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The Worshipful Company of Innholders is one of the City of London’s ancient Livery Companies. It was formed in 1514 and continues to trade to the current day. Its current hall in the City of London was re-built in 1670 after the Great Fire, which always provides a challenge to modern IT systems. A significant part of the Company’s activity is charitable grant giving, specifically focused on promoting education and funding linked to its original trade (Hospitality), the Young and the Elderly as well as other areas such as the Armed Forces and wider education. The Hall is also a commercial venue used by many external organisations. For both of these reasons the internal security and resilience of its networks is vital.
To support its activities, the Company is required to hold a high amount of secure client data on servers and endpoints. With recent increases in the number of ransomware attacks and other cyber security threats to organisations of all kinds, the Company began a project to upgrade its cybersecurity protection measures.
Having used Sophos Endpoint Protection Advanced for several years, the Worshipful Company of Innholders were approaching a renewal in their 5-year old licenses. Given the driver to galvanise its cyber security presence, the IT team selected Sophos Central Intercept X Advanced (CIXA) to provide end-to-end protection for its servers and endpoints.
The main drivers to upgrade to Sophos CIXA were to also take advantage of the Exploit Prevention, ransomware prevention and safe browsing features.
The CIXA solution is based in the Sophos cloud, which enables it to be centrally managed from the Sophos Central platform. This means that the Company’s IT team are able to reduce admin and maintenance time compared to the legacy licenses that resided in an on-premise solution.
As well as reduced admin burden and the convenience of a single console for managing endpoint and server security, the commercial model is also a favourable one for the customer. With the new licensing model, the company can benefit from a flexibly priced cloud-hosted solution that can be scaled up or down as the needs of the business change. Without an inflexible annual renewal model, license numbers can be added or subtracted depending on the number of users, devices or servers to be protected.
Another key benefit of migrating to Sophos CIXA is that the Company has also been able to seamlessly upgrade its firewall functionality. Sophos’ Synchronised Security functionality can be achieved by pairing CIXA with the Sophos XG Firewall. This new arrangement has replaced the previous firewall solution which consisted of an end of life router and firewall combination that did not offer full end-to-end protection.
The Synchronised Security arrangement has been configured to enable information to be passed bilaterally between CIXA and the XG Firewall, meaning that responses to security breaches are automatic and instantaneous. Because of this, any devices that become affected by a ransomware or malware attack can be isolated from any other traffic going into or out of that machine. Full quarantine of the machine is achieved in approximately 8 seconds, and an automated clean-up exercise is carried out before the malware can cause further damage.
By comparison, this process would have taken around 2 hours to achieve with the Company’s previous legacy system. Not only would this work have been manual and time consuming, but the malware would not be contained for the entire time with the result being potentially high levels of data loss and reputational damage to the organisation.
ABOUT THE CUSTOMER
Livery companies were originally established to protect the quality of the product or service offered to the public, whilst ensuring the trade’s workforce received fair wages, appropriate clothing, tools and training to do their job. Livery companies also provided friendship and welfare assistance when trade workers fell on hard times. Vital elements of today’s livery companies include charity and education (patronage), promoting trade and providing fellowship. The Worshipful Company of Innholders retains its historic links with the hospitality industry to the present day.
“The Sophos Synchronised Security solution has not only reinforced our cyber security defences for the modern era, but it has also saved our IT team a potentially large amount of administration time in the event of a cyber attack. As a charitable organisation we have to ensure that our members and customers’ data is looked after in the most secure manner, and the Sophos solution with PAV’s expert help has achieved this for us”.
Worshipful Company of Innholders