Validium is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) provider and psychological wellbeing consultancy that works in partnership with HR and OH professionals to prevent and overcome the stress, trauma and absence issues that can limit the ability of employees to perform.
Established in 1998, Validium is now an integral part of the culture of many successful businesses in the private, public and charity sectors, providing industry thought leadership, innovation, value for money and the highest quality standards. Validium is the only EAP provider worldwide with accreditation to ISO 9001 (Quality Management), ISO27001 (Information Security Management), ISO22301 (Business Continuity Management) and IIP Gold (Investors in People Gold) Standards.
The company’s previous security solution was not only high maintenance but was also not effectively catching all threats entering into Validium’s corporate network.
John Morton, Manager of Business Projects at Validium, oversees the implementation and deployment of all changes to the business related to IT and software development. With the previous solution, Morton and his team were tasked with applying frequent manual updates to the on premises solution previously used for mail filtering which, in his words, were “always frustrating.” Even then, updating the solution did not always guarantee an improvement. Fruitless updates led to frequent and time consuming roll-backs for the network.
In addition, false positives in quarantined emails and malicious activity required tedious, daily management from Validium’s entire Business Projects Department. Morton says that managing these false positives wasted valuable time and resources for the business, so the cost of the solution was significantly more in terms of the ongoing management requirement.
Finally, the most critical security challenge for the business came when it became the target of highly-advanced attacks. Validium experienced firsthand the severe effects of two crypto-ransomware attacks on its network within a few weeks of each other.
“The previous solution started to become unreliable in preventing sophisticated attacks where malicious code was embedded in attachments or URLs that were not being picked up as there was no sandboxing. In two instances we had issues with crypto-ransomware. Fortunately, due to our regular system back-ups we were able to quarantine network areas affected and restore, but undoubtedly these issues caused inconvenience for the business.”
These crypto-ransomware attacks made finding and deploying a new security solution Validium’s top priority. In order to minimize any future disruptions to the business and address all of the company’s challenges, the solution needed to be quick to deploy, low-maintenance, and highly effective in the detection and prevention of advanced threats.
Validium made sure to do its due diligence when evaluating the market for a security solution that would meet all of its needs. According to Morton, Validium sought out testimonials on peer-to-peer phone calls with current customers during its search. Morton and his team received good feedback from large enterprises in the petroleum, healthcare and nancial sectors. This evidence provided clear validation that Forcepoint provides a best-in-class cloud security solution with superior functionality and performance. A subsequent and successful proof of concept with Forcepoint Email Security Cloud and Web Security Cloud with Advanced Malware Detection confirmed its reputation in the market:
“When we demoed Forcepoint’s cloud options, the attractive thing was that we didn’t need to touch it. It’s upgraded and maintained on its own. We don’t have to do anything which is just fantastic.”
The Advanced Malware Detection offers simplicity by adding crucial sandboxing and threat identification technologies to Forcepoint deployments. In terms of the install, it was very straightforward, recalls Morton. It took him and his team only about a day and a half to configure the solution, with support from a Forcepoint partner.
“I can’t remember the last time an implementation went this smoothly or we got such immediate results from a solution. It worked like a dream straightaway.”
Validium benefits hugely from the scalable sandbox technology for cloud-based web and email security. With file sandboxing for Web Security, Validium can now monitor web traffic for real-time code analysis in a behavioral sandbox for advanced threat identification. In addition, sandboxing for Email Security intercepts attachments in real time for additional threat analysis in order to identify targeted attacks. This was especially important for Validium, because its two previous crypto-ransomware attacks had been executed via email attachments.
“There was executable code embedded in email attachments. With Forcepoint’s cloud sandboxing technology, the attachment is isolated in a controlled environment, scanned, opened, and executed before it ever hits our network.”
Forcepoint’s cloud security provided Validium with a solution that would ensure the identification and regulation of advanced threats such as crypto-ransomware—saving costly network maintenance and company resources to remediate an attack.
According to Morton, his managing director made a comment following the solution’s immediate success, telling him that “this is brilliant—we should have done this years ago.” John and his team at Validium could not agree more. With Forcepoint, security is something they don’t have to worry about anymore. Forcepoint security in the cloud is continously monitored, maintained and kept patched and up to date—no longer relying on manual, end-user labor.
“I was certainly expecting to have to do a lot more work on it on a daily basis, sorting through the quarantines but I just kind of leave it. It does what it does and is exceptionally low maintenance.”
False positives from an ineffective quarentine wastes time and business resources. After the deployment of Forcepoint, Morton and his team no longer recieve complaints from users saying they haven’t recieved an email because it’s been inaccurately quarantined.
“When I don’t get negative feedback from a user, that’s a good thing. It means the solution is working. Everyone wins.”
In terms of overall performance, Forcepoint is like night and day in comparison to Validium’s previous, on-premises security solution. Forcepoint Web Security Cloud and Email Security Cloud have radically reduced the threat of advanced, targeted attacks on Validium’s network with highly-accurate, behavioral sandboxing and real-time advanced threat identification.
“I can’t remember, since deployment, the last time a spam email or anything malicious got through to our network. Equally, there has not been anything caught and quarantined which should not have been. Brilliant performance.”
Validium has relied on Forcepoint security solutions since March of 2016.