At the beginning of 2021, when Broadacres Housing noticed a sharp increase in the number of cyber-threats it was receiving, the housing provider started looking for reinforcements as part of its wider cyber-strategy. After numerous product demonstrations and testing different security platforms, Broadacres Housing chose Arctic Wolf and its Concierge Security Team.
Steve Cook, infrastructure and security manager, Broadacres Housing, said, “Arctic Wolf’s Concierge Security Team was a deciding factor for us. Advanced technology is useful to help spot anomalies and alert us to potential threats, but you need a team of people to interpret the data correctly and quickly take appropriate action.”
As part of its Concierge Security, Arctic Wolf pairs a team of security operations experts with Broadacres Housing’s internal IT or security staff to assess their security needs and fine-tune their solutions for maximum effectiveness.
Cook said, “Technology can do a lot of things but it takes a real person to really understand what’s going on with your security environment. The fact there are real people on the end of some of the incidents flagged up makes all the difference. On a day-to-day basis, that means fewer but more accurate threat alerts and therefore more time for us to spend on bolstering our security posture.”
After a very smooth onboarding process, Arctic Wolf is now working as an extension of Broadacres Housing’s security team, allowing the housing provider to take a more operational approach to cybersecurity. During the first two weeks of the onboarding process, the team installed sensors to ingest data from endpoints, network devices and infrastructure, as well as from cloud resources to make sure it could see any potential threats from all angles.
By the end of onboarding, Cook and his team had received immediate alerts on detected threats, alongside a number of weekly reports, including an executive summary report which flagged incoming hazards on Broadacres Housing’s external web servers from countries such as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, something housing provider would not have caught before. Through these alerts, Arctic Wolf has notified Broadacres of numerous previously-unknown threats which has led to the organisation hardening its systems against attacks; for example, firewall rules have been created to block countries that the housing provider has no business dealings with.
Arctic Wolf is also running continuous vulnerability scanning for the housing provider, helping to evaluate its existing security controls by interrogating all aspects of the environment for potential risks.
Cook’s team had been conducting an annual penetration test to stress test Broadacres Housing’s IT systems and security capabilities; under its previous system, this was a manual and time-intensive process that only gave a snapshot at that particular moment in time.
With Arctic Wolf, Cook’s team can spot areas of concern and risks to the organisation right across its on-premise networks and devices, public-cloud instances, externally-facing assets and dark web ‘account takeover’ risks, all by using the AI/machine-learning features of the Arctic Wolf’s Security Operations Cloud.
Cook said, “Our vision is focused on business transformation. By getting rid of legacy processes and systems, we can look at more efficient and better customer experiences, all easily accessible from a digital platform. This calls for a new approach in how we reinforce our security posture to protect our customer and employees.”