Pulse Secure, a provider of Secure Access solutions to both enterprises and service providers, has announced that Entegrus has successfully deployed Pulse Policy Secure advanced network access control (NAC), to strengthen overall visibility and access security across their hybrid IT infrastructure.

Entegrus, a Canadian energy company, leveraged their existing Pulse Secure virtual private network (VPN) implementation to expedite NAC deployment and fortify their infrastructure in accordance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) guidelines.

As a result, their security organisation extended visibility for remote and on-premise users and devices, as well as enhanced endpoint compliance and Internet of Things (IoT) risk mitigation.

We have increased our security posture, and for the most part, there has been zero impact on our end users" Pulse Secure-Entegrus collaboration

Entegrus serves over 58,000 customers throughout Ontario. They bring electricity, renewable energy and water across three large regions, with a workforce spread out over 2,300 square miles. Entegrus’ objective is to provide safe, reliable and cost-effective provision of energy and related billing services, while providing high levels of service to its customers, partners and the communities it serves. IT security plays a critical role in protecting their delivery of energy and data services. 

The threat landscape is constantly evolving, forcing us to always consider how we can go one step further. With a widely distributed IT infrastructure, we considered NAC as an effective way to improve our security posture without dramatically altering how we operate,” said Dave Cullen, manager of information systems for Entegrus.

We have a long-standing relationship with Pulse Secure. The level of integration between Pulse Secure secure sockets layer (SSL) and NAC, as well as the extended feature set, made it a straightforward choice for us. Perhaps, the two most important things are that we have increased our security posture, and for the most part, there has been zero impact on our end users.” 

Active control with seamless network access

Ensuring always active control while maintaining flexible, seamless access to network and application resources is an essential requirement for utility providers. Within such highly regulated industries, best practices dictate a constant cycle of security readiness review and improvement to meet an increasingly potent threat posed by cyber threat actors.

NAC provides foundational endpoint intelligence, resource access enforcement and IoT defences that support industry and regulatory compliance guidelines. These compliance requisites apply to both regional and large national critical infrastructure providers. 

For stretched IT departments, Pulse Secure’s Secure Access solutions are designed to streamline deployment and on-going administration using an easy, integrated, policy-driven platform that works with a customer’s existing installed base and network infrastructure.

In addition, Pulse Secure’s VPN solution utilises the same endpoint client, policy engine and appliance management as the NAC solution. Entegrus took advantage of this platform capability to rapidly implement NAC. As a result, they gained dynamic intelligence, unified policy management, automated enforcement and threat response through a single management console.

We needed to make sure our secure access technologies could adapt to new regulatory requirements and new business needs"

Secure access solutions

Cullen highlights numerous benefits, including a simplified method of managing complex policies and user access rights, as well as an enforceable method of checking end-point devices to ensure that only properly patched operating systems can connect to the network. Another advantage of Pulse Policy Secure was evident after Entegrus recently merged with London, Ontario-based St. Thomas Energy.

We needed to make sure our secure access technologies could adapt to new regulatory requirements and new business needs, as the recent merger added new, unqualified infrastructure and grew our customer base by around a third, which also led to the hiring of 28 new staff members,” Cullen added.

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