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Cebu Pacific Air Secures Hybrid Work with Zero Trust

December 05, 2023 - 4 min read

At Cebu Pacific Air, we want to make flying accessible for everyone. We fly to more than 60 locations in the Philippines and overseas, and our flexible bookings, low fares, and global best safety practices have made us the leading airline in our country. 

We want not only to make flying fun and affordable—we also want Cebu Pacific to be a good place to work. Part of that involves creating a positive and seamless digital experience for our staff, with technology that helps them do their jobs better. We have been on a multi-year cloud journey, and as we modernized our applications, we also wanted to provide staff with a better, more secure way to access their SaaS and private business applications. 

A better employee experience

As at many organizations, our staff previously used a traditional VPN when they traveled or worked from home. But relying on VPN became increasingly frustrating for users. Applications were sluggish, and VPN connections often dropped. Complaints to our service desk were mounting. 

We recognized that VPNs were a legacy technology that not only got in the way of employee satisfaction, but also lacked sufficient security controls as we accelerated our move to the cloud. VPNs are prone to cyberattacks because of the way they expand the attack surface, fail to stop compromise, and enable lateral threat movement. So, we knew it was time to embrace the principle of least-privileged access and the zero trust concept of “never trust, always verify” to ensure that our staff had easy and secure access to the applications they needed to do their jobs. We set out to find a comprehensive and integrated zero trust platform. 

Strengthening security with zero trust

I’ve been leading IT strategy at Cebu Pacific for nearly eight years, and Glenn Amper, our Director of Information Security, has been spearheading cybersecurity for seven years. We share a philosophy of continuous improvement, and we’re always ready to consider new solutions. We both had previous experience with Zscaler. After evaluating other zero trust solutions, our testing proved that the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange was the most mature platform and the best fit for our organization.

Our executive management supported our business case to adopt Zscaler, with a clear recognition that if our IT environment is not secure and data is exposed, we risk damaging the trust we have earned with our customers.

Secure, seamless, and reliable access

We moved quickly to roll out the Zero Trust Exchange to provide a more effective and secure remote access and internet experience for our 3,900 staff, reducing risk for our business while enhancing productivity. That decision allowed our workforce to easily pivot to remote work during the pandemic and work seamlessly as we fully adopted a hybrid work model.

With Zscaler protecting access to our private and SaaS applications, our workforce never has to be concerned about data breaches or fraud. Sophisticated social engineering attempts fail, and the business is fully protected against insider threats.

An adaptable security strategy

Our zero trust journey began four years ago when we assessed our cybersecurity maturity as part of our cloud transformation initiative. Zscaler allowed us to close the remote access gap and deliver a better user experience at the same time. Since then, Zscaler has become the key pillar of our zero trust strategy. Integration with CrowdStrike endpoint detection and response (EDR) allows us to continuously assess device health to further mitigate risk. We are looking ahead to integrating Zscaler with data loss prevention and identity and access management solutions as we continue our zero trust journey.

Support our sustainability responsibilities

Achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions is a big challenge for any airline, but Cebu Pacific has set a target to decarbonize by 2050. We’re powering more flights with sustainable aviation fuel, and the company will completely transition to the more sustainable Airbus neo aircraft by 2028.

IT also positively impacts our company’s sustainability goals. Fortunately, Zscaler’s cloud native, multitenant zero trust platform has helped us reduce our data center footprint by eliminating the need for hardware appliances, rack space, cooling systems, and all of the corresponding energy usage. 

Check out the full case study to learn more about Cebu’s digital transformation with Zscaler. 


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