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Kiabi Expands Safely with Secure SD-WAN

Kiabi safeguards its global network of discount apparel stores and offices with Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN.

Woman shopping for a dress

Industry

Retail

Headquarters

France

Kiabi oversees more than 450 fully owned and franchised stores around the world, as well as operating offices, warehouses, and e-commerce websites. Linking all these properties’ networks securely is key to Kiabi’s success, especially when it comes to providing awardwinning customer service for its customers. The French retailer relies on Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN capabilities to secure its global IT network and enable quicker, more affordable connectivity solutions to bring new locations online.

Challenges

  • Secure a global SD-WAN connecting more than 450 remote locations.
  • Maintain consistent network service in different geographies.
  • Centralize management and control of network.

Approach

  • Deploy Forcepoint Secure SDWAN to Kiabi’s remote locations.

Results

  • Integrated SD-WAN configuration and monitoring.
  • Centralized management with real-time visibility and drag-and drop configuration makes policy changes and upgrades easier.
  • Network uptime and resilience improved.
  • Application-based traffic prioritization “that actually works.”
  • Strong Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) capabilities with integrated Quality of Service (QoS) controls for security policies.

Managing Expansion From All Angles

After founding the retailer in 1978, Patrick Mulliez grew the family-run retailer to over 450 fully owned and franchised outlets across the world. Along the way, its innovative approach to making designer-inspired fashion affordable for the average consumer would revolutionize the industry.

These days, Kiabi is finding its greatest efficiencies through technology – and more specifically, via a digital transformation of its business operations. The clothing retailer’s IT team headed by CTO Anthony Pierson in Lille, France manages a network connecting stores, offices, and warehouses around the world.

Kiabi is now in the later stages of this digital transformation to better compete in a challenging global market for affordable apparel. The retailer has hundreds of physical stores in France and its overseas territories, as well as dozens more franchised outlets across EMEA.

Each of these locations is unique in terms of connectivity, telecom prices, and security threats, so Kiabi wanted a network security solution that could assist in resolving those differences for more consistent network performance and to reduce costs.

The French Retailer had some other network security goals, including:

  • A unified, centrally managed network security solution.
  • To future-proof its network in anticipation of increased security needs.
  • The ability to comply with different data privacy regulations in various markets.

Building an Empire with a Secure Network

The approach Kiabi settled on was to build a Software- Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) for its global retail empire. Having worked with Forcepoint in the past, Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN was an easy choice for Pierson.

SD-WAN is a networking technology that uses software to make Wide Area Networks more cost-effective and flexible than ones that rely on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). It achieves this by connecting different geographical sites directly to the internet over whichever commodity broadband links are most appropriate and dependable in each location.

Configurations and access policies on SD-WANs are centrally managed and easily applied across all sites, removing the need to manually administer each WAN device regularly.

“We are a fast-growing company, and we need to bring new stores online as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible,” Pierson said.

“SD-WAN gives us that agility— it is very helpful for quickly delivering a connection between our data centers, our headquarters, and our stores. It offers better latency and better costs overall.”

Setting the Stage for Future Growth

Securing a SD-WAN on the scale of Kiabi’s required a network security solution built specifically for that purpose. Forcepoint’s Secure SD-WAN combines connectivity with security to manage every location with a single policy from a centralized console.

“We have had a very long and productive partnership with Forcepoint, and thanks to Forcepoint SD-WAN, we are able to connect our new stores very quickly and save some money doing it,” Pierson said. “The relationship has provided a great return on investment just in terms of efficiency and savings on operating costs.”

Kiabi has fully deployed Secure SD-WAN, leveraging the core networking and security capabilities to create a unified, centrally manageable network security solution. Load balancing reduces telecom bills and helps stores overcome connectivity issues, the cloud-based zero-touch deployment create a quicker and more cost-effective path to bringing new sites online, and the built-in security features like the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) delivers peace of mind that the network will remain secure.

Forcepoint Secure SD-WAN has helped Kiabi improve network uptime and resilience, protect its remote sites from internet-based phishing and malware attacks, and accelerate the performance of cloud apps.

In the long term, Kiabi anticipates taking on new liabilities as it extends its network security perimeter to include franchisees that currently run their own data security operations. The retailer will depend on Forcepoint to assist when that takes place.

“Right now, we don’t share all our customer data with our franchisees, but in the coming years we plan to extend our loyalty program to more of these franchise stores, which means we’ll need to partner with them on security and compliance,” Pierson said. “We think Forcepoint SD-WAN has helped us to future proof that scenario on the network side of things.”

Customer Profile

Kiabi is a global clothing retailer bringing quality fashion to customers at affordable prices. It operates worldwide in over 450 retail locations, as well as through e-commerce.