MCNC Secures Over 1.5 Million Students and Staff Access from Anywhere with the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange
AkzoNobel is a Dutch multinational and global market leader in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings, and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has a corporate history reaching back to 1646. Today it operates in more than 80 countries worldwide and employs over 32,000 people.
Enables hybrid network deployment
Facilitates move to Microsoft 365
Centralizes management and reporting functionality with one integrated dashboard
Protects mobile users while providing faster access to applications
Cuts costs by reducing traffic on MPLS network
Zscaler is supporting the information management strategy of AzkoNobel by providing a secure foundation for our hybrid network infrastructure.
AkzoNobel operates with a highly centralized company IT infrastructure used by hundreds of locations in 80 countries worldwide. The company’s growing adoption of cloud-based solutions was contributing to increased internet traffic and the subsequent congestion of its WAN infrastructure. Its hub-and-spoke architecture forced all traffic to be backhauled to a single regional internet gateway–one each for EMEA, the Americas, and APAC.
This setup faced serious capacity constraints and could not support the increased bandwidth needs for cloud-based applications,including the pending Microsoft 365 implementation. So, AkzoNobel’s IT organization began to study a new hybrid network model that would increase the number of internet “breakouts” and give users worldwide faster access to the web, while providing a safe internet experience.
AkzoNobel did not want to implement and manage additional network hardware and desired a more flexible solution for internet access worldwide and support for migration of applications to the cloud. Thus, the company challenged its service provider Orange Business Services (OBS) to propose a cloud-based solution that would meet all its security, performance, and business requirements.
OBS proposed the cloud-based Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange and its Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA) service, which offered all the required security functionality, including web security, advanced threat protection, next-generation firewall and secure browsing. This highly integrated solution would provide a streamlined migration path towards a hybrid WAN/ Internet network model while adding security functionality at reduced total cost.
During product evaluation, the Zscaler solution proved itself a viable and technically advanced solution with an easy-to-administer administration dashboard. AkzoNobel knew that it would facilitate the implementation of 25 additional internet breakout points the following year.
The dashboard is intuitive and our IT team was very quickly up to speed using it, with only minimal technical consultation by Zscaler.
Since many of AkzoNobel's staff access its network through tablets, smartphones and laptops, the ability to protect this traffic factored highly in AkzoNobel’s decision to implement ZIA. Delivered as a scalable SaaS platform from the world’s largest security cloud, ZIA provides fast, direct, and secure connectivity to the internet and SaaS applications regardless of location.
Since the company lacked a Domain Name System (DNS) for secure access of internet services, the Zscaler service provided all of its users, desktop and mobile, with safe access to the internet. In addition, AkzoNobel became one of the first companies to adopt the integrated next-generation firewall functionality in ZIA for traffic scanning, extending security across all ports and protocols.
Besides requiring no hardware or software maintenance, ZIA provides AkzoNobel with security that has exceptionally low latency. As soon as the additional internet breakout points were implemented, internet traffic no longer had to be backhauled to AkzoNobel’s principal data centers for appliance-based security scanning—significantly reducing MPLS traffic. This reduction, combined with ZIA’s ability to prioritize traffic to control bandwidth, is essential to the pending Microsoft 365 implementation.
This functionality will be an immense advantage when we have implemented 25 breakout points. We will be able to administer them with one portal and will only have to change a rule once to deliver it to all locations.
AkzoNobel considered the administration of its prior security configuration extremely burdensome due to the number of separate point solutions involved. With the move to Zscaler, one integrated administration portal has significantly reduced complexity for security administrators. The whole setup is very easy to understand and manage.
“The dashboard is intuitive and our IT team was very quickly up to speed using it, with only minimal technical consultation by Zscaler,” explains Edwin Wijnhoven, Service Delivery Manager at AkzoNobel. “This functionality will be an immense advantage when we have implemented 25 breakout points. We will be able to administer them with one portal and have to change a rule only once to deliver it to all locations.”
Zscaler proved itself a viable and technically advanced solution with an easy-to-administer administration dashboard.