Escorts Limited is one of India’s leading engineering conglomerates, operating in the high growth sectors of agri machinery, construction, material handling equipment, and railway equipment. Since its founding in 1944, Escorts Limited has been associated with global engineering companies such as Ford Motor Company, J.C. Bamford Excavators, Yamaha, Claas, and Jeumont Schneider and many other world class organizations. With over one million tractors in the fields in India, 16,000 construction and material handling units, and five million automobile components manufactured to date, Escorts Limited is a premiere company with enterprise-level data security requirements.
As a global organization, Escorts Limited has data stored in many channels. Vipin Kumar, Group CIO at Escorts Limited, has been with the company for many years and manages its IT landscape including global data infrastructure and information security.
Escorts Limited has a very large indigenous R&D setup where new product design evolves. In order to prevent any kind of data leakage, Escorts Limited implemented an award winning DLP project to make sure that its Intellectual Property (IP) and all business critical information were well protected. Kumar himself has won many IT awards for the DLP project and has present the success story of implementing the DLP solution at leading IT forums such as Gartner. The following case study explains the process Kumar and his team took to achieve their success.
Escorts Limited has an extensive R&D base that generates a large volume of in-house IP in the form of blueprints and designs for engines, transmissions and machines like: tractors, cranes, backhoe loaders, compactors and equipment used in railways. It also does a great deal of business with some of the leading manufacturers, worldwide, thereby creating even more IP that must be protected globally.
Audits on the network found critical data lying in servers, work stations, laptops, and desktops in multiple formats which needed to be secured and protected.
With a global marketing and sales force that is largely mobile, securing access to IP on and off the official network was the key challenge for Escorts Limited.
“The mobile worker continually travels globally on and off our corporate network. This is among the prime reasons why we have to ensure that our IP and data is protected.”
Securing the data had been a significant area of interest to Escorts Limited. The objective being the prevention of any risk of leakage of data-at-rest, data-in-motion, and data-in-use. This is when Escorts Limited started evaluating Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions of various organizations.
Kumar made his case for the need of a DLP solution to the executive team at Escorts Limited because, as Kumar put it, a solution of this nature requires a complete buy in by the top management before it can be rolled out. It was going to create a major change within the organization and Kumar needed to make sure everyone on his team was prepared for that.
Once the benefits of a DLP solution were understood by the senior management team at Escorts Limited, they advocated for the project and became the project’s core sponsors.
From there, Kumar and his team were able to conduct a total evaluation of multiple solutions in the market which included Forcepoint, Symantec, and RSA on various parameters. Parameters included the blocking of IP transfer, cost, feature scalability, product roadmaps, ease of use, and whether or not the solution had any predefined industry standards which could be managed easily for swift deployment.
Based on these thorough evaluations and a Proof of Concept (POC) with all three vendors, Escorts Limited found that Forcepoint DLP met all its requirements.
Forcepoint DLP gives Escorts Limited the tools to protect its sensitive data wherever it lives — on endpoints, servers, in the Cloud or on-premises. Its powerful DLP functionality and other features help secure financial records, intellectual property, personally identifying information (PII) and other sensitive data, while a user-friendly wizard makes it easy to deploy and manage the solution.
To secure data, you must be able to find it wherever it resides. Using the Forcepoint DLP Discover part of the solution, Kumar and his team were able to detect and secure data-at-rest, data-in-motion, and data-in-use across the Escorts Limited network.
With the addition of Forcepoint DLP Endpoint, the power of data protection and discovery can be extended to MacOS® and Microsoft Windows® endpoints on and off the official network.
When making the selection for a security partner, Kumar needed a company that would be entirely focused on his security requirements for Escorts Limited. He reported, after an evaluation of the “big names” in the industry, security was, typically, not the primary focus at these companies. After a deeper evaluation while also scanning the market and getting a general consensus, Escorts Limited selected ACPL Systems.
“We thought we would go with a company that has made security its bread and butter and would have deep insights and knowledge of the subject. After detailed evaluation, we selected ACPL based on that criteria.”
ACPL worked alongside Forcepoint and the IT team at Escorts Limited to assist the user base of the organization for implementing the DLP solution.
ACPL installed the security software Klassify. Klassify operates in such a manner that a user is required to “classify” whether an email and/or particular data is confidential, for internal use, or whether it is for public use.
In the process of the user classifying the information, the customizable Forcepoint data policies will take precedence.
The moment the user sends the information, the email/data connects to the DLP engine, which then immediately scans the information and declares it either appropriate for sharing or it will not deliver the information.
The advantage of Klassify and the Forcepoint DLP solution working together helped users become aware of what kind of information they were using and transmitting.
“Once our users became aware that the kind of data they were carrying on their endpoint was sensitive, they started protecting that data more vigorously.”
Every bit of Escorts Limited data that’s on any endpoint passes through Klassify’s data classification for internal usage, public usage, or highly sensitive IP.
After the data is classified, policies are created in Forcepoint DLP to ensure rightful treatment of data based on its sensitivity. This is extremely important from a DLP perspective.
Shortly after implementing and fine-tuning the policies in the Forcepoint DLP solution, Kumar and his team noticed a “drastic” decrease in the number of false positives recorded in a given week. It was then that Escorts Limited ran a series of audits to ensure that the policies created in the DLP solution were working effectively.
“With our team and Forcepoint, we fine-tuned our data classification policies which resulted in the number [of false positives] getting drastically reduced.”
Kumar and his team now allow users to travel on and off the corporate network freely, without the worry of increasing the number of false positives or the risk of data leakage.
According to Vishal Bindra, CEO of ACPL Systems, Forcepoint, working with ACPL and Klassify, has brought a certain level of maturity into the Escorts Limited security landscape.
They are now well prepared to prevent leakage of critical data as all the data-at-rest, -in-use and -in-motion is scanned before transmitting.
“The Forcepoint DLP product works effectively with Klassify. I would say that Escorts Limited is a model for everyone who has a need for data classification and protecting their IP from getting leaked.”
— Vishal Bindra, CEO, ACPL Systems
In terms of Forcepoint’s support team, after the first year of implementing the solution, Kumar requested Forcepoint to run another audit on the Escort Limited’s network. Forcepoint was able to do so which further enhanced the product value for Escorts Limited. According to Kumar, whatever minor issues were found in the system were fixed immediately.
“Since the project was implemented, there is strong visibility of our organization within Forcepoint. Most of the Forcepoint leadership team is well known to us. As far as product support is concerned, it has been really good.”
Recently, Kumar has been in touch with the leadership team at Forcepoint to explore the deployment of the Forcepoint Next Generation Firewall.
Escorts Limited has relied on Forcepoint security solutions since 2013.