Exact

Strengthens grip on security with Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security for AWS

Overview

Exact has been developing business software for companies and accountants for 35 years. The integrated software platform, Exact Online, has existed since 2005, offering customers 24/7 access to combined accounting and CRM software alongside industry solutions for trade, production, and business services. The data and processes within Exact Online must be maximally secured, which is why the infrastructure and product development use a “security by design“ model.

Challenges

After adopting Amazon Web Services® (AWS), Exact wanted to optimize its security control and insight, with minimal management and without additional risks. That is why the company chose Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security for AWS, with intrusion prevention, virtual patching, integrity monitoring, log inspection, and malware prevention.

Exact improved security proactivity a few years ago. Senior Software Development Manager at Exact, Timo van Noppen, explains, “The nature and impact of risks and threats are changing very quickly. That‘s why we wanted to extend our intrusion detection with intrusion prevention, for example. We also wanted to make patching proactive, no longer wait for the patches from suppliers. Because by doing so, you are theoretically at least temporarily unprotected and that is not acceptable.”

Why Trend Micro

Exact took immediate action to avoid security risks. After market research, they decided to do a proof of concept with Trend Micro – and they achieved the results they we looking for. “With (Trend Micro) Cloud One - Workload Security, we were able to reduce risks without having a major impact on our management capacity.” Exact worked closely with the Trend Micro Partner, Oblivion Cloud Control, for the selection, setting up the PoC, plan of approach, and design.

"With Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security intrusion prevention and virtual patching, we were able to reduce risks without having a major impact on our management capacity."

Timo van Noppen
Senior Software Development Manager, Exact

Solution

The choice of a new cloud platform gave Exact the opportunity to increase security controls. At the time, Exact Online was run by a cloud partner with data centers in the United Kingdom, leading to a potential risk with Brexit looming. As Exact began to look for a different cloud platform, the choice ultimately fell to AWS. van Noppe explains, “An important argument was that we want to innovate faster. AWS offers a range of services that we no longer need to develop ourselves. We have a lot of development capacity internally and we want to make maximum use of that specific knowledge for the innovation of our own solutions. By deploying specific services out-of-the-box, we save time and money and we can provide our customers with maximum support in their business operations. ”

Security also played a crucial role in the selection process, according to van Noppen. “AWS continuously invests in guaranteeing and sharpening the safety of its platform. In doing so, they work closely with market leaders. The result is a complete range of high-level services that are constantly geared to neutralizing the latest risks.” Previously, the responsibility for securing the infrastructure of the virtual machines’ OS lies with the cloud partner. The rest of the security was completed together with specialized partners, such as Trend Micro.

“The switch to AWS gave us the opportunity to further strengthen our grip on our security, in particular by creating more transparency,” continues van Noppen. “In the past, our partner had control over the services and tooling for monitoring and reporting. As a result, our understanding of the nature or extent of risks was limited. The information in the reports we received had already been filtered. Precisely because security is a determining factor for the service to our customers, this was undesirable. ”

"Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security for AWS always scales security with innovations or extensions. This guarantees good security, now and in the future."

Timo van Noppen
Senior Software Development Manager, Exact

Results

The choice of Workload Security for AWS met all Exact‘s requirements according to van Noppen, “We take advantage of the best security that AWS and Trend Micro offers. In addition to good firewalls, antivirus and anti-malware, we are assured of intrusion prevention and virtual patching. That way, the risk of a security incident is minimal. And because everything runs within the AWS environment, we have minimal management efforts. We can use all our own resources for our own product and development.” It was important for van Noppen to choose an “as-a-service” solution that does not come at the expense of security control, “On the contrary, via the special portal we always know exactly what is going on and whether there are points of attention that we should anticipate.“

According to van Noppen, flexibility was also a must. “Because the security is based on our own policies, it is automatically adjusted for changes in the infrastructure. We only need to monitor the signaling.” This also applies to the upscaling and downscaling of capacity. “We make optimal use of the flexibility of the cloud to continue growing with Exact Online. Trend Micro Cloud One – Workload Security for AWS always scales security along with innovations or extensions. This guarantees good security, now and in the future.”