Story Contracting is an award-winning Infrastructure and civil engineering company with offices across the U.K. As a provider of rail, plant, and construction solutions, the firm has built a solid reputation over the past three decades.
Alex Fletcher, the IT manager at Story Contracting, is responsible for network infrastructure, desktop environments, IT security, service providers, mobile voice connectivity, and much more. The more than 500 corporate users are geographically dispersed across the country.
"Like many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), Story Contracting was looking to embrace a software as a service (SaaS) platform to drive user productivity, enhance IT flexibility, and boost business continuity. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, around 20% of its employees worked remotely - this has now increased to 95%, making the company’s decision to migrate to Microsoft 365 even more crucial to streamline operations.
However, Alex Fletcher and the team were well aware of the potential cybersecurity risk associated with migrating to the cloud. Although less than half (46%) of U.K. businesses suffered security breaches and/or attacks last year, the figure rose to 68% for medium-sized firms, according to a recent U.K. Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) survey. The Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2020 found that phishing, malware, and ransomware were the top three threats.
Keen to find a seamless, hassle-free way to manage Story Contracting’s cloud migration and security, Alex Fletcher spoke to Vodafone Business. He was particularly impressed by Vodafone Business Marketplace, a web-based portal that offers customers a single point of entry to purchase licenses and manage their applications - simplifying and minimizing the supply chain. It features multiple security offerings, productivity software, back-up tools, and more.
“On the cybersecurity side we were particularly looking for web reputation and URL filtering elements, especially with some of our staff working remotely across construction sites and at home,” Fletcher explains. “This was always something we wanted to enhance, so that we could apply URL filtering directly on the machines as a client, rather than via network solutions like the firewall.”
After shortlisting and trialling several security offerings, Story Contracting chose Trend Micro™ Worry-Free™ Services on Vodafone Business Marketplace for 100% SaaS-based endpoint security. The platform offers:
- A cross-generational blend of advanced threat detection capabilities, including high-fidelity machine learning, behavioural analysis, file and web reputation, URL filtering, app control, DLP, and much more
- Simple deployment and ongoing management via a single console
- Maximum protection for remote workers thanks to a cloud model
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR) for improved threat visibility
- Backed by real-time threat intelligence that protects over 250 million global endpoints
- Email security to block targeted attacks, phishing, business email compromise (BEC) and more
- Support for Microsoft Windows (desktops and servers), Mac, iOS, and Android™ devices
"We have so much flexibility now, and with Trend Micro, there’s the peace-of-mind that anything malicious coming in is being dealt with."
Thanks to the unique partnership with Trend Micro and Vodafone Business, Story Contracting is able to manage both Worry-Free Services and other SaaS investments from within the Vodafone Business Marketplace portal. That adds value in reducing the number of resellers and suppliers Story Contracting must manage, freeing up IT’s time to focus on higher-value tasks. Vodafone Business offers a single point of support, while its monthly billing option is helpful for cash flow.
From a cybersecurity perspective, Story Contracting’s investment in Trend Micro has already paid dividends, offering more advanced functionality missing from previous endpoint providers. This includes machine learning and behavioural monitoring to stop sophisticated threats, and the granularity to block USB devices, network shares, and more. There’s also the web reputation and URL filtering model Fletcher was looking for - delivered via the cloud rather than as a network-based solution.
Most importantly, the addition of Trend Micro has enabled Story Contracting to move to the cloud with confidence and ditch its on-premises endpoint security server.
“From a business continuity and planning perspective and the events of the past 12 months, the businesses that have embraced SaaS and mobile working are in a much better place than the others,” says Fletcher. “We have so much flexibility now, and with Trend Micro there’s the peace-of-mind that anything malicious coming in is being dealt with.”
As for the future, there are plans to extend Worry-Free Services to Story Contracting’s mobile device fleet, and to upgrade to the product’s advanced version, which includes comprehensive email protection and Trend Micro™ Cloud App Security that integrates directly into the Microsoft 365 environment to give advanced protection for additional Microsoft products such as Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Teams. That will set up the the firm well as it looks to emerge from the pandemic in an even stronger position.