Though the stakes for digital innovation (DI) have never been higher, enterprises engaging in DI projects today can draw on a plethora of lessons learned by their predecessors. A key lesson is that security cannot be bolted on at the end of a technology project. Rather, it must be architected into the initiative from the beginning of the project.
A leading Spanish pharmaceutical company, Insud Pharma, worked with Fortinet to develop a framework that enabled the transformation of the company’s entire value chain, based on best practices in information security. The framework, comprised of solutions from the Fortinet Security Fabric, provides the necessary protection for the pharmaceutical manufacturer’s IT and OT networks, offering complete visibility of all assets and events that occur across its digital infrastructure. This broad visibility and control is critical to securing OT environments as OT/IT convergence introduces new cyberthreats to organizations worldwide, and no other vendor can provide this same breadth of protection across both IT and OT domains.
Insud Pharma chose Fortinet solutions because they addressed each key requirement Insud Pharma had for their infrastructure refresh—including scalability, connectivity, governance, performance, and security capabilities.
Insud Pharma’s business ecosystem is heterogeneous, ranging from production facilities and warehouses to a geographically widespread commercial presence. The company must therefore respond appropriately to the different requirements of the manufacturing, distribution, and sales business units, across its 44 offices around the world.
Its DI strategy involved redesigning some business processes, from streamlining the most complex industrial processes to defining new marketing and sales models that would enable Insud Pharma to have a greater impact on its market. In short, this DI project encompassed not only platforms and systems, but also business processes and the use of information by employees, customers, and partners.
In this context, the company needed to develop a framework for growth. “We needed to find a strategic partner that would support us in the areas of network management, scalability, and security,” says Emilio Pericet, Infrastructure and Technology Manager at Insud Pharma. “The differentiator that led us to choose Fortinet was the capacity of their technology to offer us total visibility of our assets and of what is happening at any given moment. The security, management agility, and performance of the platform were decisive in the decision-making process.”
Looking beyond this project, the pharmaceutical company selected Fortinet for its capacity to respond to Insud Pharma’s fast-paced transformation with a broad portfolio of solutions that simplified security management across both the IT and OT domains.
The complexity of the network required segmentation and micro-segmentation to achieve greater visibility and control over their assets, network, and connected devices. For perimeter security across its IT and operational technology (OT) environments, the company deployed FortiGate next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) in high-availability mode. The NGFWs met all of Insud Pharma’s Industrial Control Systems/Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (ICS/SCADA) protocol requirements, delivering complete visibility into security events across OT systems. In this way, Insud Pharma achieves greater control over the security status of its IT and OT networks. The FortiGate firewalls also include secure software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) functionality, improving reliability while delivering savings in WAN connectivity costs.
In order to simplify network management, and to unify and centralize the security policies of its 44 offices around the world, Insud Pharma leverages FortiManager, which gives the IT team end-to-end visibility from a single management console. They have also implemented FortiAnalyzer for event correlation, threat detection, and security reporting.
One of the challenges of the project was to enable the secure convergence of the IT and OT infrastructure. To do this, Fortinet deployed an internal segmentation firewall (ISFW), ensuring visibility across the entire digital infrastructure by having the same FortiGate operating system (FortiOS) in their IT networks and OT networks all reporting back to FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer.
In only three months, Insud Pharma and Fortinet were able to define a new network based on the Fortinet technology. And they did so without impacting the daily operations and performance of the company. This was an outstanding achievement, considering the challenges of developing a project of this magnitude.
“From the beginning, the Fortinet team understood the complexity and the level of demands involved in this networking and security digitalization project,” Pericet says. “They got involved from the design stage, through the implementation, and made sure we successfully completed the functional and stress tests of the entire platform. It was clear to us that such an ambitious project could only be carried out with the guarantee of a leading global team like Fortinet,” concludes Pericet.
The benefits of the new network structure that Fortinet implemented are already visible at Insud Pharma. An example of this has been the implementation of an electronic batch record (EBR) project to digitize the entire drug manufacturing process. Without a secure, scalable network that facilitates efficient management, this project would not have been viable.
In the future, the pharmaceutical company plans to continue developing its cybersecurity infrastructure with additional access management technologies and web application firewall (WAF) solutions.
Throughout the project, the support and involvement of the Insud Pharma management was key to its success. Management understood the strategic value of technology as a whole, and of security in particular, as an enabler of the company’s growth.
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