Sapphire Utility Solutions (SUS)

Sapphire Utility Solutions (no relation to Sapphire Technologies Ltd) are a trusted name in the utility, transport, and highways sectors, known for delivering innovative solutions to the clean water, manufacturing, petrochemical, construction and highway industries. Like all organisations, Sapphire Utility Solutions is a target for cybercriminals. This is only exasperated by its rapid growth.

Whilst having extensive security experience within the team, SUS wanted to enhance its cybersecurity capabilities and provide the best resources for its team to take advantage of, so it decided to outsource its cybersecurity via Sapphire’s Managed Security service.

The Challenge

As a Tier 1 Utility Maintenance provider, Sapphire Utilities Solutions (SUS) play an important role in ensuring utilities are provided throughout the UK. Mo Dawood, Director of Information Technology at SUS, said, “We’re growing substantially. Therefore we needed protection because the utilities sector is an at-risk industry to cybercriminals. Cybercriminals do not follow a regular workday pattern, so SUS is proactively putting in steps to ensure we’re monitored and protected 24x7x365.”

For Ryan Addams, Infrastructure Manager at SUS, bringing in an experienced third-party made sense. “Security is our biggest concern when it comes to our IT infrastructure. We understand it’s important our bases are covered, especially when you consider the daily evolution of cybersecurity. It’s challenging to keep up with everything unless you have a large internal team.”

SUS’s IT team (highly skilled yet small) have multiple functions. To recruit high-level expertise, implement new infrastructure, provide training and continuous 24×7 monitoring requires a significant investment. It is for that reason why SUS decided to outsource its cybersecurity to a managed service provider.

MSSP Selection Process

SUS’s essential requirement was to ensure they received an “eyes on” managed service that picked up anything their IT team had missed. “We needed a service where we received credible alerts to react effectively. Our team did not want to be drowning in alerts,” said Mo.

After contacting Sapphire, the selection process began. For Mo, this meant looking for a provider with experience. “The managed security service had to demonstrate a best-in-class security toolkit, extensive security experience and a broad client base to map trends. Communication is also important, and a personal touch is critical to a successful partnership between businesses. After reviewing multiple service providers, we found that Sapphire exceeded these requirements.”

The SUS team visited the Sapphire Security Operations Centre (SOC)/team with Ryan and was impressed with what he saw. “It was insightful to see how the Sapphire SOC combines people, processes, and technology to increase an organisation’s levels of cybersecurity. We knew Sapphire was the right managed service provider to maintain our security.”

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Impact of Sapphire’s Managed Security Solutions:

SUS receives 24x7x365 threat monitoring, logging, analysis, notification, and threat hunting via Sapphire’s dedicated UK-based Security Operations Centre (SOC). The organisation’s security posture is more robust and can now respond effectively to cyber threats.

By taking the burden of cybersecurity off the SUS team, Sapphire’s SOC analyst’s support has enabled SUS to focus on their day-to-day priorities.

The Managed SIEM service has increased the level of monitoring and logging at SUS. Sapphire collects and processes data, including all devices and systems, providing a centralised view of all security events.

The Sapphire SOC provides SUS with reporting bespoke to their IT team and board. The SUS IT team can justify their investment in a managed service to the board via the service breakdown. SUS also receive reports on actions taking place with analysis by Sapphire on how their IT team can remediate malicious activity.

Working with Sapphire

During the onboarding process, Ryan found Sapphire’s experience valuable. “What’s impressed me is how Sapphire has worked around the Microsoft cloud service changes. The SOC team are not only knowledgeable and helpful but also adaptable. It was insightful to see how the Sapphire SOC combines people, processes, and technology to increase an organisation’s levels of cybersecurity. We’re months into the Managed SIEM service, and through an initial deep dive followed by fortnightly reviews, we’re delighted by the reassurance this offers”

Managed SIEM Service

The Managed SIEM service immediately alerts SUS of potential risks and malicious activity. This proactive support has brought peace of mind to Ryan and his team. “The collecting, storing, and analysing of data gives our team an insight into threats and how we can act. The support from the Sapphire SOC means someone is looking out for us.”

Sapphire’s SOC Manager, Thomas Moore, believes the support has strengthened SUS’s security posture, “SUS has considerably increased its operational resilience and ability to detect and respond to threats in real-time. Working with Sapphire allows SUS to focus on its activities while knowing that its cybersecurity is in the hands of a trusted partner”