Provide is a Community Interest Company (CIC); a type of company introduced by the UK government in 2005, designed specifically for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.
Operating from their head office in Colchester, Provide deliver a broad range of health and social care services across Essex and in Cambridgeshire (including Peterborough), Suffolk and Norfolk as well as in the London borough of Waltham Forest. They work from a variety of community settings such as community hospitals and clinics, schools, nursing homes and primary care settings, as well as within people’s homes. They deliver more than 40 services, including online services, to children, families and adults.
Provide have an income of approximately £67 million, employ more than 1,050 people and serve communities with a total population of more than 4.5 million people.
Provide are proud of the level of service they deliver to their customers. In order to continue to deliver this level of service, and in the wake of the WannaCry Ransomware attack in May 2017, Provide were acutely aware that they needed to shift the security posture of their core sites up a gear. The ransomware attack raised a number of flags within the organisation. Provide had to review the reliance customers have on their online systems and reassess their potential exposure to risk should anything like WannaCry ever happen again.
Although the core sites were already secured, it was felt that the architecture needed to be upgraded to a next generation firewall platform to leverage the latest features that greatly enhance the security of the entire environment. Provide wanted to ensure that the security solution would be able to mitigate against zero-day attacks and leverage security intelligence in the cloud. Their vision of provide outstanding services very much includes ensuring that the digital solutions they provide are delivered securely and that they can continue to service their customers despite an ever-evolving and increasingly risky threat landscape.
The Solution – New firewall architecture with Cisco Firepower
Having discussed the nature of the threat landscape as it stands today, Cinos Communications Services (CCS) introduced Provide to the latest Cisco Firepower appliances. It was imperative to allow Provide to leverage the tools a next generation firewall platform would bring their organisation.
With our in-depth understanding of the Provide customer base and their needs, CCS designed and built a new firewall architecture for Provide’s core sites. The new firewall architecture significantly increased Provide’s cyber defences and security posture against all manner of attacks, Ransomware included, but still facilitated transparent communications between Provide and their supported users.
The new firewall solution was seamlessly implemented into their overall architecture, with the Firepower management centre used to operate the next generation environment via a single plane of glass management platform.
“Having considered multiple systems and vendors, the team from CCS listened to what we were trying to achieve and delivered what was going to be the best value for not just now, but in the future with a system that can be developed as our requirements change. Since the implementation they have worked tirelessly to ensure the system delivers what has been promised and more.”
With the new firewall architecture in place, Provide are able to stop more threats, with detection times now earlier and remediation now faster than ever before. The Firepower appliances have introduced new tools to Provide in their battle against malicious threats, such as Advanced Malware Protection and sandboxing, as well as adding much more intelligence to the tools such as IDS and IPS that were in use before.
The single management platform has significantly reduced the operational overhead of the firewall estate, with the added benefit of providing far greater visibility of the entire environment; allowing Provide to better understand the nature of the threats they face directly. This visibility is giving Provide the ability to tailor cyber security policies and processes to better protect themselves and the users of their services.