Merkur Druck AG banks on the Cisco Umbrella cloud security solution

The starting point

The requirement: Transparent data traffic, quick identification of anomalies and low administration costs

The threat of encryption Trojans is rising and risks on the internet are continuously increasing. This caused Merkur Druck AG to upgrade its ICT security system. A tool was needed that creates transparency of data traffic in the corporate network. This would facilitate the fast and easy detection of anomalies, and the immediate isolation of the effected devices. It should be as easy as possible to integrate the solution into the network infrastructure while minimising administrative costs for the operation of the solution.

The challenge

Maximum availability despite increased security and associated restrictions

The need for greater security and the associated restrictions in internet use conflicts with the requirement of maximum availability for data exchange with customers and partners. For instance, internet connections critical for business must not be compromised by the added protection at any time. Moreover, the solution must be capable of protecting mobile devices (such as laptops) from threats on the internet while these are outside of the company LAN. Finally, existing privacy policies must be observed when logging internet access.

The solution

With Cisco Umbrella, the requirements could be mapped in the existing network infrastructure in minimal time. It creates the required transparency, increases the security level for the corporate network without necessitating fundamental changes to the existing systems, and can be administered without special security knowledge independent from location.

»The detailed and competent presentation of the solution by a&f convinced us that Cisco Umbrella is the right solution for us to make our data traffic with the internet more secure.«
Dario Schaumburg, Umbrella Project Member, Merkur Druck AG

Reaching the goal in four steps

1.     Definition of the scope of protection

For example: How far should protection go? Which website categories should no longer be accessible in the future? In cooperation with the company management, internet usage guidelines were prepared and communicated to the staff.

2.     Selection of the implementation variant

Cisco Umbrella offers a great range of implementation variants. These primarily differ in the granularity of the filter functions and the level of detail in the log files. Merkur Druck AG decided on the highest upgrade of Cisco Umbrella. This was because the unambiguous traceability of a security incident had priority and the protection mechanisms should also apply for mobile work devices.

3.     Step-by-step activation of the protection mechanism

Once the rules are defined and the surrounding systems (virtual appliances, AD integration & Umbrella Security Client) are configured, activation of the defined security level can commence. 

Again, this reflects the great flexibility of Cisco Umbrella: The filter function need not be activated in one strike for the entire company, but can be connected step-by-step. 

This allowed Merkur Druck AG to test the defined restriction on a small user group first and make any corrections if necessary. Cisco Umbrella was only rolled out to the rest of the business afterwards.

»Thanks to the detailed statistics, we were able to identify a workstation in our network that was infected with malware after only a few days. We would not have detected this in the foreseeable future otherwise.«
Dario Schaumburg, Umbrella Project Member, Merkur Druck AG

4.     Fine-tuning the filter functions

Even with the greatest care, legitimate web contents may be blocked accidently when Cisco Umbrella is activated. In such event, the Merkur Druck AG IT administrators can maintain their own whitelist. This ensures that web services critical to business remain available irrespective of their category without having to contact a&f.

The Cisco Umbrella cloud security solution: Now, Merkur Druck AG can

  • detect anomalies in the network traffic early and identify affected systems unambiguously,
  • prevent connection to malicious websites and block access to pornographic websites, as well as websites with questionable content or high bandwidth requirements,
  • customise levels of protection for certain areas, groups or users,
  • autonomously maintain whitelists and blacklists,
  • securely operate mobile work devices (such as laptops), including outside of the company LAN,
  • order automated reports on suspicious network activities, as well as general trends and developments in the use of the internet connections.
»Based on our positive experiences with the extensive functional scope and the easy and clear operation, we would recommend Cisco Umbrella/OpenDNS anytime.«
Dario Schaumburg, Umbrella Project Member, Merkur Druck AG

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Philippe Lindegger, CEO, Head of System Engineering, Co-Owner
Philippe
Lindegger
CEO & Co-Owner, Head of System Engineering
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