Swedish-based Scania is recognised as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses. Naturally, an organisation with the reputation it has needs to ensure that its operations around the globe are fully compliant with the governance and risk policies outlined by its head office.
In order to do so, Scania South Africa recognised that the company required better management of its unstructured data, as well as a clearer understanding of what risks it faced in this respect.
According to Theven Naicker, infrastructure and operations manager at Scania SA, in order to remain compliant with the governance and risk policies set by the head office in Sweden, the organisation has focused strongly on improving aspects of its IT operations.
“Scania’s data identity and security systems were not as mature as we would have liked. In particular, we needed assistance in effectively identifying what data was critical, where this resided, what was happening to it and who was accessing it. And of course we needed to keep clear records and audit trails of all of this,” he says.
To this end, adds Naicker, the company engaged with Ubusha Technologies, which implemented two Varonis solutions that greatly assisted in maturing the company’s security environment.
“Scania purchased Varonis’ Data Advantage and Data Transport tools. The former assists in the monitoring of unstructured data, enabling us to know what data exists where and who is using it, while the latter assists in migrating and merging data from a variety of sources. In other words, it is of great help when performing data clean-ups.”
“Data Advantage was especially useful at the start of the process, in that it gave us an overview of our environment and enabled us to learn exactly what was going on. It provided an understanding of what security threats we faced and where these existed. It even identified a number of problem areas that we were completely unaware of, so it performed admirably in giving us complete knowledge of what needed to be secured,” states Naicker.
He explains that from a governance and compliance perspective, it is critical that Scania SA is able to track exactly what is happening in its environment, record who is accessing its systems and understand what data is stored in its various repositories. Once this is known, he adds, it becomes easy to decide whether the data is stored in the right place or if it should be moved, and whether employees are copying data to places they shouldn’t be.
“While this is obviously an ongoing process and we are busy restructuring our data ain light of the issues raised by Data Advantage, it has already significantly assisted us in terms of auditing purposes. Because we now have an audit trail that indicates who accesses what data and when, our governance and compliance processes have improved dramatically.”
Naicker suggests that the Data Transport solution came into play when the company needed to transfer a whole slew of data to a new platform. The company had recently conducted a major infrastructure overhaul and needed to move data from the existing repository to the new environment.
“What was so good about this solution is that it enabled us to transfer all our data across within a single day. This meant that our business was able to continue unaffected by the transfer. In fact, it was so painless that virtually no-one outside of the IT department was even aware that we had moved our data to a new platform.”
“All in all, we are very happy with what we have procured from Ubusha; not only the solutions, but also the fact that we have their high-level skills backing these up. Ubusha’s strong skills and vast product knowledge, along with their clear thinking around how to apply the software, are the main reasons we chose to partner with them.”
Andrew Whittaker, enterprise security practice lead at Ubusha Technologies, points out that the value Scania SA is receiving from these tools is just the start.
“We have been closely involved with the company in terms of how they plan their way forward from here, with regard to security and compliance and are very impressed with Scania’s maturity in how they practically approach their information security. The Varonis software will play a pivotal part in managing data within the security plan,” he says.
Naicker agrees that Ubusha’s guidance in structuring an effective security plan has been invaluable.
“They are a trusted partner of ours and clearly have the expertise we require in respect of security and compliance. It is always good to have a long term partner who can support you in this kind of ongoing strategy.”
“Things have really run smoothly in the first phase of our security and compliance improvements and – based on this – I have no doubt our relationship going forward will continue to go from strength to strength. Scania SA, like most businesses, appreciates value for money, strong expertise and good service. And this, ultimately, is exactly what we received from Ubusha. We are thus looking forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come,” concludes Naicker.