Best known for brands such as Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Special K, Cocoa Krispies, Pringles, Pop-Tarts, Cheez-It, Eggos, Kashi, and Nutri-Grain; Battle Creek, Michigan-based Kellogg Company (Kellogg’s) is a food manufacturing giant with production facilities in 18 of the 90+ countries in which it conducts business.
Kellogg’s views technology as a key enabler in marketing, selling, and manufacturing its brands, loved by consumers around the world: It relies on best-in-class IT security solutions to keep its infrastructure and digital assets protected.
Recognizing the significant importance of encryption for security and compliance, Raghbir Sandhu, chief security architect for Kellogg’s, revealed, “It is mission-critical to the company to protect our employee and customer data from cyber attacks. Implementing formal data governance principles helps us to ensure data – especially any personally identifiable information (PII) – is secure and complies with all appropriate privacy regulations in the countries in which we operate.”
Many encryption solutions encode data in motion but not while it is archived. Kellogg’s sought a more comprehensive solution that would encompass both states. Sandhu reflected, “The first priority was encrypting flat files and data at rest: We wanted to make sure that even if our back up tapes were stolen, our data would be safe.
“The second piece of our encryption puzzle was access control. At the operating system level we needed to ensure we could clearly delineate between roles. For example, while local administrators are responsible for maintaining the systems, they should not be allowed to have access to confidential data.”
“We looked at disk, network, application, and file-level encryption solutions,” recounted Sandhu. “We investigated many different characteristics; including using support and maintenance expenditures to determine an accurate total cost of ownership for each solution.
“Based on its successes in our evaluations we narrowed the list of candidates down to a single winner: Vormetric. We then conducted a proof of concept (POC) to ensure that system performance would not be impacted by the encoding/decoding process. The POC confirmed that we could be confident in entrusting our encryption requirements to Vormetric Data Security Manager.”
The company found implementation to be quick and simple. “We started with a North American rollout, expanded to Europe, and now are implementing in Asia Pacific,” Sandhu shared. “It is easy, efficient, and flexible. Best of all, to the users it is 100 percent transparent.”
Kellogg’s relies on an SAP ERP environment for running its worldwide operations and Sandhu was reassured that despite the sophisticated level of protection, Vormetric enabled business to continue as usual. He noted, “Other encryption solutions we considered for the SAP data would have required changes to the schema, which in turn would have violated our SAP agreement. However, Vormetric enables us to maintain the original structure while also protecting the integrity of the database.” The company is now able to encrypt all of its information, including data at rest and in the cloud. Sandhu stated, “Our internal audit team has endorsed the measures we are using to protect our data – including encryption of log files – and we are completely PII compliant.
“We have a data warehouse where we store a significant amount of confidential information and it is all protected by Vormetric.”
Kellogg’s system administrators are able to manipulate files without having access to the contents. Sandhu commented, “With Vormetric Key Management the encryption keys are well managed and secure. We can provide access controls based on a need-to-know basis; this granularity gives us a much better safeguard on confidential data.”
Vormetric Data Security Manager satisfied everyone’s criteria for the ideal encryption solution; Sandhu concluded, “The database administrators wanted a solution that could integrate seamlessly with SAP; the application developers needed flexibility across file types and operating systems; the security team insisted on robust separation of roles capability and encryption of data at rest; and accounting wanted optimal total cost of ownership! At the end of the day, we all agree that Vormetric is the ideal encryption solution: It is impressing us all.”