Success Story

Implenia Detects 2x Email Threats with xorlab

The Challenge
Insufficient level of inbox protection: Implenia employees were receiving too many phishing and spam emails.

The Solution
xorlab ActiveGuard Advanced Threat Defense & Automated Incident Response

The Results
• 2x more potential threats detected
• Customizable defense policies
• Simplified policy management
• Significantly less false positives
• Fast resolution time for reported emails

Switzerland’s Leading Construction Company

As Switzerland’s leading construction and real estate service provider, Implenia develops and builds homes, workplaces and infrastructure for future generations in Switzerland and Germany. It also plans and builds complex infrastructure projects in Austria, France, Sweden and Norway. Formed in 2006, the company can look back on around 150 years of construction tradition.

Implenia, with its headquarters in Opfikon, near Zurich, employs more than 8,500 people in Europe and posted revenue of almost CHF 4 billion in 2020.  It is a multinational company that requires an effective and reliable email security solution to manage and protect thousands of email addresses.

Cybersecurity has always been a main concern for Implenia–and rightly so. Every year, as construction and real estate companies adopt a wider range of technological solutions, they become more prone to cyberattacks. In 2021, the construction industry appears to have been the hardest hit by ransomware.

Thus, when the team started facing increasingly more email security challenges that were disrupting operations, they set out to find a better solution to properly safeguard their projects, processes, and people from today’s most sophisticated threats.

Replacing a Failing Email Protection Infrastructure

As their new security solution would impact thousands of email users, it was critical for Implenia to find a provider that would fit their diverse and complex needs.

"We started looking for a new filtering solution because the level of protection provided [...] was not sufficient. We wanted to look at other solutions to see what is available in the market and what could address our needs the best." - Alexander Bösch, CISO at Implenia

Implenia’s requirements for a new email filtering solution were:

  • Threat protection: “The main problem was that too many phishing emails got through. [Our previous email security solution] should have been able to filter out simple phishing emails and classic spam, but contrary to expectations, it has not even managed to prevent easily recognizable spam from coming through.”
  • Customization possibilities: “Another pain point was the inability to create custom rules. [...] We knew firmly that we wanted to have a solution catering to this need, as well as one providing better filtering capabilities.”
  • Easy, uncomplicated integration: “Besides the above-mentioned, non-negotiable criteria of increased threat protection and customizability, we wanted to have a lean, simple solution that we could easily integrate into the existing email infrastructure centered around Exchange Online–a brick-in-the-wall solution on top of Exchange, if you will.”
  • Phased rollout: “A further requirement was the possibility to do a phased rollout. Implenia operates in countries with different legal constraints, each requiring us to follow a variety of steps to ensure compliance. If we had to do a big bang go-live, we would have had to wait for all the legal formalities to clear, which would have delayed the whole project. We wanted to carry out the implementation over a relatively short period of time, so ‘speed of implementation’ was on our wish list too.”

A Highly Effective & Easy-To-Integrate Security Solution

Following a request for proposal (RFP) with a thorough evaluation, Implenia decided to integrate xorlab’s ActiveGuard platform to protect its users from phishing, ransomware, and other emerging threats.

Soon enough, the company began noticing the benefits of using ActiveGuard:

  • The machine-intelligent approach: “xorlab’s relationship-based threat detection engine stops targeted attacks [...] and produces very few false positives. This makes a significant difference and is a welcome deviation from blacklists and signature-based approaches.”
  • Built-in privacy: “xorlab ActiveGuard observes and analyzes relationships in an anonymized way. This helped to get the buy-in from Legal & Compliance.”
  • Usability & UI: “The design of ActiveGuard’s user interface facilitates quick decision-making. We can now analyze emails that are reported to us by employees in a minimum amount of time. Previously, we just ignored these reports because the old interface was too cumbersome and slow. ActiveGuard simplifies and accelerates the entire process, and the data provides us with better visibility into our threat exposure.”

"ActiveGuard on top of Microsoft 365 is the ideal combination for me. xorlab’s relationship-based threat detection engine stops targeted attacks [...] and produces very few false positives. This makes a significant difference and is a welcome deviation from blacklists and signature-based approaches. [Also], the design of ActiveGuard’s user interface facilitates quick decision-making." - Alexander Bösch, CISO at Implenia

  • Innovation: “We value the fact that we can still contribute to product development. The team at xorlab has actively listened and understood our problems, and their customer service is great. A larger solution provider would not be able to react within such a short time frame as xorlab does.”
  • Reliability: “Fast-moving, innovative companies such as xorlab often face buyers who fear that the product might not be stable enough. We also had doubts about whether xorlab could handle a customer of our size in a SaaS context. We took a chance but felt from the start that the product was mature enough, and this has proven to be true. ActiveGuard is reliable, it’s stable, and it can handle a large workload in the cloud.”
  • Value for money: “We have an additional layer of protection that provides real value by increasing attacker costs and making our operations more efficient. The quality of service increased as well. We can now support our employees with a responsive reporting service for suspicious emails.”

With xorlab, Implenia managed to solve the email security problem they initially had, and so much more.

“We detect two times as many threats as before. [...] We also are much faster at analyzing employee-reported emails and thanks to that, we can tackle a problem that was unmanageable before,” the CISO explained.

“Being a very happy cloud customer of such size, we would encourage companies with similar requirements to those of Implenia’s to try xorlab ActiveGuard. Our fears that cloud implementation could be an issue, due to the size of xorlab at that time, completely dissolved as soon as we started working together with the xorlab team. They were very professional, the roll-out went fast, and we’re finally having the level of threat protection we wished for. xorlab ActiveGuard answers all our needs and we’re happy to serve as a reference customer.”

Want to explore how xorlab could help strengthen your cybersecurity? Book a demo today!

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