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Managed Threat Response

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Endpoint Protection | Intercept X

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Spicerhaart are one of the UK’s most innovative estate agency groups, combining independent residential sales and lettings with integrated financial services. They help sellers secure the best possible price for their property, through award-winning marketing techniques and cutting-edge technology, as well as providing support to those buying, renting or letting a property.
Spicerhaart and Chess have worked successfully together over a period of 4 years, with Spicerhaart using Sophos solutions throughout this time to protect their data. Despite the successful deployment of Sophos products, Spicerhaart were struggling to keep on top of all their product alerts, which required more resource and the ability to respond to potential threats out of business hours. In December 2020, Chess supported Spicerhaart to make a strong enough business case for Sophos MTR by representing Spicerhaart to Sophos and securing a cost reduction.

 

The Business Challenge

Andrew Chaplin, IT Infrastructure Team Lead at Spicerhaart, leads a knowledgeable team of three at the headquarters location that oversees the company’s entire infrastructure: servers, firewalls, user services, mobile provisioning, and endpoint and network security. While Chaplin and his team David Skingley and Arnold Bickers strive to keep Spicerhaart as secure as possible, they are always balancing the need for protection with allowing users to do their jobs unobstructed.

After using a wide range of Sophos products over the years, Spicerhaart had got to a point where they had a comprehensive set of security solutions in place, following best practices. However due to the resource available, they were now struggling to manage them all in-house. This led them to question if they had the resource to not only keep up with alerts, but also be able to respond should a potential threat be detected.

With their Sophos products now in place protecting their data, they recognised with the lack of resource that it was key to make the most out of their Sophos product range. By doing this they could ensure they were being used to full capacity to protect, detect and respond to a potential threat around the clock.

The Solution

After 4 years of using Sophos Intercept X, Spicerhaart decided to investigate what to do next to help solve the business challenge they were facing.

The team were faced with 2 options, EDR or move up to Sophos MTR. After looking into EDR they recognised that there would still be a need for internal resource, skill and time to utilise this option and felt that EDR wasn’t going to be a suitable middle ground, as it wouldn’t have been able to solve the underlying business challenge being faced.

By choosing to use MTR they had the ability to fill time sensitive holes whilst working on some larger projects. In this case it was ‘MTR or nothing’ says IT infrastructure manager Andrew Chaplin.

 

 

Initially Spicerhaart were unsure if they could make a strong enough business case for MTR. This is where their long-standing relationship with Chess came in to play, with Chess being able to help with a cost reduction by representing Spicerhaart to Sophos and ensuring a good deal. With the new deal in place, Spicerhaart were able to push a business case via their CIO to the Board, who saw the value and recognised the need for additional protections to support the small in-house team.

Sophos MTR was signed off as the solution to the business challenge and brought forward from a February 2021 renewal to December 2020. This gave Spicerhaart peace of mind and protection over the upcoming Christmas and New Year period, where they knew attackers were most likely to attack whilst staff were on leave or over bank holidays.

The Outcome

Immediate benefits were seen from the implementation of MTR. First off, Sophos MTR’s ‘health check’ was performed before go live, which was able to look at the whole estate and check any misconfigurations. Sophos were then able to suggest best practices and offer recommendations to the Spicerhaart team.

Secondary, with news of the SolarWinds attack Spicerhaart were able to engage with MTR and receive a free of charge threat hunt in their estate. This ensured peace of mind that they weren’t at risk and were able to see how MTR undertake a threat hunt in the background.

Since going live Spicerhaart have continued to receive various alerts from MTR on any detections and that a false positive was established, and the case was closed. Andrew Chaplin say’s ‘to see this being done in the background is beneficial and ensures any potential threats are not left too late.

Chess’ relationship with Spicerhaart continues, with everyone pulling together in the same direction and supporting Spicerhaart with any questions they may have, as well as meeting the desire to keep prices down.

Chess provides a 360 service to consult, deliver, adopt and support. By using this approach Chess were able to ensure Sophos MTR was a suitable solution for Spicerhaarts needs, deliver the solution in full, whilst working in partnership with Spicerhaart, and providing continued support.

MTR has become a fourth member of the team, someone who can wear that security hat 24/7/365. With MTR in full on ‘hands off mode’ we know we are continually protected around the clock, and with continued support from Chess we are able to ensure our solutions are always fit for purpose"

Andrew Chaplin, IT infrastructure

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