Case Study - Nicholas Mee

Customer’s Profile

An established Aston Martin specialist for over 25 years, Nicholas Mee & Co Ltd specialises in the supply of parts, vehicle services and pre-owned Aston Martin cars produced from the 1950s to the present day – from the classic DB2 to the more contemporary V12 Vanquish and Gaydon built models.

The company provides owners and collectors with a wealth of knowledge and experience to assist in the maintenance and enjoyment of their cars. Its work covers all aspects of vehicle maintenance, including servicing, partial rebuilds or full restoration of Aston Martin cars.

Based on the historic Hatfield Park estate, the company’s state-of-the-art facilities feature workshops, parts departments and a galleried 22 car showroom to assist Aston Martin owners and enthusiasts in the enjoyment and maintenance of their cherished cars.

Situation

Nicholas Mee & Co Ltd is a member of a very exclusive club. It is one of only a select few Aston Martin specialists in the UK which sells, maintains, restores and rebuilds some of the world’s most iconic luxury sports cars.

The company’s portfolio includes classics such as James Bond’s DB5 (which was the first Aston Martin appearance in the 1964 Goldfinger film), racers such the 2007 DBRS9, and rarities such as the 1988 V8 Vantage Zagato – one of only 21 LHD variant cars ever built!

To provide a highly skilled, tailored service to its customers, Nicholas Mee supports its factory-trained engineers with a range of digital tools. Tablets, smartphones and other intelligent devices are used on a daily basis to provide workers with instant access to key information, such as work orders, parts availability and job details, to support service delivery.

Although the use of modern digital technology has helped to improve its services, this has also increased the potential for cyber criminals and hackers to try and gain access to private data, steal it and then require ransom for the sensitive information to be returned.

This is not a problem that is unique to Nicholas Mee. Indeed, every business has a responsibility to protect itself from an ever-increasing daily threat of being hacked and exposed to a raft of threats.

For Nicholas Mee, with the exclusivity and prestige associated with its services and high-net-worth customers, re-enforcing its defenses against cyber criminals was a top priority.

Challenges

The automotive industry isn’t a stranger to the threats posed by ransomware and cyber attacks. Automotive manufacturers and dealerships are a natural target for cyber criminals.* The challenge is that dealerships vary in size and quality, with different levels of IT expertise and budget. But since the industry has been aware of the very real threat for a number of years,** customers should be able to assume their personal information will stay safe.

Nicholas Mee retains business IT solutions provider Alchemy Systems to manage their range of end-to-end IT solutions – from Internet connectivity and hosted desktops to IT support and product delivery.

Alchemy Systems, Nicholas Mee’s Service Provider, noticed a rise in the number of ransomware attacks attempting to infiltrate the Nicholas Mee systems, and looked hard at the cyber defense system currently in place. Alchemy discovered that the legacy cybersecurity system (Symantec Endpoint Protection) had no way of detecting and blocking new ransomware attacks – and so immediate action was needed.

Given the breadth and sensitivity of customer information stored on company systems, including payment details and addresses, Nicholas Mee required a sophisticated cybersecurity solution fully capable of dealing with attacks and preventing data breaches. The issue became pressing after this discovery of inadequacies in its existing cybersecurity protection, especially in light of the introduction of GDPR in May 2018.

The premium placed on protecting its client base and its reputation as a prominent motor specialist, meant that for Nicholas Mee the cost of investing in a cybersecurity solution was not optional – as long as Alchemy deployed and managed a full-scale solution capable of protecting the company and its customers from cyber attacks now and moving forwards.

Evaluation

After analysing the market, Alchemy chose to migrate Nicholas Mee away from Symantec and onto Panda Adaptive Defense 360. The switch was primarily because of the anti-ransomware capabilities the solution includes through monitoring all applications, both malicious and legitimate, to guarantee protection.

Panda Adaptive Defense 360 provides full control and visibility into everything that happens inside company endpoints – monitoring, recording and classifying 100% of running applications on a network. This capability combines with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) features to detect and prevent malware and ransomware spreading to systems.

The solution’s mobile device management also offered a significant advantage: end-to-end control. Nicholas Mee employees use several different devices across the business and the ability to manage multiple endpoints – Macs, PCs, mobile devices and servers – in real time played a major part in tightening the company’s security.

Panda Adaptive Defense 360 is complemented by a user-friendly management portal that allows Alchemy to manage Nicholas Mee’s endpoints centrally.

Nathan Mills, director at Alchemy explains, “Being able to provide a one-stop-shop that’s able to manage multiple endpoints within one solution is a huge benefit for both Nicholas Mee and us as their IT support. Endpoints present the easiest way for cyber criminals to access networks and valuable information, so it was important that any new solution could monitor every device to ensure complete protection.”

Solution

Panda Adaptive Defense 360 now provides Nicholas Mee with strong protection against ransomware and other known or unknown attacks, helping keep sensitive customer details secure and the business GDPR compliant.

The combination of an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), as well as the Zero-Trust Application Service and Threat Hunting service means that Alchemy can deliver a complete package of advanced cybersecurity.

The combination of these capabilities provides full visibility of all endpoint activity, helping Alchemy keep absolute control of all Nicholas Mee systems and processes, as well as reducing the attack surface.

“In terms of the manageability and capability of the product, there simply isn’t anything better on the market,” said Neal Garrard, commercial director at Nicholas Mee.

“Protecting our customers’ data is vital for both business continuity and meeting GDPR regulations, and Panda Adaptive Defense 360 has become a critical part of securing our systems across the business. Managing devices and automatically blocking known and advanced threats is a huge value-add for us. Regardless of what happens in the future, we know that we’ll stay protected and keep our customers’information away from the hands of cyber criminals.”

Nathan Mills concludes, “As a reseller, Alchemy needs to be able to offer products that match the needs of our customers’business – no other solution on the market does that better than Panda Adaptive Defense 360. The manageability of Panda solutions is of huge importance to us, while the capability of the product meets the needs of Nicholas Mee and all of the customers we support.”

About Alchemy Systems

Alchemy Systems is an IT solutions company providing a single source for IT business solutions spanning the breadth of an organisation’s computing and communications requirements. Alchemy has been providing, installing and supporting IT solutions for the last 15 years to organisations of all sizes with products from many of the world’s leading vendors. In addition Alchemy have developed our own range of unique Hosted Cloud services over the past six years to support the needs of our customers. With offices in Egham, Honiton and Burton on Trent, Alchemy is able to provide its services to hundreds of organisations across the UK.

“With Adaptive Defense 360 the process of securing the network using a single solution was much more efficient, and once implemented we could see suspicious activities being automatically classified and blocked without any need for manual intervention,” said Nathan Mills, managing director of Alchemy Systems.

 

*https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industrial-products/publications/assets/pwc-a… 
**https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/car-news/96431/car-dealers-warned-to-tighten-up-cyber-security-to-ko-hackers

 

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