In the German region of Ostwestfalen-Lippe, a growing network of technology businesses and research institutes is setting global standards for intelligent products and production systems. The cutting-edge cluster, which goes by the name “it’s OWL”—Intelligent Technical Systems Ostwestfalen-Lippe—is considered one of the largest Industry 4.0 initiatives in Germany and is taking important steps to making German production more secure.
G. KRAFT Maschinenbau GmbH is a member of this network and a leading manufacturer of special machines and systems for various industries. Their products include production machines for doors and frames, flooring, insulation and structural materials, as well as systems for storage, conveying and packaging. It’s no surprise, then, that this innovative company relies on leading partners like macmon secure GmbH for its IT security. Since 2003, the IT experts at macmon have provided well over 1,000 companies with manufacturer-independent solutions for ensuring instant network transparency and protecting heterogeneous networks from unauthorized access.
Tobias Waltemode from IT systems house IOK in Verl, Germany, presented the topic of network access control (NAC) to his customer KRAFT at an in-house trade show. The IOK team is a medium-sized, owner-managed IT systems provider that has been a dependable partner in the region since 1996. Based on favorable experiences from previous projects, Waltemode was able to reassure the IT manager at KRAFT that introducing macmon NAC would not entail any additional administrative work for his four-man IT team. Quite the contrary: they were impressed by how quick and easy the security solution was to be implemented. The agreed POC (proof of concept) delivered positive results, as macmon NAC provided a complete overview of the company’s infrastructure, which had grown steadily over the years. It all started when the company decided to replace an existing anti-virus solution, after which the topic of NAC really took off. The company was also looking for an answer to the increased compliance requirements it was facing.
Tobias Waltemode, Sales, IOK –
“The combination of Sophos Central and macmon NAC provides a powerful combination of threat detection and endpoint isolation with low administrative costs.
The potential for optimizing security processes was an important factor in our decision to choose macmon.”
Another key argument in favor of macmon’s NAC solution was that machine manufacturer KRAFT already trusts Sophos’s security expertise.
Sophos’s cloud-native and AI-optimized solutions are able to adapt to changes in the threat landscape at any time. This ensures that endpoints and networks are protected against the tactics and techniques of cyber criminals—even those that are not yet known. Sophos detects threats and makes the threat status available in Sophos Central for further action. This is a key feature, since more and more medium-sized companies are becoming the target of criminal acts, such as blackmail after a malware infection.
The technology partnership with Sophos offers maximum security: macmon NAC regularly retrieves the system statuses of all endpoints in the network from Sophos Central and displays them in a convenient overview in the macmon user interface. If the system status of an endpoint is non-compliant, macmon can temporarily isolate this endpoint from the network segment, if desired. This prevents malware from spreading across the network and infecting other resources in the network. This automatic response to threats increases security, fulfills compliance requirements and saves time and money.
- Lower costs through standardized processes (joint billing)
- Lower total cost of ownership
- Monthly billing makes IT costs easy to calculate
- No software investments
- Less work and training for KRAFT’s IT department
- Benefit from IOK’s expertise and extensive experience with macmon and Sophos
- No more maintenance and servicing costs for in-house server infrastructure
- Software is continuously updated
- Optimal scalability
Read more about connecting Sophos Cental with macmon NAC in our white paper.
Project manager Waltemode concludes: “The combined use of macmon and Sophos significantly increases our customers’ network security. It positions us as an expert parter for our customers, while the MSP model allows us to generate long-term customer loyalty while providing top-notch service. As a specialist for Industry 4.0, KRAFT and its employees can concentrate on its strengths and its core business. The managed service approach greatly reduces their workload, since we manage the security solutions.
This allows everyone involved to bring their strengths to the table: an ideal win-win situation for us as an IT systems house and KRAFT as the end user.”
And it is not just automated processes that are reducing KRAFT’s administrative costs. IOK offers the combination of Sophos and macmon NAC under the managed service provider (MSP) model. This gives them the flexibility to adapt the number of macmon licenses to a growing demand, since macmon is rolled out step by step, parallel to the replacement of the legacy solution.
In addition to the ease of scalability, the MSP model offers cost benefits as well, since IOK charges for the combined use of the Sophos and macmon licenses rather than requiring their purchase. Moreover, there is no need for a large initial budget to get the project started.