Vinmonopolet, which most people are aware of domestically in Norway, has the exclusive right to the retail sale of wine, spirits and beer (above 4.5%) to all consumers throughout Norway. Because of that, Vinmonopolet operates under highly regulated and quite unique rules and legislation. They have just under 300 stores that extend across the entire country.
At the chain office, besides a mix of around 100 servers (virtual and physical), there are just under 200 workstations. In the stores they have at a minimum one register, one back- office computer, one information terminal, plus one laptop and one handheld terminal. Some stores also use tablets.
In 2014, Vinmonopolet issued the tender competition through the Mercell portal, where they sought a new deal in place that could strengthen the business through a modern security solution and wanted to associate a support agreement. They needed a solution that could secure clients, servers and any handheld devices, against any threat that could compromise their systems and user equipment. It was specified that they also wanted the solution to protect against data leaks.
The product they selected had to meet their high demands for both requirements and specifications. It would have the best combination of technology, deployment processes, implementation within the current infrastructure, and streamline operations, maintenance, and management of the security platform that had to meet their high demands for both requirements and specifications. The agreement was specified for three years with option for extension of 1+ 1 year. The license purchase consisted of 2,400 licenses distributed on 1,200 PCs and 1,200 workstations.
The 2,000 or so Vinmonopolet users are spread out geographically at their given chain offices and of course at the Vinmonopolet stores around Norway. They have an extensive use of IT, which must be in line with their activities related to the Alcohol Act and other rules for compliance as part of special laws aimed at Vinmonopol’s daily management. They emphasize flexible, functional and cost-effective services that would satisfy their current future requirements for cybersecurity. The agreement with the chosen supplier was to be considered long-term if the strident requirements for proactive protection were met within the service offer.
Administrators operate, support, and manage the IT infrastructure & environment of Vinmonopolet in the broad range of services, systems, computers, client equipment, and applications. The admin team has particular high demands concerning response time. In the classification process of issuing tickets they must be able to respond within a period of 30 minutes to two working days on any given event from critical to low.
There was a long list of supplier requirements. Essential requirements included some of Panda Adaptive Defense’s strongest capabilities such as fighting phishing and cryptovirus concerns, as well as proactive protection against unknown threats (known as zero day threats). Vinmonopolet also wanted the opportunity for trend and threat analysis with subsequent notification and reporting capabilities provided directly to the appropriate administrators. Administration and distribution from the Cloud console with associated intelligent protection and “collective intelligence” was also required.
Their goal was to simplify their administration tools so that they provided an overview of necessary updates and patches, centrally displayed any errors, and provided total version control within their networks. The supplier also had to meet the requirements for “green IT,” which refers to high capacity combined with low resource usage.
Monitoring services and critical events on processes pinpointed as important would of course need to be 24/7 and would have to support Vinmonopol’s service requirements for proactive maintenance. In order for systems to perform optimally, maintain good capacity and be scalable, the supplier’s offering needed to incorporate best practice routines and processes for this. Vinmonopolet’s IT department’s rolling internal security shift process has a mission to ensure uptime, so the ability to reach both Norwegian and international support for escalations was therefore an absolute must-have.
The IT manager in charge of selection, who has been with the organization for over nine years and is responsible for all operating platforms for all of Vinmonopol’s various sites, chose Panda. With Panda, they have layered defenses and remote protection for laptops that are out of the office. They also have new insight into their processes and into any security events that are
happening. Panda’s automation features have simplified the job of security administration and provided Vinmonopolet with the control they needed over their overall client management.