Sundrug

Protecting its information and business
with a secure, large-scale VDI environment

 

Overview

Sundrug is a major Japanese drugstore chain that has stores in locations throughout Japan, all of which include a pharmacy that handles pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and everyday commodities. It has a "one store, two managers" policy that is unique to the industry. In each location, one manager is responsible for store operation, and the other manages a counseling and sales staff specialists in illnesses and medicines, who provide peace of mind, reliability, and convenience to customers.

Sundrug's group of companies include Sundrug Pharmacies, which is the specialized dispensary, and Direx, the discount store. And in the ten years from FY2004, it has tripled its sales, increased the number of its stores by a factor of 2.5, and quadrupled the number of its employees.

Challenges

Sundrug is a well-known drugstore chain in Japan. With the specialized dispensing company Sundrug Pharmacies and the Direx discount store in its corporate group, Sundrug has achieved rapid growth. Since 2009, it has achieved continuous increases in income and profits. With 937 stores in 44 prefectures around Japan, the company has 9,650 employees. Sundrug values its strong relationships of trust with customers and clients. To maintain that trust, the company has implemented strict controls over internal information handling. All IT resources and information used in business are controlled centrally. According to Sundrug's CIO, employees are never given access to information that is not strictly essential for their work, and taking business data off the premises is subject to tough restrictions. All outgoing emails with attached files require a manager’ s inspection and approval, and notebook PCs are generally not permitted. Nor are employees allowed to take business information with them to work at home.

To facilitate compliance with this rigorous management policy, Sundrug adopted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for their core business systems. This VDI environment is based on VMware™ View™, and provides the infrastructure for centralized management and operation of virtual desktops for the 800 PCs used at Sundrug's head office, branches, and group companies. To provide security for this very important infrastructure, Trend Micro's virtual appliance protection module, Trend Micro™ Deep Security Virtual Appliance™ was selected.

 

Thanks to Trend Micro™ Deep Security™, we can now provide strong and efficient defense for our VDI environment against a range of malware infections that includes targeted attacks.

IT Executive Officer
Sundrug Co. Ltd.

Solution

In around 2005, Sundrug began to switch to thin clients for its internal PCs in order to centralize management and control of business systems and data. The current VDI environment is an extension of this initiative. At the end of 2009, the decision was made to implement a total migration from the thin-client environment to VMware View. The decision was also made to implement Deep Security Virtual Appliance as part of this process

One of the reasons that Sundrug decided to adopt Deep Security Virtual Appliance was its excellent compatibility with the VMware virtual environment. The solution’ s "agentless" architecture means that security is applied at the hypervisor level, with nothing installed directly on the virtual desktop OS.

"We are able to minimize the virtual resources consumed by security measures, as well as the effort required for security operation. The combination of cost-effectiveness and ease of use appealed to us greatly," says Sundrug's CIO

Besides enabling Sundrug to minimize IT overhead while preventing malware intrusions and other attacks, Deep Security Virtual Appliance can perform virus scans on all the company’ s virtual desktops without causing performance to deteriorate. Compared to other antivirus solutions operating in virtual environments, this was a major differentiator for Sundrug.

Because Sundrug had identified signs that cyber attackers were actively targeting it, the company felt a degree of urgency about getting an effective solution implemented quickly. The ease and speed with which Deep Security Virtual Appliance could be installed and configured without disruption to business processes was yet another point in its favor.

Results

Exactly as Sundrug had hoped, Deep Security Virtual Appliance functions effectively as a comprehensive tool to protect the VDI environment against targeted attacks. Sundrug now runs three scans to detect malware entering its system via email: one at the Internet gateway, one as part of the company’ s email service security, and a Deep Security Virtual Appliance scan. This scan also identifies malware delivered via compromised USB devices

"With this, we have an almost perfect system for detecting and blocking malwares resulting from targeted attacks," says Sundrug's CIO.

Furthermore, Deep Security Virtual Appliance also serves to reduce the processing load placed on virtual desktops. For example, by fine-tuning many elements of Sundrug's VDI environment, the amount of memory used by the virtual operating system (currently Windows 7) can be kept to 500 MB or less, and with Deep Security Virtual Appliance, the amount of memory used by installing security software does not increase.

"This means that you can provide many virtual desktops with very little resource investment. You might say that in consideration of future business growth, the advent of this environment is extremely significant," adds Sundrug's CIO.

Sundrug continues to grow its business, and the number of stores run by the group is increasing at 60% - 80% annually. In line with this, store staff members, head office staff members who manage store staff, and the number of PCs that the staff use will steadily increase. And it will be VMware View and Deep Security Virtual Appliance that continues to securely and efficiently support the growth of business and IT infrastructure.

 

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