August 30, 2012, 12:32 PM

New security controls help e-retailer Vistaprint monitor its network

The system spots security problems on 15,000 devices with network access.

Lead Photo

Vistaprint, an online seller of business cards, stationery and other custom items for small businesses, had a problem monitoring security on the 15,000 devices accessing its data, which include the servers, employee laptops and other computer devices used to run its business.

The retailer had been trying to monitor and manage its network endpoints manually by installing various vendor-supplied software agents, like antivirus programs, on each device. However, that was difficult and inefficient, the retailer says. Running extra software on the servers and back-end infrastructure was taking up so much computing power that it degraded the network’sperformance.

That’s why Vistaprint decided it needed a new way to monitor the applications and devices accessing its data. It turned to a system from ForeScout Technologies called CounterAct to secure its entire network. Deployment took five days.

Now any of Vistaprint’s various information technology teams can monitor and manage any endpoint. “If an end user calls our help desk with a problem, the help desk can use CounterAct to see if the caller’s computer is running unauthorized software or somehow misconfigured,” says Christian Ponce, Vistaprint’s manager of I.T. audit and compliance.

Since implementation, CounterAct has increased the retailer’s operational efficiency, reduced costs and improved security, Vistaprint says. Vistaprint declined to provide any specific data points.

CounterAct monitors the activity of Vistaprint’s applications, devices and users on the network from a central location. The system controls network access, monitors security and PCI compliance—a set of credit card industry security standards—blocks network threats and fixes security breaches that do occur, says ForeScout.

When fixing a software patch, Ponce says CounterAct gave them immediate information about which systems needed the update—a task that would have taken them 1,000 hours to determine before. “CounterAct reduced the amount of time that we were exposed to the vulnerability and eliminated the potential human error stemming from people running around looking for systems to patch or remediate,” he says.

Vistaprint is No. 59 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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