Protecting the protector

Historically, the demand for IT security began with the traditional markets of government and finance. Recently this has evolved to include a much wider variety of market sectors. While the motivations may have a different emphasis, the requirement remains unchanged: to protect the growing needs of the enterprise and its adapting mobile workforce.

Reckitt Benckiser is no exception. Like many other companies, it has seen an increase in the mobilisation of its global workforce, coupled with the need to provide productivity tools to meet its needs.

Reckitt Benckisers products are instantly recognisable in cleaning, and protecting the health and homes of millions of people around the world. Opening a cupboard in the kitchen or turning on a television unleashes its brands, such as Finish, Vanish, Dettol and Gaviscon to name but a few.

The job
Being world number one in household cleaning, Reckitt Benckiser is very clear in its mind about what its protecting. To maintain this leading position, its vital that Reckitt Benckiser stays ahead of its competitors. It does this through constantly researching and developing its product offering.

Reckitt Benckisers strength lies in its ingenuity, R&D and marketing plans. There is a risk of exposure through misplaced or stolen laptops. This combination is the motivator behind Reckitt Benckiser pro-actively protecting its innovations and ideas by continuously monitoring and improving its security policies and defences.

As a Company we take security very seriously its a board-level issue. As part of our ongoing security audit, we have invested heavily in securing the network, Ahmed Hasan, Global Service Delivery and Infrastructure Manager of Reckitt Benckiser explains. However, its not only the network at risk, we realise the laptops and PDAs are a potential chink in our armour. We were concerned that these could be targeted, not only for the information stored on them, but used as a possible gateway to the corporate network.

The project
Reckitt Benckiser prides itself on its ability to fully identify its requirements, source the best product available, then manage and roll-out the solution rapidly and cost effectively. This cornerstone of its philosophy ensures high-user acceptance.

Before a project commences within Reckitt Benckiser, the project plans are approved by senior management. This ensures that the budget is in place and that all involved are clear and agree the timescales and resources needed to meet these commitments.

Jackie Groves, managing director of Utimaco, adds: Reckitt Benckiser has an impressive record for delivering projects on time, every time and within budget. This attention to detail was evident right at the start of the relationship.

This project was no exception and the bar was set at a very early stage. The brief demanded a cost-effective solution, both in terms of purchase price and ongoing administration cost. Reckitt Benckiser never allows its technical teams to be sold solutions that have lots of additional features unless required.

The timeframe
As the laptops and PDAs were identified as a potential security risk, the longer they remained unprotected the greater the risk they posed. Combined with Reckitt Benckisers belief that strict project management delivers cost savings to the business, a firm timetable was agreed upon.

For this project, the team was given three months to choose a solution, implement a pilot and complete contractual discussions with the successful vendor. We were then given a further three months to complete a global deployment, Hasan confirms. Its a credit to Utimaco that theyre able to match Reckitt Benckisers enthusiasm and dedication, ensuring this projects timely completion.

The options
Reckitt Benckiser defined the scope of the project and researched all possible solutions. From this a detailed project plan was compiled, audited and approved giving the senior management and mobile workforce top priority.

Included in the evaluation was full hard disk encryption, volume encryption, the addition of tokens or file and folder encryption.

From the alternatives available, Reckitt Benckiser decided that enforced full hard disk encryption would best address its needs of providing a simple solution to implement and manage, that removed the decision from the end-user, giving the security team full control, ensuring complete protection.

The test
As part of its standard procedures, Reckitt Benckiser has developed a structured process, in accordance with BS 7799, to follow during product tests. As part of this practice, all short-listed products are tested against existing infrastructures and deployment mechanisms to ensure their complete compatibility.

A sample of users were taken from each of the affected Reckitt Benckiser regions and user groups to form a test bed, an important aspect of the process with a dual role to ensure all environments are evaluated and potential problems addressed prior to full implementation; and to aid adoption to the project from all parties concerned resulting in a high-level of early acceptance when the project went live.

The Winner Is
On completion of the extensive tests, Reckitt Benckiser identified Utimacos SafeGuard Easy to provide the hard disk encryption solution for its laptops, backed-up by SafeGuard PDA for deployment across all PDAs.

Hasan clarifies: SafeGuard Easy hard disk encryption has a reputation as an effective, secure and easily-maintained solution and our testing process verified this. Central administration, identified as one of the key criteria to the success of this project, was found to be simple. The ability to enforce the two stage authentication provides us with peace of mind. The new functions of Easy 4.10 further extends the product areas application enabling us to take advantage of technology developments, such as compatibility with IBMs Rescue and Recovery.

The inventive authentication offering of SafeGuard PDA provides optimal user convenience, while the centrally enforceable security policy again ensures our users arent able to personalise the settings that we need to maintain control over even if not appreciated to ensure compliance and therefore complete protection.

We believe weve invested in the right product for the job because the testing proves it.

The Deployment
Once the choice was made, a very fast conclusion to contract discussions was vital to keep within the timescales of the original plan, which, as Utimaco had come to expect of Reckitt Benckiser, was achieved. As a result of such thorough preparation, deployment was fast and simple with unattended installation achieved for 98 per cent of the population. Two per cent had some minor issues that required intervention and were quickly resolved.

Prior experience has taught us that clustered support desks in each of the countries helps provide on-the-spot support as well as overcome language barriers, adds Groves. Reckitt Benckiser was actively receptive to our advice, resulting in fast solutions and a hassle-free smooth deployment.

The Result
By researching the market, selecting the best solution, phasing the implementation, evaluating progress at every stage, eliminating issues as they arose, closely monitoring the project and working in partnership, Reckitt Benckiser has a scalable flexible solution, delivered by Utimaco Safeware, on time and within budget.

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