a good thing!
Inchcape Ignites Identity and Access Management to Drive the Next Stage of Their Digital Transformation Journey
As of 2018, Inchcape has over 1,100 locations within their distribution and retail network. This global footprint is supported by a range of software applications that includes a large estate of Microsoft productivity tools, Salesforce, BrightEdge SEO and iPower ERP software along with a continual investment behind the digitisation of the customer experience.
As part of their ongoing “Ignite” strategy, Inchcape is structured to drive continual improvement and the spread of best practices across all their operations. To this end, in 2016, Inchcape began a project to rationalise their identity and access management (IAM) platforms with the aim of streamlining the user experience, strengthening their security posture and enabling more use of cloud and SaaS.
“We have grown rapidly through acquisition but our global infrastructure was starting to become rather fragmented,” says Gareth Nutt, Group Chief Technology Officer for Inchcape. “We are a global organisation and we need to have a global set of IT services to ensure that every employee, no matter where they are in the world, has seamless and secure access to IT.”
Inchcape has a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy in place. This starts with defined information assets and benchmarked security controls to ensure best practices. This multi-level strategy includes global vulnerability and risk scanning to enhance the likelihood of early response and intervention. The company has maintained significant investment in advanced network threat detection and malicious communications filters. Physical and logical security measures control access to key infrastructure that is also subject to regular penetration testing. This is further supported by encryption of valuable and sensitive data along with cyber awareness training deployed to all relevant staff globally.
To ensure their IAM solution would adhere to this best practice approach, Inchcape consulted Gartner, an analyst firm, for recommendations. Nutt and his team whittled down the longlist of recommended vendors to a shortlist of three solutions, which progressed into a Proof of Concept phase for more detailed testing.
The company has also implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) controls for remote users that sign on from home or using mobile devices. The use of MFA and tokens has also been extended to the granting of admin-level privileges to critical systems to protect against insider attacks.
“One of our goals is to make access control simple while delivering a level of security that not just meets but exceeds best practice,” says Nutt, who points to the example of their cloud API server that requires authentication via Ping to negate the risk of shared, lost or stolen credentials.
In terms of benefits, Inchcape has met their objective of rationalising their access management while exceeding best practice criteria. Nutt reports a high level of appreciation from their staff, especially remote workers who now have a simpler login process. IT help desk has reported a significant reduction in calls related to sign-on issues. The IT department now has much deeper visibility and audit into who is accessing which system to support their wider data governance objectives.
As the IAM and SSO projects have grown, Inchcape has scaled their Ping Identity infrastructure in lockstep. “We have done this only once during the project and it was a painless process that just required us to provision more compute and RAM to our virtual instances and restarting,” he says.
In terms of reliability, Ping has also surpassed Inchcape’s expectations. “Our business covers 22 time zones and almost every minute of the day, someone, somewhere is requesting sign on. Ping has been absolutely rock-solid and we have had no outages or performance issues—once you have it configured, it’s a case of set and forget,” Nutt adds.
Inchcape’s position on information security and IAM is based on a continual assessment and adaptation methodology. “We take information security incredibly seriously and we expect to continually expand the Ping platform across more countries with more integrated applications and business functions,” says Nutt.
More About Inchcape
Inchcape is the global distribution and retail leader in the premium and luxury automotive sectors. The company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1958, is headquartered in London and employs around 18,700 people and generated 2018 revenues of £9.3bn.
Visit Inchcape.com more information.
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