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Amiad Water Systems Teams Up with Forcepoint to Safeguard Critical IP and a Newly Remote Workforce

The Israeli water treatment and filtration leader protects its innovative IP and sensitive data against phishing attacks and malware infections while supporting a newly necessary remote workforce with Forcepoint Web and Email Security Cloud.

Farmland

Secteur

Production

Headquarters

Israël

Amiad Water Systems is a world leader in water treatment and filtration solutions. Headquartered in Israel and with subsidiaries in several additional countries, the company must safeguard its global ERP system and valuable corporate IP as it moves more back-office operations to the cloud. At the same time, it faces the challenge of supporting first-time work from home users during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amiad’s cybersecurity team relies on Forcepoint Web and Email Security Cloud to filter out and quarantine threats like phishing attacks and malware infections to keep its data safe and secure.

Challenges

  • Provide centrally manageable web and email protection with  automated processes.
  • Counter phishing and malware threats with better detection and filtering.
  • Help support remote workers quickly and effectively during an unexpected crisis. 

Approach

  • Deploy Forcepoint Web Security and Email Security Cloud with AMD.

Results

  • Implemented across eight countries in one day.
  • Achieved centrally managed, automated web and email filtering to counter phishing and malware threats.
  • Provided crucial tools and solutions for cybersecurity team coping with sudden need to support and secure a remote workforce.
  • Up to 40% reduction in risky web activities. 

Amiad Water Systems has been developing water filtration systems for more than half a century, serving customers in the industrial, municipal, irrigation, oil & gas, and domestic use segments. Emerging from Kibbutz Ami’ad, founded in 1946 by Hanoar Haoved youth movement graduates in northern Israel, the company takes on challenges with imagination and energy. This approach includes the safeguarding of its data, people, and systems, which Amiad does with the help of Forcepoint Web Security and Email Security.

Every Amiad water filtration system is built for efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability and is backed by the company’s commitment to excellence and dedication to customer service. The company’s water filtration products process millions of cubic meters of water per month around the world. Amiad operates seven international manufacturing centers in addition to its headquarters and R&D center in Israel, while supporting subsidiaries in the EU, Australia, China, India, Mexico, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The global scope of the company’s operations puts pressure on its cybersecurity team to maintain the best possible security levels across disparate geographies. In addition to safeguarding Amiad’s users and systems against threats such as phishing attacks and malware, the team is responsible for protecting Amiad’s sensitive business data and its proprietary IP, which the company regularly develops and enhances with new, innovative products like its best-selling Mini Sigma and Sigma Pro Series and the innovative ADI-P controller. 

Web and email protection, done automatically

Amiad maintains a global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to manage core business activities like inventory tracking, order processing, orders, purchasing, sales, payroll, and accounting. The company has been moving more of its back-office operations to the cloud with applications like Office 365 and cloud-based CRM, which interact with Amiad’s ERP system and must be protected with the best available cybersecurity solutions.

Prior to partnering with Forcepoint, Amiad was experiencing phishing attacks and attempted malware-based infiltrations of its IT network and systems via web and email. The company needed a solution that could be centrally managed and would lighten the administrative load with more automated functionality and a reduction in false positives.

“We have 350 users in Israel and about 150 located outside the country,” said Liran Shkolnik, IT Infrastructure & InfoSec Manager at Amiad Water Systems. “We needed to get much better visibility into what people were doing on their devices and on the network, no matter where in the world they were.”

Amiad had Forcepoint undertake a Proof of Concept (PoC) for Forcepoint Web Security Cloud and Forcepoint Email Security Cloud with Advanced Malware Detection (AMD). During the PoC, Forcepoint was able to automatically identify numerous phishing attacks with AMD and protect vulnerable systems from malware with sandboxing, greatly reducing time spent addressing such threats by hand, Shkolnik said.

A global pandemic stretches cybersecurity resources thin

The successful deployment of Forcepoint solutions would have been a welcome result for Amiad all by itself. The company was happy with Forcepoint’s cloud-based solutions featuring a centralized, easy-to-use management console and customizable policies that automate much of the web and email filtering process. The quick roll out of the cloud-based solution was also a positive. “It was very fast – we were able to implement it in seven or eight different countries in one day,” Shkolnik said. 

And that proved to be crucial when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“Coronavirus has added a lot of challenges for us from the IT side. Some of our users are working from home now. They’re all over the world, meaning we have to maintain security for user activity 24 hours a day. And they’re working on unprotected home networks where neighbors might know their WiFi passwords, so it’s really important that we do our jobs correctly,” Shkolnik said.

Amiad’s situation is certainly not unique—companies are being forced to support remote workers in ways they never anticipated before the pandemic shut down offices and made social distancing and sheltering-in-place mandatory in many countries. For an idea of how dramatic this shift has been, Shkolnik has gone from supporting just five to 10 remote users per week to scrambling to process, service, and close dozens of Help Desk tickets generated by remote users each day.

“Before Coronavirus, the most people did was check email at home before or after working in the office,” Shkolnik said. “Now everybody is work-from-home and a lot of them need support as this is new for them. They are not aware of the security risks of doing personal activities, such as watching a movie, on their work computers.”

Amiad finds visibility and support from a global partner

Amiad leaned on Forcepoint to assist with all of the new cybersecurity challenges it was facing. For example, Web Security was a big help in preventing risky behavior by remote users like trying to visit dangerous websites, Shkolnik said. “30-40% of the risky activities we saw before are no longer allowed to happen.” 

The additional visibility via the solution’s security management reports also helps Shkolnik demonstrate the value to management. “They can see results so they see what they’re paying for.” 

Forcepoint’s integrated platform, which provides a single management interface for solutions from Email Security to Web Security to the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Amiad is testing out now, will allow the company to efficiently expand its security as needed. “Having everything in one place makes it the perfect product,” Shkolnik said.  

“When we started evaluating our options, we realized Forcepoint provided an advanced solution with global coverage,” Shkolnik said. “What we did not expect was the outstanding support we received—from the initial sales team through to implementation to technical support to the product itself. I was never disappointed.”  

Amiad Water Systems

Manufacturer of water filtration systems and solutions for agriculture, industry, and  domestic use.