Express Newspapers is a Northern and Shell company with offices in London, Preston and Glasgow. Northern & Shell was founded in December 1974 with the vision of becoming a significant force in British and worldwide media. That ambition was developed through a broad portfolio of magazines and broadcast interests and came of age with the acquisitions of Express Newspapers in November 2000. Express Newspapers produces the national newspapers: Daily Star and Daily Express. In May 2015, Daily Express had an average daily circulation of 432,076. The company also produces the magazines Star, New!, and several in-house magazine supplements to the newspapers.
Steve Morris has been in the IT field and with Express Newspapers since 1975. Steve has had many roles since he first started with the company, including IT Security Manager for 18 years. His current position, one that he’s held for 12 years, as Network Manager requires him to manage all aspects of content security, firewalls, proxies, and web security applications.
“We’ve used Forcepoint since 1997 when we first purchased a Web Filtering solution. We go back a long way.”
— Steve Morris, Network Manager, Express Newspapers
As a market leader in media, Express Newspapers is always looking ahead to anticipate any opportunities presented by a rapidly shifting media landscape. Express was amongst the first to recognize that the introduction of social media to the internet would be the key to driving substantial business results in the future. The increasing business power of social media is evident by its growing role in converting and engaging audiences through a multitude of channels at home and at
Social media sites continue to prove to be crucial tools. However, as much as they can help promote and grow a business, they have the potential to do just as much harm. Social media services and websites provide cybercriminals with a large number of potential victims to steal information from and to create targeted pieces of malware. Steve and his team have certainly made it clear that with a proactive security approach to the introduction and evolution of social media, they could protect the company and its users.
“The big problem for us was the evolution of social media. Our initial approach was ‘no one needs that’ and ‘that’s stuff you do at home’ but the world changed under our feet. We have to be a lot more flexible, a lot more accepting of people connecting to certain sites.”
Social media is, as Steve put it, no longer a strictly “at home” tool. Cybercriminals are using social engineering tactics with business related themes and personal themes, phishing for victims to accidently download and share malicious content with co-workers.
Previously, Express had been running Forcepoint strictly as a content scanning solution. Web filtering and content scanning solutions held up just fine in the late 90’s.
“When we first connected to the internet and bought web browsing, back in the late 90s, we looked at Forcepoint as the only player in the market. We still consider Forcepoint a market leader.”
However, as the internet evolved, so did the level of cybercriminal attacks. In order to further protect its employees and assets, Express Newspapers needed a more advanced security solution. In 2006, after investigating and testing various vendors in the market, Steve and his team chose to remain with Forcepoint and upgrade to Forcepoint Web Security.
“Blue Coat has a great proxy solution, but it ultimately came down to the security solution itself. The Forcepoint security suite was a lot better than Blue Coat.”
Express Newspapers completed their Forcepoint Web Security migration within a few months and from there, the Forcepoint solution immediately began to show ROI.
“We immediately saw returns with Forcepoint. Sections of the company will have access to social media and others won’t. It’s easy to configure and it’s certainly very flexible. There’s not really a downside as far as we are concerned. It’s a win for us and we’ve always regarded it as such.”
Express Newspaper required the social media controls and the flexibility of configuration from Forcepoint Web Security which has continued to evolve ahead of cybercriminals and advanced threats. Forcepoint Web Security provided a comprehensive real-time, inline security solution that continues to protect them against advanced threats.
Express Newspapers has relied on Forcepoint security solutions since 1997.