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Increased security with threat management 24 hours a day 

IT manager Renè Francis Lares at YX Energi in Norway can sleep well at night, knowing that the security of all the company's servers, applications, clients and networks has been well taken care of.

Wiggo Wilhelmsen, Director of Cybersecurity at Visolit, sees that both arbitrary and targeted attacks on small- and medium-sized enterprises have increased sharply in recent years. Such attacks can be challenging to detect and deal with. This is why Visolit developed its Security Operations Center (SOC) solution, an operational service for detecting and dealing with criminal actors. The service is particularly well adapted to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.  

The challenge

An increasingly sophisticated threat picture. 

YX Norge operates over 300 gas stations in Norway, along with several truck stations. This is a big task for a small IT department responsible for everything from networks and servers to applications and security.

The IT department is led by Renè Francis Lares, who has over 20 years of experience in IT and has experienced firsthand how quickly the field has developed. For him, one of the biggest challenges is how to keep up with increasingly sophisticated attempts to compromise IT security. 

“Today's threat picture is developing faster than ever and has become extremely sophisticated, especially over the past 5-10 years,” says Lares. “Everything connected to the internet is subject to attack, around the clock. That is why all companies need their servers and networks monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”  

With a small IT department, YX and Lares don't have the opportunity to monitor systems constantly. It is expensive to have crews in continuous standby mode, in addition to the fact that maintaining IT security and protecting a business from attack requires a high level of competence. 

The solution

24-hour operated threat management with SOC services 

For YX and Lares, the solution to the challenge was a service from Visolit's SOC. The SOC services are provided by Visolit's cybersecurity department, led by Wilhelmsen. The department consists of analysts and investigators exclusively allocated to these roles. That is, they actively detect and deal with various threat actors. 

“What is often called the SOC service is a so-called ‘security, intrusion, detection and response’ service,” says Wilhelmsen. “The department is equipped to detect unwanted activity anywhere in customer infrastructure. The latest technology means that we can focus equally on behavioral and technical threat indicators. This allows us to uncover a significant number of different threats that would normally pass unnoticed.”

Visolit's analysts and investigators see that threat management is increasingly about detecting deviations from human behavior. This is a drastic development compared to how companies handled IT security even just a few years ago. At that time, automated processes such as signature-based antivirus solutions were often considered sufficient. 

Today, criminals are constantly developing new methods of placing malicious code in corporate networks and servers, but it clearly is very difficult for criminals to imitate the behavior of legitimate users. Therefore, the experts in the cybersecurity department build up experience based on exactly this. Using artificial intelligence, this information is used to identify abnormal or impossible actions. Wilhelmsen emphasizes that it is absolutely necessary for the success of IT security in our time.

“Businesses cannot rely on mechanical or automated processes. There is a need for people who can perform an active craft, whether it is a matter of identifying potential threats or acting by isolating malicious code or software.” 

Therefore, the SOC services Visolit delivers to YX are primarily operational. Lares is very happy with this.

“Thanks to the SOC service, Visolit's security department can intervene if it discovers that something deviates from the norm. For example, there may be discrepancies related to user accounts, abnormal system interaction, attempts to filter out data, or attempts to execute ransomware. A potential attack can be stopped at an early stage so that viruses or other malware do not spread further in our systems.”

YX and Lares also have an agreement regarding IT operations with Visolit, which acts as their operational department. Lares emphasizes that it is very valuable for YX that the operations department at Visolit can act quickly after a potential security breach has been discovered.

“The communication between IT operations and SOC is very fast and seamless at Visolit. If the SOC notifies about a security breach it has uncovered, the operations department responds immediately. It is very effective in terms of safety, in addition to the fact that I can lower my shoulders.”  

Read more: Innovation in the cloud – Visolit and View Ledger version 3.0 

The insight 

-“I cannot understand why we didn’t do this before.

Lares is clear about how he feels about the SOC service compared to before. He can go home from work or take a holiday without worrying about whether systems and networks are safe. 

“I cannot understand why we didn’t do this before. We should have done it earlier. Now I can go to bed at night and be sure that we have done what we can to keep our systems safe. We have received confirmation that the SOC services from Visolit work and that we are taken care of 24 hours a day.”

According to Wilhelmsen, this is the natural next step in the security evolution among Norwegian companies. Many of them will follow YX’s example in the coming years.  

“YX Norway, with Renè in the lead, is a prime example of a company that has done its homework. In line with the fact that almost 20 years ago we discussed the need for antivirus, we are now discussing this need for security.”  

Read more: Build a resilient infrastructure, shielded from threats.   

The result

A strong defense with preventive solutions  

Following the implementation of Visolit's SOC services, YX Norway and Lares have established a strong defense. This is a preventive joint effort that helps to reduce the risk of being attacked, without preventing employees from working portably and flexibly.

“We are very satisfied with our SOC service from Visolit and have recommended all the companies in UNO X Energi to switch to the same solution,” says Lares.

All indications are that YX’s investment in security will prove fruitful in the future. Visolit's Wilhelmsen emphasizes that it is not only large companies exposed to targeted attacks that must take modern IT security seriously. Small- and medium-sized enterprises are also exposed to random attacks and should invest in good security mechanisms and routines.

“YX Norway has chosen one of the most cost-effective solutions to heighten safety in a significant way. The SOC service scales and is priced in a way that makes it suitable for all companies, regardless of size.” 

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