Standardize firewalls throughout branch offices in multiple countries to maximize the effectiveness of limited resources while mitigating security risks.
Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall with Threat Prevention, URL Filtering, GlobalProtect™ and WildFire® subscriptions, and Panorama™.
Based in Hong Kong, Dah Chong Hong Holdings Limited is an integrated motor and consumer products distribution company operating in Asia with an extensive logistics network. DCH is a leading distributor and dealer of motor vehicles in Greater China and provides a full range of motor-related services, including maintenance, rental, repair, and financing. DCH’s consumer products business includes the distribution of food and FMCG, healthcare, and electronic products as well as food processing, trading, and retail.
The business has operations in 12 Asian economics across Southeast Asia and Greater China. Each office takes care of its own IT, deploying a multitude of different technologies. Inevitably, security technology and features varied widely across locations.
With locally managed internal IT, network security management and operations were resource intensive and fractured. However, implementing changes in such a large and diverse environment would involve a significant commitment of time and internal resources.
DCH recognized that standardizing network security would reduce labor requirements and strengthen its security position, hence the company determined to proceed with standardizing firewalls and centralizing network security management.
Wanting to implement these changes quickly, DCH realized using external resources would speed up deployment. After nearly three months evaluating products from several leading brands, DCH selected the technology and services of Palo Alto Networks.
“We chose Palo Alto Networks because of our previous good experience of working with them,” says Ravel Lai, CIO of DCH. “We had total confidence in the ability of their products to unify our network security infrastructure—and knew they had great after-sales service.”
DCH purchased more than 200 Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall appliances, ranging from the PA-220 to PA-3200 Series devices, along with Panorama™ for network security management. “We can deploy the firewall appliances in just one or two days when previously security infrastructure deployments took a week. Some functions can even be deployed remotely, saving time and resources,” says Lai.
The company is aiming to complete all security deployments across its Asia-Pacific offices within three years. DCH has to date deployed the security infrastructure in more than 200 branches in mainland China. Phase 2 will involve an upgrade of the security infrastructure across Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
Deep Visibility into New Security Threats
The Next-Generation Firewall appliances only allow traffic from permitted applications, reducing any attack risk. Incoming traffic is inspected to prevent both known and unknown threats without needing manual intervention.
Both physical firewalls and virtual firewalls deployed in the cloud are managed by Panorama, which provides a viewing platform for all activities around the globe. Configuration templates were standardized and audited by best practice assessment tools before being pushed to the managed firewalls. A bootstrap process automated deployment in remote locations, providing significant savings in both time and effort by eliminating any need for on-site firewall setup.
Deployed centrally, Panorama management provides an integrated platform that not only simplifies network security management but also provides deep visibility into security threats. Network security issues and vulnerabilities are easier to detect and assess, and can be fixed more rapidly. “Panorama immediately increased our ability to detect and block network vulnerabilities,” says Lai.
The prevention-focused architecture and integrated innovations are not only easy to deploy but also easy to use. “We have already reached best practice levels in our use of Palo Alto Networks security technology,” adds Lai.
DCH now enjoys a far better after-sales service than it has experienced in the past with other security vendors. “With Palo Alto Networks, I get a response from the support team within an acceptable time rather than one or two days,” says Lai. “It means I can solve any issues quickly, without affecting the company’s daily operations.”
In addition to providing a rapid response to any issues that may arise, Palo Alto Networks after-sales service also includes regular workshops to introduce recent technology developments and services to DCH.
Thanks to Palo Alto Networks, DCH’s overall network security has been simplified and strengthened while bandwidth consumption has dropped by 10 percent. But Lai has his sights on a new goal. He concludes, “Our next goal is to strengthen our security service level agreements (SLAs) to best in class across our industries. We have every confidence Palo Alto Networks, together with our in-house team, will achieve zero downtime by making full use of Palo Alto Networks features and services.”
This case study available in: Chinese.