?

Veramed needed a cloud-based solution to keep staff safe from malware and inappropriate sites. At the same time, it needed to formalise its security as it continued to grow – reassuring customers that it was operating in line with stringent standards, such as ISO 27001. 

In particular, Veramed needed to be able to improve its monitoring capabilities by strengthening its awareness of staff behaviour. By doing so, it could address any issues and provide users with education on safe, secure IT usage. This would enable Veramed to embed security throughoutthe organisation from new starters right up to the CEO.

Head and shoulders above the rest

To address these immediate needs, Veramed searched for a new web security provider. After being introduced to Censornet through reseller, Qual, part of the attraction was Censornet’s ability to fold its cloud security (CASB) into its web security offering, effectively extending monitoring and security abilities to key business apps.

As Mark Jones recalls: ‘During the procurement process, Censornet was head and shoulders above the rest. They clearly have a well-thought-through product and unlike other products on the market, it has been designed to run in the cloud, rather than adapted for it.

‘The interface is nice and slick, but the fact that it was integrated was key given our limited resources. You wouldn’t know web and CASB were two separate products: the interfaces sit naturally together, feed each other information, and are easy to use.’

More intelligence, more proactivity

The benefits for Veramed have been immediate and obvious, as Mark goes on to explain.

‘Put simply, we can now understand what people are doing! We always had IT security policies, but we didn’t have a way of monitoring them to ensure we were keeping people, information, and clients safe. Now, with Censornet, we can understand what cloud solutions our employees are using and why, spotting if staff are using an unauthorised, potentially dangerous app and taking appropriate action.

 ‘It’s not about being a helicopter parent, stopping people from doing things, but understanding what’s happening in the business – having the intelligence to act when necessary and standardise our security operations so we can start to boost our compliance with the ISO 271001 framework.’

‘Above all, this deployment means we can now be more proactive in stopping threats, for example, detecting malware before it gets to devices rather than dealing with problems after they’ve taken hold.’ 

Up and running within minutes

Veramed’s Censornet deployment went live to nearly 300 users in mid-2022, and in Mark’s words, ‘it was an incredibly straightforward roll-out process, perfectly tailored to our needs. 

‘The implementation process involved a call that lasted 20 minutes, and then we were largely up and running on the first device. As we rolled out to other devices, Censornet made it very simple. 

‘Best of all, we didn’t have to send someone on hours of training before all this could happen. We can just log in and go – it’s so intuitive to use. But at the same time, the support at Censornet been brilliant. They always resolve any issues we have within a day or two, and we’ve been impressed with everyone we’ve worked with.’

Censornet hasn’t just been a success in the IT department, either. It’s gone down very well across the business – which isn’t always the case if security deployments are overly stringent and onerous. 

‘It’s really important to us that the solution has been so accepted by the business, something that was a big part of the success criteria for the project,’ concludes Mark. ’A large part of that is because Censornet is transparent to our users. It’s not slowing down their computers, as it’s not using a proxy. The whole platform is very well designed and carefully put together – and it’s enabling us to protect our business more effectively as we continue to evolve.’

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