Informa provides businesses, professionals, and academics around the world with knowledge, up-tothe- minute information, and highly specialized skills and services. The company operates more than 10,000 conferences annually and offers structured databases, subscription-based services, real-time news and book, journal, and newsletter publishing services for various industries, including healthcare, telecommunications, energy, trade, commodities, and agriculture. Through these products and associated consulting services, Informa provides information that decision makers need in more than 40 countries.
Informa engages in massive amounts of electronic communication. The web and email are among the primary sources for the research required to populate its knowledge base and act as the primary vehicles for delivering products and services to customers. Like any company in the information business, Informa knows that intellectual property that is lost or stolen is income it will never see. Protecting credit card numbers and other personal information for clients is a priority at Informa for both customer satisfaction and to comply with PCI DSS regulations. Malware allowed into the infrastructure threatens customer satisfaction and hurts employee productivity.
To protect its vital electronic communication channels and the IT infrastructure behind them, Informa maintains an extensive electronic security arsenal—and to unify and integrate this protection, the company relies on McAfee.
Scattered Solutions Leave Openings for Malware
Informa began its move to McAfee several years ago to heighten security measures and increase control while conserving costs. “In the past we had several security products from multiple vendors, including Symantec, in many places,” says Joseph Antony, head of IT services and support for the company’s Asia- Pacific (APAC) region. “Anybody could go out and buy whatever they wanted. There was no way for us to know whether a particular office had a particular form of protection in place. For one thing, this made PCI DSS reporting an arduous challenge. Even more importantly, it left us exposed to malware that could seriously disrupt our business.”
Fortunately Informa was not experiencing any serious disruption to its business because of malware, but pop-ups, spam, and isolated virus outbreaks were sapping employee productivity. “With holes throughout our security infrastructure, it was not too difficult for malware to creep in,” Joseph Antony explains. “We wanted solid coverage throughout the network not just to stop the potential security issues but to prevent ourselves from being exposed to something really serious risks in the future.”
By no means was Informa skimping on costs. “On the contrary,” states Joseph Antony, “between the prices we were paying our vendors and our internal costs, trying to manage such a decentralized security network, we were spending entirely too much money on security.”
APAC and UK, EMEA Come Together on Choice of McAfee
Informa knew that standardizing on a single security vendor was the solution, but it also knew that selecting the right vendor was crucial. The company’s European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) region was experiencing the same challenges, so both APAC and EMEA teamed up to identify a solution that would satisfy all their needs. The UK team already had a McAfee deployment in their environment. “We held many meetings to evaluate our options,” Joseph Antony recalls. “Of course, Symantec was a candidate since we had so much of its software in place in the US, but the more we looked at McAfee, the more we realized its advantages. McAfee software takes less time to set up, its rules and policies are simpler to put in place, and its centralized administration makes it much easier to achieve our number one goal—truly taking control of security.”
“The products fit the needs of our business, the rollouts are smooth, and the pricing is very fair. Most importantly, having McAfee in place gives us the feeling that we are truly in control of our security position.”Joseph Antony
Head of IT APAC Services and Support, Informa
Over time, the consensus overwhelmingly moved to McAfee. “Everyone started agreeing that McAfee was not only the best fit technically, but also from a budgetary point of view. McAfee’s prices are reasonable and with single-console control over its entire comprehensive suite, our internal costs are minimized at the same time. In the end, it was a nearly unanimous decision to go with McAfee throughout APAC and EMEA to be in line with the UK deployment.”
Informa performed the implementation for the most part using only internal resources, but McAfee was always quick to provide support whenever it was needed. “We had a few occasions where we turned to McAfee for support, and it was excellent when we did need it,” Joseph Antony reports.
Informa Appreciates McAfee Bundling Policies
Informa began by implementing virus protection and added spyware protection later when McAfee bundled the two into the McAfee Endpoint Protection—Enterprise Edition suite. “McAfee realizes that spyware protection is a ‘must-have’ feature,” Joseph Antony comments. “The company made a smart decision bundling it in.” With endpoint protection from McAfee blanketing the network, the isolated virus outbreaks and popups ceased. “Our people are more productive as a result, and we have the peace of mind knowing we are protected.”
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator Software Makes for Smooth Rollouts
Another high priority for Informa was to protect against data loss via device-level blocking, so McAfee Host Data Loss Prevention and McAfee Device Control were next on the list. The company followed in short order by implementing McAfee Security for Email Servers to block the excessive spam its people had been receiving. “That solved our spam problem,” Joseph Antony summarizes succinctly.
All of these implementations went smoothly, according to Joseph Antony. “With McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator [McAfee ePO™] centralizing all administration, rolling out new solutions is straightforward,” he notes. “We have also performed several version upgrades, and they have all gone well too. With the McAfee ePO agent in place controlling all the other agents, you just keep rolling out new deployments. Having just one unified framework saves us a lot of effort.”
Centralized Management Means Centralized Control
Informa is far from finished protecting its network with McAfee solutions. It is currently testing McAfee Network Access Control, McAfee Endpoint Encryption, and McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention. The company has also licensed McAfee Policy Auditor for later evaluation.
Joseph Antony concludes by summarizing the most important points about McAfee in his experience. “The products fit the needs of our business, the rollouts are smooth, and the pricing is very fair. Most importantly, having McAfee in place gives us the feeling that we are truly in control of our security position.”