BDO, with a footprint in 162 countries, is one of the fastest-growing professional services firms globally, specializing in accounting, auditing, tax and advisory services. BDO clients benefit from the organization’s unique local market knowledge and international network.
As an auditing and risk advisory firm, BDO South Africa has a broader view of business risk than most. In today’s environment, a large portion of business risk is due to the complex cybersecurity landscape. While many South African organizations take a reactive stance, Nico Fourie (BDO National IT director) views information security as a key pillar of any organization – preferring a proactive “four-eyes” approach.
“Organizations should be careful of becoming complacent or being lured into a false sense of security; even when you think you have your affairs in order, cross checking is imperative,” says Fourie.
“In assessing our situation it’s imperative that we have visibility into endpoints and processes in order to report to our board of directors and make decisions that positively impact the business,” says Fourie. “Regulatory compliance in line with GDPR and POPIA also requires increased visibility and control of data,” continues Fourie. Tools and technologies that are capable of process classification and heuristic analysis provide greater insights into potential threats and risk areas, enabling organizations to proactively close gaps and improve security.
Evaluation & Implementation
To address these challenges, BDO implemented Panda Security’s extensible cybersecurity model including Panda Adaptive Defense 360 (AD360), and additional modules: Advanced Reporting Tool (ART) and Panda Patch Management. “Panda Security’s multi-tool approach provides increased visibility and holistic reporting, allowing us to identify gaps in our security that we weren’t previously aware off, ”says Fourie.
Before implementing AD360, BDO had a signature-based solution in place that was unable to detect and block advanced and zero day threats. BDO is now protected against the kind of malwareless and fileless attacks we see today. “AD360 has allowed us to implement a zero-trust approach, significantly reducing cybersecurity risk,” says Fourie.
Panda AD360 is an automated and centralized advanced security solution delivered from the Cloud. AD360 automates prevention, detection, containment and response against cyber attacks. This differentiated solution combines Endpoint Protection (EPP) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities with a Zero-Trust Application Service and an integrated Threat Hunting Service.
Panda Patch Management is an integral part of BDO’s cybersecurity strategy. The solution manages software vulnerabilities and their corresponding updates and patches, both for Windows and hundreds of third-party applications. Patch Management mitigates risk by strengthening threat prevention, containment and remediation capabilities, and reducing the attack surface on Windows servers and workstations. “In our evaluation of the solution, it was able to identify vulnerabilities in our network that we thought had been addressed,” says Fourie. “A key benefit of this solution is how easy it is to manage and deploy patches and updates,” continues Fourie.
Panda’s Advanced Reporting Tool addresses the need for increased visibility and security insights. “The Advanced Reporting Tool’s user data platform provides invaluable analytical data that helps us identify risk factors within the business and allows us to proactively address these issues,” explains Fourie.
The increasing volume of security data handled by organizations often prevents IT departments from focusing on important insights. ART automates the storage and correlation of data generated by execution processes on endpoints, allowing BDO to pinpoint attacks and identify behavioral aberrations.
Benefits of AD360
- EDR technology with complete protection against zero day attacks
- Full EPP capabilities
- Zero-Trust Applications Service – validates running processes
- Mitigates script-based and fileless malware
Benefits of Advanced Reporting Tool
- Customisable reporting and analysis
- Security incident information
- Visibility of network resource usage patterns
- Real-time alerts
Benefits of Patch Management
- Audit, monitor and prioritize operating systems and application updates
- Contain and mitigate vulnerability exploitation attacks
- Prevent incidents, systematically reducing the attack surface created by software vulnerabilities
- Reduce operating costs