Sappi Europe

Supplier of high-quality paper uses Trend Micro to protect its virtualised environment

Sappi Europe is the European market leader in the production of coated ne paper, both for the printing industry – with an affordable range combined with high quality of service – and for specialised markets, with highly innovative solutions. Sappi Europe employs 14,000 people across 20 countries. The department responsible for infrastructure has 14 employees.

Advanced environments demand advanced security

„Sappi has always been very forward-thinking in its technological choices and the possibilities that this technology could offer us,” says Jurgen Van de Perre, Security Specialist at Sappi Europe. “For instance, we have been working for years according to the principles of the New World of Work: everyone must be able to work where and when they are most productive, whether that be in the of ce, at home or on the road.”

To be able to achieve this independence, Sappi has made a big effort in recent years to centralise and virtualise its servers. Almost 85% of the server environment has now been virtualised. And virtualisation is also eagerly deployed on the client side, continues Jurgen Van de Perre: „Everyone uses thin clients on their desktop. It makes working at different sites much easier: you arrive, use a desktop on site, log in and are immediately presented with your own environment.”

Sappi realised, however, that an optimised environment also demands optimised security:„You need different security solutions to protect a virtualised environment than to protect the traditional infrastructure. That’s why in 2013 we started looking for the supplier who could offer us the best solution for this new infrastructure.”

Trend Micro as the best choice

In their search for the best solution, Sappi contacted most of the leading suppliers, including Kaspersky, McAfee and BitDefender. Ultimately, however, they chose Deep Security from Trend Micro. There were several reasons for this, explains Jurgen Van de Perre:„Firstly, Trend Micro had the most experience of securing virtualised environments. If you have a choice between a product that has proven its added value over many years and a product that has just been put on the market, you will naturally be more likely to suggest the rst option to management. Secondly, our experience with Trend Micro’s local team was extremely positive. Their backend is particularly reliable and accessible: we can contact them at any time if we have questions or problems. But the decisive factor was the Deep Security product itself: all Trend Micro modules use the same engine. This makes it much easier to integrate new modules and to manage the whole system. All the features are already present in the solution we are running. To activate them, we only need to sort out the licences. That makes the solution very easy to use, even though the product itself is extremely sophisticated.”

"The fact that Deep Security detects and protects a new virtual machine even before an operating system is running on it maximises our sense of security."

Jurgen Van de Perre,
Security Specialist, Sappi Europe


Faster than average implementation

The product’s ease of use also resulted in a trouble-free implementation process. This meant that implementation was also faster than average, recalls Jurgen Van de Perre: “Other projects usually take a year or eighteen months between the time of rst contact and the moment that the solution goes live. In this case, it was less than six months, even though the technology was completely new.”

This process also included the test phase, which also served as the proof of concept. “Even at that point, the added value was obvious straightaway, so we were more convinced than ever that we had made the right choice.”

Spontaneous enthusiasm

What happened after the implementation was something that Jurgen Van de Perre had never experienced before: “We made a conscious decision to keep the project fairly quiet, because you know what its like: people are aware that the security system has changed, so anything that goes wrong in the next few days will immediately be blamed on the new solution. But this time it was the opposite: people came up to me to ask what we had changed about the infrastructure, because ‘suddenly it was running so well’. The fact that end users came up to us to report an improvement was a rst for me. But it was also the ultimate reward for our efforts.”

The improvement was not only qualitative, but also quantitative, adds Jurgen Van de Perre: “We can allocate 30% more users per virtual machine without any impact on performance, simply by switching from the previous security solution to Trend Micro.” And the solution’s ease of use led to another measurable improvement: “We used to need three people working full-time to manage the solution, now only one person is required, and not even full-time. Two employees can be deployed full-time to other tasks, which makes a huge difference for a small team like ours.”

"We are now considering the Virtual Patching module. The reduction in the number of days of inactivity that we could achieve with this tool could save us tens of thousands of euros."

Jurgen Van de Perre,
Security Specialist, Sappi Europe


Greater sense of security

Naturally, more is expected of a security solution than just ease of management and faster response times for end users. The product must also be reliable and give everyone a greater sense of security. That is also something that Trend Micro Deep Security does well, according to Jurgen Van de Perre: “The engine detects at least as many threats as the competing products. And the product also contains an interesting ‘self-discovery’ feature: as soon as a virtual machine is created and added to the network, it is detected by Deep Security. That such a machine can be detected and protected even before an operating system is running on it is a de nite bonus and increases our sense of security even further. And we save time, because we don’t constantly have to keep an eye on everyone and everything.”

The final verdict: hungry for more!

So far, the nal verdict looks extremely positive. So positive indeed that other Sappi regions are looking at this project very closely, with a thought to possibly switching over to Trend Micro Deep Security themselves. Sappi Europe is also considering further projects with Trend Micro, reveals Jurgen Van de Perre: “We are, for example, extremely interested in the Virtual Patching module. This would allow us to significantly reduce the number of days on which we need to completely shut down the machines for security patches, from once a month to roughly once every six months. Sappi has a lot of machines for which a shutdown has a direct impact on productivity and thus on the organisation’s revenue. If we can reduce the number of days of inactivity to one sixth of the previous gure, that will have a huge impact on revenue, with amounts possibly running into the tens of thousands of euros. For a production environment, any period of inactivity is one too many. Solutions like these will therefore really help us to move the business forward.”