In their mission to provide best-in-class secure IT solutions for government customers, IBM’s Managed Services & Cloud Solutions group sought to increase automation with a focus on maintaining security and compliance. They used Sicura to supplement existing infrastructure management and achieve steady-state compliance for their customers. As a result, IBM realized an 85% increase in operations efficiency and a savings of over $2 million in their first year.
IBM faced three major challenges in achieving compliant configurations for customers:
Clients face complex compliance requirementsIBM federal customers are required to manage their sensitive data in accordance with a variety of compliance policies, including DISA STIG in support of NIST-800-53, CIS Benchmarks, and HIPAA. Each policy has different requirements, exceptions, and nuances that must be enforced throughout the client’s system to pass audits and prevent breaches.
Trusted server management tools ignore complianceIBM trusted Puppet to continuously monitor and configure customer servers in the cloud, but Puppet could not assess or enforce adherence to compliance policies. The IBM team needed to level up their existing suite to integrate compliance into their automated capabilities.
Manual compliance wastes timeAs a result of the two challenges above, IBM Cloud system engineers and administrators were spending hours enforcing compliance manually. The IBM team knew that adding compliance profiles to their Puppet modules would take weeks or even months, costing more engineering hours or a costly professional services engagement.
Sicura offered an out-of-the-box solution
IBM’s team evaluated other specialized compliance tools and no other compared to the level of enforcement and remediation that Sicura offered IBM’s cloud environments. The included compliance policies checked every box for customer needs, saving weeks or even months of work to map CIS,DISA STIG, HIPAA, and other compliance policies to code. And the fact that Sicura works with Puppet allowed IBM to leverage the platform already deployed to their clients.
Sicura drives IBM clients to continuous compliance
Upon deployment, Sicura assesses the state of each server, measures that state against the relevant compliance policies, and offers immediate remediation steps to get those servers into compliance. The continuous configuration capabilities of Puppet allow for near-constant compliance enforcement and insight into each server’s status through the Sicura Console. Expert engineers from Sicura worked side-by-side with the IBM team to deploy the platform and offer training and on-call support for any issues, and within three weeks, Sicura enabled IBM to get their client servers to a compliant baseline.
With Sicura, IBM realized an 85% increase in operational efficiency
Sicura’s continuous assessment, automated remediations, and continuous reporting via the Console allows IBM system administrators to manage client servers more efficiently. A single system administrator can now manage 450 servers at a time compared to only 75 servers previously, allowing 1 administrator to perform the work of 6. This led to an annual reduction of 4 hours per server of labor spent on compliance.
Sicura saves IBM over $2 million annually in compliance costs
Between the labor cost savings, improved efficiency, and synergies achieved through Sicura’s all-in-one solution, IBM estimated they saved $2.4 million in their first year with Sicura, deployed on only 1000 nodes. With Sicura, IBM Federal Cloud is able to offer their customers an industry-leading compliance solution, delivering value while saving money.