Project Description

COMPANY

The Republic of San Marino’s Office of Information Technology, Data and Statistics is a public-sector organisation with around 800 terminals.

GOALS

In 2014, the public administration of the Republic of San Marino found itself having to rethink its IT security infrastructure, which involved the use of client-side antivirus protection which was very resource intensive and distributed across approximately 800 machines of differing types, spread over the various offices.
Taking on the responsibility was the Office of Information Technology, Data and Statistics, led by Roberta Mularoni, which manages the entire IT sector for San Marino’s public administration. As well as the public offices, the Secretariats of State and the schools, the IT department provides important services for other state institutions. As Massimiliano Casali, head of IT for the San Marino public administration, recalls:

“80% of our systems were still running Windows XP, and we were looking for efficient endpoint protection which would have the least possible impact on users and not get in the way of their day-to-day activities”. The Office of Information Technology, Data and Statistics was also in search of a solution which would be simple to install and could be managed at a centralised level.

Email security was also an issue. “Cryptolocker had caused some head-scratching,” he recalls. “We needed an email security solution which would block the vectors of this extremely dangerous ransomware”. In this context, it was essential to adopt a solution to protect email, bearing in mind that the Office of Information Technology, Data and Statistics also provides this service to San Marino’s social security department, which manages extremely sensitive health data.

IMPLEMENTED SOLUTIONS

In order to address its need for endpoint protection and attain an effective antispam solution, the public administration of the Republic of San Marino adopted Trend Micro Smart Protection Suite, which offers complete user protection for simple and flexible security.

Smart Protection Suite is an interconnected suite of security solutions which guarantees the best protection over different levels, using the widest range of anti-malware techniques available. It also allows protection to be developed step by step with the business, using scalable and flexible in-the-cloud and hybrid implementation models in order to make changes quickly without having to resort to new licenses. Smart Protection Suite allows management of users via a single control panel, thus offering a complete security overview.

More specifically, to date the Office of Information Technology, Data and Statistics has implemented the OfficeScan and InterScan Messaging Security modules. Trend Micro OfficeScan, the first solution for endpoint security in virtualised environments, dedicated to medium and large enterprises, is designed to meet the specific challenges of endpoints implemented within VDI environments.

OfficeScan is able to identify the virtualised endpoints and prevent resource contention through serialisation of scanning operations and security updates, thus preventing the typical problems of slow systems coinciding with antivirus updates or machine restarts. OfficeScan is able to maximise the number of virtualised desktops per host, contributing to an improved ROI for VDI environments, without impacting the safety standards. InterScan Messaging Security guarantees protection of email messages, prevents targeted attacks and blocks spam, while the data encryption and privacy module solves the complicated issues of compliance and privacy by protecting outgoing data. The solution incorporates protection against targeted attacks and constantly evolving threats, and uses the web reputation system to detect exploits within documents.

CONCLUSIONS

The Trend Micro solutions protect operating systems which are no longer supported, such as Windows XP in this case, thanks to their virtual patching ability.

This feature was key in choosing Trend Micro, as well as the lightweight nature of the OfficeScan agent which allowed its use even on older machines with limited RAM. Massimiliano Casali expresses satisfaction with the Trend Micro solutions adopted: “As regards OfficeScan, we have enabled scanning in runtime mode which the user can run at the most convenient time.

This prevents the machines from being slowed down and creating disruptions, as well as guaranteeing continuity of protection. The great thing is, you don’t even realise that the security system is running”.

In terms of the antispam protection, on the other hand, InterScan Messaging Security managed to block 30% of emails in its first week, labelling them as spam and thus also eliminating the time wasted in reading and deleting such messages. Massimiliano Casali is very happy overall: “As well as increasing the level of protection, we also managed to highlight situations where email was being used for inappropriate purposes, which resulted in mailboxes filling up with spam and junk emails.”

Emails for the hospital undergo closer observation, however, with the San Marino IT department currently intervening manually on a daily basis.