The Slovak Land Fund (SPF) is a significant organization which administers state-owned land and real property. Its core competencies include the settlement of restitution claims, the lease and sale of (or, as the case may be, the transfer of title to) land plots, but also the creation of easements. In addition, the SPF takes position in zoning proceedings or building permission proceedings, proceedings on the recategorization of land plots, or cases of adverse possession.
Within the Slovak Land Fund, only its Bratislava headquarters have been using Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) so far, which currently consists of 90 virtual PCs. The infrastructure's server side is practically 100 percent virtualized, and consists of 60 virtualized servers. This environment is run using VMware vSphere® and VMware Horizon® View™, whereas most of the servers operate on a Microsoft® solution. All workstations are located in 30 branch offices across Slovakia (though the plan is to migrate these regional and local offices to virtual space).
The search for a tool to protect virtual servers and the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) was triggered by the transition to a virtual IT environment. In the past, the Fund ignored the issue entirely, seeing as the IT environment at the SPF was purely physical. Previously, the only protection against security risks were standard physical desktop solutions. The safe migration to, and operation within, a virtual IT environment, however, requires a new approach to security, and a reliable tool to implement it. The motivation to move protection to a higher level was obvious.
“The main reason for us to make the transition to the Trend Micro solution was the protection which it affords for our newly established virtual desktops. Malware protection has become taken for granted, as natural as locking one's front door, closing the windows, etc.”
Head of IS and VT, Slovak Land Fund
In April 2012, SML decided to build a more integrated IT system and strengthened IT infrastructure by implementing a Virtualized Data Center with a reliable security solution that had multi-tenancy, better server utilization, and data center consolidation. It also demanded a multi-layered security system that included both in host and network level, firewall and antispam, and was capable of detecting, analyzing, and blocking threats with high visibility of malicious activity on the network.
SML decided to implement Trend Micro products such as OfficeScan™ for endpoints, Deep Security™ for Server and VDI, Deep Discovery™ Inspector, Deep Discovery Advisor and Deep Security for Web Apps. SML also adopted SafeSync™ for Enterprise and Premium Support Program (PSP) service. In the beginning of the partnership, SML implemented PSP Silver, which was then upgraded to PSP Gold to improve the level of Trend Micro’s service for SML.
Trend Micro Deep Security solutions implemented by SML have provided the company with a higher- level, and stronger security system that is comprehensive, adaptive, and highly efficient with its agentless and agent-based protection. Deep Security includes anti-malware, intrusion detection and prevention, firewall, web application protection, integrity monitoring, and log inspection.
“This agentless solution simplifies security operations and management with higher virtualization density. In terms of strengthening company’s security system, we believe that Deep Security is the most powerful product compared to the others, while enabling regulatory compliance and accelerating the ROI of virtualization and cloud projects,” said Irvan.
SML also implemented Trend Micro Deep Discovery, an effective solution that provides SML with the network-wide visibility, insight, and control to combat against advanced persistent threats (APT’s) and targeted attacks. For advanced threat protection, Deep Discovery uniquely detects and identifies evasive threats in real time. It then provides in-depth analysis and relevant actionable intelligence to assess, remediate, and defend the business against targeted attacks. SafeSyncTM enabled employees to back up and sync files between computers and mobile devices within the networks.
“We considered Trend Micro because of its leading position and reputation in the industry. The company offers comprehensive products and services with high reliability in cloud security. Trend Micro’s proactive monthly visits are also very helpful,” Irvan stated. “By implementing a well-managed IT system with reliable security, we are optimistic that we will be able to seize big opportunities ahead at minimum risks.”
The SPF had the choice among several security solutions offered by renowned global firms. The goal was to resolve the issue of how to protect virtual servers and virtual desktops. The final choice, which was made after consulting the Fund's IT partner, fell on Trend Micro™ Deep Security™, specifically, its anti-malware, web reputation, and intrusion prevention capabilities.
"The main reason for us to make the transition to the Trend Micro solution was the protection which it affords for our newly established virtual servers and virtual desktops," explained Roderik Plevka, Head of IS and VT at the Slovak Land Fund. "Malware protection has become taken for granted, as natural as locking one's front door, closing the windows, etc.," he added.
According to the Fund's IT boss, the decision to go with Trend Micro was primarily influenced by the best references, and by how progressive the solution is.
"Trend Micro convinced us with its comprehensive, most advanced solution, which answers all our needs for malware protection," says Plevka, justifying the Fund's choice.
The project for implementing protection of the SPF's virtual environment took shape gradually; protection for the VDI came first. Given the prevalence of "ordinary" users in VDI, the likelihood of a malware incident is the highest in this particular area. Security is being bolstered in parallel to the rollout of VDI across the entire organization. Whenever a new virtual desktop is being created, Deep Security protection is always being pre-configured for the given machine from the get-go.
“Trend Micro convinced us with its comprehensive, most advanced solution, which answers all our needs for malware protection.”
Head of IS and VT, Slovak Land Fund
The deployment of Deep Security has paid off for the Slovak Land Fund. "Generally speaking, the majority of threats are being picked up by functionalities atop our IT infrastructure, like latest-generation firewalls with IDS/IPS capabilities. Even so, we've found that we did the right thing when we invested also in VDI and virtual server security. Even though the Slovak Land Fund has multi-level malware protection in place above the level secured by Deep Security, Deep Security still registers malware incidences on an almost daily basis," said Plevka. It is a testimony to the Fund's great experience with the protection afforded by Trend Micro that it has plans to gradually roll out the solution to all its virtual equipment, including virtual desktops and servers. If everything goes according to plan, the Fund should have brought all its branch offices under the umbrella of a secure virtual infrastructure very soon.