Case Study: Sutton And East Surrey Water Ups Its Security

Jan 08, 2015

Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW) has successfully deployed real-time network visibility, security compliance and control automation.

The utility provider supplies drinking water to around 670,000 residents across 284,000 properties in East Surrey and pasts of West Sussex, West Kent and South London – an area of 835 square kilometres (322 square miles).

SESW supplies an average of 160 million litres of water a day, rising to around 220 million in the summer.

Traditionally, the organisation lacked the level of security compliance and visibility it wished to have.


The Business Problem

SESW had identified it needed a partner to provide network visibility and control, ultimately upping security levels, but it had to do so within a limited budget.

“Like all organisations, we have a limited IT security budget and have to ensure that we maximise any IT security investment,” claimed Michael Cock, group information technology manager of the water supplier.

“We wanted to maximise internal security compliance by gaining more enhanced visibility and control of authorised and unauthorised devices and software on our network,” he added.

To do this, Cock said, a pervasive network security solution was required.

“In the quest to make our internal network security as strong as our external network security, or primary concern was to source an auditable and complete IT discovery tool,” claimed Cock.

“[Previously] we used a number of disparate tools for asset discovery and audit and a significant amount of manual work was required to collate all of the data, which introduces risks,” he added.

Solving The Problem

After deciding to search for a different solution, SESW looked to trusted sources to find recommended services and products to help it out.

“When we began the search, we approached our long-standing IT integration partner, BlueFort Security. BlueFort recommended ForeScout CounterACT and offered an on-site Proof of Concept to [our] IT security team,” claimed Cock.

“We assessed CounterACT’s suitability and found that it delivered broader functionality than the benchmark requirement,” he added.


The Results

After a smooth rollout where initial setup took just one day, as did the installation, SESW is well on the way to achieving the security compliance required for this type of organisation.

The organisation claims that ForeScout exceeded its initial requirements and has delivered greater security compliance and delivered greater operational oversight of authorised and unauthorised users, devices and software on its network.

The solution has been able to work requiring just minimal man-hours to maintain it and it also allows other IT systems to exchange information, creating a more holistic security posture at SESW.

“Once we identified ForeScout as a potential solution we have found that there were very few direct comparators in the market – certainly nothing with the same scope,” claimed Cock.

“The price and breadth of CounterACT provided strong advantages over alternative solutions that we evaluated,” he added.

SESW now has comprehensive, real-time visibility of its internal network, with a clear dashboard that shows compliance status and enhances internal threat identification and remediation capabilities.


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