Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Products: DatAdvantage for Windows, IDU Classification Framework, & DatAlert
Founded in 1966 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Hagadone Corporation is a privately held company with operations that include communications, hospitality, golf, restaurants, real estate, media and publishing, advertising, photography, marine manufacturing, and an aviation division. The company employs 1,200 employees across 30 businesses in seven states.
Much Needed Access Control
All of Hagadone’s IT is centralized and managed through its corporate office where it has both on-site and co-located infrastructure (hybrid cloud). It also has a fair amount of cloud-based infrastructure. The company includes communications and hospitality divisions – which are supported by a small IT team.
Hagadone has seen rapid technology growth over the last few years. Many of its 1,200 full time and seasonal employees are dispersed throughout multiple facilities across the U.S. and have a wide range of experience when it comes to technology. The company needed a solution that could control employee access and ensure that they are storing corporate and customer data sensibly.
Hagadone was also faced with the challenge of aging servers and troubled Active Directory groups. Many were outdated and improving data management and security was daunting, as it could require a time consuming overhaul of existing structures.
Early on in the Varonis implementation Hagadone quickly noticed the value when the company started moving outdated file shares to a new file server – with Varonis in place they can now drill down into the data and know with confidence when the data was last accessed, who accessed it, and who requires access to it and who doesn’t.
“Having the information available to bring to each company or their data holder and say, “You guys don’t actually need this access and you can get rid of this data,” really empowers us to talk to them about data security and management best practices. That is probably one of the biggest benefits I have seen so far.” —Kayla DesJarlais, System Administrator
Hagadone also began to see other security and efficiency benefits they didn’t expect to realize so quickly, for example, as soon as it started looking at old data and analyzing user access behavior and history it saw immediate areas for improvement.
“It wasn’t until we began working with Varonis and uncovering old data that we discovered opportunities to improve permissions. It’s all clear to us now. Given all of the internal data breaches as of late, having this level of security gives us the peace of mind we’ve been looking for.” said Kayla.
With Varonis in place, employees are more conscientious about data as a whole. Kayla added, “Varonis has certainly inspired more conservative behavior with employee practices on our network. The software has sparked discussion of file management best practices, creating a great educational opportunity for end users. Being able to devise a group structure based on data that we’re able to give them from Varonis is really helpful.”
One of the key factors in making the decision to purchase Varonis coincided with the expanded PCI requirements for 2015 and helping Hagadone lockdown their data.
Varonis enabled Hagadone to better handle their compliance efforts in a cost-effective way – and one that’s scalable to accommodate future growth.
According to Judd Jones, Corporate Director, “Varonis has been a huge help in making sure that we’re 100% compliant. P.C.I. is an ongoing effort that will never, ever stop. As long as the bad guys get smarter and the technology changes, we’re always going to be chasing compliance. We’re happy to have Varonis with us on this journey.”
Varonis DatAdvantage for Windows ensures that only the right Hagadone employees have access to the right data at all times, all access is monitored, and abuse is flagged, thereby reducing the risk of exposure considerably.
The Varonis IDU Classification Framework gives Hagadone visibility into the content of data, providing intelligence about where sensitive data resides across its file systems. By integrating file classification information, the IDU Classification Framework enables actionable intelligence for data protection, including a prioritized report of those folders with the most exposed permissions AND containing the most sensitive data.
Varonis DatAlert extends the Varonis Metadata Framework with real time alerting based on file activity, Active Directory changes, permissions changes, and other events. Alert criteria and output are easily configurable so that the right people and systems can be notified about the right things, at the right times in the right ways.
According to Kayla, “When tackling a new piece of software there’s always a learning curve. However, the Varonis tech who walked us through our installation has been incredibly flexible and is an absolute genius. We received a lot of documentation beyond just for the software itself, including best practices with security and devising the infrastructure for our file share. So in terms of actually being able to implement it, yeah, there was a time of learning it but I can’t be more thankful for how accessible, and good trainers that Varonis has.”
Judd added, “These days we’re finding that as vendors broaden their offerings, expanding into software-as-a-service for example, in some ways customer service is really taking a hit. Out of the three major deployments we did in 2014, Varonis clearly has been the one bright star. We looked at other options but hands down Varonis had the broadest capabilities. We appreciate its pro-activity and that it’s timely in its callbacks. Varonis has never left us hanging.”
Reducing Risk & Increasing Productivity through Automation
Varonis has not only inspired a higher level of conscientiousness about corporate and customer data while reducing risk, it has also significantly increased productivity.
Varonis is an invaluable problem solver for The Hagadone Corporation. According to Kayla, “We wouldn’t have the ability to monitor our data, especially with this level of transparency. It would require hiring another staff member to achieve a fraction of the monitoring capabilities Varonis grants us. Varonis is by far the most realistic and efficient approach rather than having somebody at the computer trying to do that on their own.”