The Challenge: A Single Network and Security Model
IT service providers need fast, secure connections between locations and customers to deliver digital services and keep the business running smoothly. Such was the case with TES, a Singapore-based IT lifecycle solutions provider specializing in IT equipment deployment, recycling, and disposal with data and brand protection. With nearly 40 sites in 20 countries and thousands of security conscious customers, TES’s security and communications challenges were great.
“Once we got to a certain size, we realized we had to implement higher levels of control, security, and protection than we had had when we were smaller,” says Stuart Hebron, Group Chief Information Officer for TES. “Our customers are constantly checking our security model to ensure it’s aligned with their model and compliance requirements.”
“We needed to become well connected, resilient, and able to function as a single global business, rather than a group of individual small businesses around the world.”
Adding to TES’s challenges were a number of mergers and acquisitions that brought in new networks, people, systems and software. “With our lean IT workforce, we sought a quick and easy way to integrate those sites under a consistent security and operational model,” says Hebron. “We needed to become well connected, resilient, and able to function as a single global business, rather than a group of individual small businesses around the world.”
TES Investigates SASE Solutions, Chooses Cato
The company looked at several solutions for WAN and security, but Cato was the one that fulfilled all its requirements. “Cato provided us an option to address many things, including security, connectivity, and network resilience, without having to invest significantly in other expensive technologies,” says Hebron. “All the things that were important to us were there.”
“Cato provided us an option to address many things, including security, connectivity, and network resilience, without having to invest significantly in other expensive technologies”
Cato was also the best deal overall. “Everyone says when it comes to good, quick, and cost efficient, you can only have two, but Cato gave us all three.”
Cato connects all global enterprise network resources — including branch locations, mobile users, and physical and cloud datacenters — into a single secure, global, cloud-native network service. With all WAN and Internet traffic consolidated in the cloud, Cato applies a suite of robust security services to protect all traffic, including anti-malware, next generation firewall, and IPS.
“Everyone says when it comes to good, quick, and cost efficient, you can only have two, but Cato gave us all three.”
Connecting a location to Cato is just a matter of installing a simple preconfigured Cato Socket appliance, which links automatically to the nearest of Cato’s more than 55 globally dispersed points of presence (PoPs). At the local PoP, Cato provides an onramp to its global backbone and security services. The backbone is not only privately managed for zero packet loss and 5 9’s uptime, it also has built in WAN optimization to dramatically improve throughput. Cato monitors network traffic and selects the optimum path for each packet across the Cato backbone. Mobile users run across the same backbone, benefiting from the same optimization features and improving remote access performance.
“With Cato, we could bring those new acquisitions in quickly without having to do deep dives into their security and network architectures.”
“We liked that we could use standard, conventional Internet access points at all of our sites, which saved a lot of money for us,” says Hebron. “With Cato, we could bring those new acquisitions in quickly without having to do deep dives into their security and network architectures.”
Deploying Cato to each of TES’s locations was easy as well. “Cato allowed us to roll out quickly but gradually,” says Hebron. “As COVID hit last year, we found we could literally ship a Cato socket to each location without anyone having to travel to the site, which made things much safer. Through the joys of mobile phone technology and cameras, we could then walk non-IT skilled employees through plugging the sockets into the network and then access and configure them from afar. The speed at which Cato delivered those devices and the ability to deploy them without an on-site specialist made such a huge difference, reinforcing security at a pace that exceeded our initial goals,” says Hebron. Initially Hebron wasn’t even sure TES could achieve its goals quickly with the lean team he had.
TES Goes Lean and Mean with Cato
Once it was deployed, Cato also made things easier with its single centralized management console for both networking and security. “We needed a solution that would let us monitor and manage our entire network with a small group of specialists,” says Hebron. “Cato delivered that.”
Combined network and network security management has also delivered the consistency the company needed across locations as a single global firm. “We have much better capabilities across our environment,” says Hebron, “while at the same we can address regional security concerns. Cato lets us make rapid changes to our overall security model. It also gives us online reporting, visibility across the network at any time at a single glance, and actionable value out of what we see on screen. Instead of just responding all the time we can see things coming.”
Support has been excellent as well, according to Hebron. “We’ve had nothing but good experiences. Cato has even helped us with other internal challenges outside of their environment.”
Cato has allowed TES to keep its IT workforce lean. “We haven’t had to add any people since we deployed Cato,” says Hebron, “and we’re actually considering ways to do more with the people we have.”
“We find that Cato helps us have better conversations with our clients,” says Hebron, “as it’s clear to them that we can achieve all their compliance goals. Audit processes are faster when they look at our internal security around data, brand, and IP protection.”
Customer acquisition and retention have gotten easier. “We find that Cato helps us have better conversations with our clients,” says Hebron, “as it’s clear to them that we can achieve all their compliance goals. Audit processes are faster when they look at our internal security around data, brand, and IP protection.”
Perhaps the best thing about deploying Cato: “Since deploying Cato in the past six months, I can tell you I sleep much better at night,” says Hebron. “The gray has started to slow,” he laughs, “and I feel as if I’m in a much better position with my role in the organization, which is to protect our customers and the business. It gives me more confidence when I’m with customers that we can actually do what we say.”