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FreeAgent and CWSI Deploys Successful Rollout of SentinelOne EDR

CWSI’s extensive knowledge and experience in endpoint management and security demonstrates to FreeAgent how SentinelOne improves their security posture.

Background

FreeAgent is award-winning accounting software that helps over 100,000 of the UK’s smallest businesses keep their business admin and accounting in one place. FreeAgent was acquired by Natwest Group which includes Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank. FreeAgent’s technology allows businesses and accounting professionals to use accounting software to process financial transactions, store financial data and automate bookkeeping and accounting tasks.

Challenges

Over the last few years, FreeAgent has grown substantially and its IT estate now consists of 280 Mac users that need consistent and efficient support in a hybrid setting.

The company’s existing endpoint protection product, Cylance, no longer met its evolving needs and a full replacement of the system was required. The platform was experiencing a vast amount of false positives for system vulnerabilities which were both time consuming for the IT team and hindering employee productivity. In addition, the CPU usage was very high across the estate, affecting device and programme performance. The company also needed to see out-of-date applications in real-time.

Due to the shortfalls in the existing infrastructure, FreeAgent had lost its Cyber Essentials Plus security accreditation in 2020. The company was going through the accreditation process for 2021 and needed an overhauled platform to support its application. Effectively securing company and customer data was of the utmost importance as FreeAgent operates in a highly regulated sector. These issues also made it difficult for the legacy technology to successfully support business growth.

Objectives

  • The right technology to support business growth
  • Ease of use to improve efficiency
  • Reduction in false positives taking onus off staff and allowing the prioritisation of core tasks
  • Assist in obtaining the Cyber Essentials accreditation to provide assurance to customers
  • Reduction in CPU usage to increase productivity

Why CWSI?

FreeAgent chose CWSI as it was confident in the company’s communication and understanding of its objectives. FreeAgent was also reassured by CWSI’s extensive knowledge and experience in endpoint management and security. CWSI demonstrated what it could do for FreeAgent, rather than what competitors couldn’t do.

Solution

CWSI’s SentinelOne Custodian360 solution was deployed across the company’s entire IT estate of 280 Mac devices. A complete solution enabling the central management of the business’ endpoints, Custodian360 offers real-time prevention, detection and remediation of threats with full spectrum analytics.

When threats are detected, they can be stopped regardless of their nature, thus ensuring the safety of users and continuity of business. With SentinelOne Custodian360, CWSI can offer full remediation in a matter of seconds, returning files to a pre-execution state and removing all traces of any threat.

Following a successful Proof of Concept (POC) trial, CWSI worked closely with FreeAgent to conduct a thorough evaluation of the deployment and ensure application compatibility. With all areas of the SentinelOne platform set up and performing well, and no detection of unusual behaviours, the decision was quickly made and CWSI rolled out the solution across the entire estate within eight weeks (and six months ahead of the incumbent solution’s expiry).

Results

Implementation supports business growth

The solution has been deployed on 280 machines and continues to work successfully, underpinning business growth for FreeAgent. The flexible deployment has futureproofed the management and security of company devices and will scale as the business continues to grow.

Ease of use

Dashboards and user interfaces (UI) are straightforward and easy to use, meaning employee experience is greatly improved. FreeAgent also has a much greater degree of visibility and control across its IT estate, which is crucial in a decentralised work environment.

Up to 90% decrease in false positives

An immediate and significant decrease in false positives means less applications are being blocked or stopped, and employees can do their work with fewer recurring issues and increased uptime. This is enabling a boost in productivity across the board with less tickets raised, allowing engineers and IT teams to focus on their core tasks.

Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation to support data security

Following the implementation of the SentinelOne product, FreeAgent regained its Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation. This gives confidence and assurance to FreeAgent customers that their highly sensitive data will be stored and managed securely.

Lower CPU usage

As the CPU is dealing with far less malware, the usage has decreased and system performance is vastly improved. The lower CPU usage allows FreeAgent to run its high-demand software without affecting the performance of employee devices. This enables employees to carry out their work without lags or issues overburdening their systems.

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