Case Studies

Farm Credit Customer Story

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Case study Farm Credit The Challenge Protecting customer data and a distributed workforce As a customer-owned cooperative, Farm Credit Mid- America provides loans and crop insurance to farmers in the rural communities of Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio, as well as home loans throughout the country. The focus of the $25 billion financial institution is on "securing the future of rural communities and agriculture," and protecting customer data is a top priority. "We're helping the farmers who are feeding America," says Mike Mills, security engineer at Farm Credit. "As a financial institution for rural America, we really have our customers at heart, and it's critically important to safeguard their personal information." To achieve this objective, the organization needed a robust solution for protecting its increasingly mobile workforce, distributed at 80 retail locations, from internet-based threats. The security team wanted a suite of controls that provided consistent enforcement of web-based protections, regardless of where the employees used their devices. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, it accelerated that need since most employees started working from home. "In a web-centric world, in a work-from-home-world, the threats are web-based," Mills explains. "Therefore, the controls need to be largely web-based." The cooperative had been considering a cloud-based, full web proxy for some time. When Farm Credit's existing solution, Cloud Web Security (CWS), approached end-of-life, Mills and his team saw an opportunity for implementing a more holistic solution with broader capabilities. Blocking threats early in their lifecycle — before they turned into security incidents — was especially critical. An additional priority for the team was to find a solution that would integrate tightly into the security ecosystem. Objective Farm Credit needed to keep customer data secure while protecting its distributed, highly mobile workforce from web-based threats, no matter where employees use their devices. The organization wanted a holistic secure web gateway solution that has robust capabilities, can mitigate threats earlier in their lifecycle, and integrate seamlessly into their environment. Solution Cisco Umbrella Cisco Threat Response Cisco AMP for Endpoints Cisco Threat Grid Cisco Email Security Cisco Firepower 4100 Series Impact • Gained ability to respond to threats faster and more holistically • Improved visibility into the entire chain of security events • Blocked threats earlier in the attack lifecycle before they impacted end users • Saw a 799% increase in security blocks and an even larger increase in phishing blocks in just 30 days © 2020 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. " We're stopping a lot of attacks with Cisco Umbrella before they are capable of being weaponized at the application layer." Mike Mills Security Engineer, Farm Credit

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