Consolidation and Tech Integration Success Stories

I recently had the opportunity to speak with three CrowdStrike customers who shared their stories on why they consolidated on the CrowdStrike Falcon® XDR platform and the benefits of CrowdStrike’s tech integrations with partners like Okta and Zscaler. The 30-minute virtual panel, “Customer Best Practices for Security Consolidation Success,” is brimming with helpful information for security professionals.

Why is this topic top-of-mind for so many? As adversaries get smarter, organizations are adopting more and more tools to defend themselves. But more tools usually lead to more complexity, more headcount, higher cost — and worse security outcomes. Cybersecurity consolidation brings the promise of simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness. 

As the panelists expressed, a big part of consolidation is working with vendors that integrate with their existing tools so they can do more with what they already have. Here are top insights shared by the panelists from Ciena, Cox Automotive and Sunbelt Rentals.

What led your organization to consider cybersecurity consolidation?

App fatigue was a common answer across the board. Panelists described how the sheer volume of disparate tools not only created operational complexities but also directly undermined the efficacy of security measures.

Andrew Candella is Senior Analyst of Identity Management at Ciena, where he oversees nearly 700 application integrations with Okta. As a CrowdStrike customer, Ciena benefits from CrowdStrike’s integration with Okta, which allows Ciena to deliver identity and endpoint security more seamlessly across its 8,000+ employees.

“With the CrowdStrike and Okta joint solution, we can provide a passwordless experience and authentication to our employees. The main things we gain from this integration [are] we can secure Ciena, provide a better user experience and decrease our attack surface,” said Andrew.

Ken Collins, Senior Director of Information Security at Sunbelt Rentals, described why the company, with 23,000 employees and over 1,300 locations across North America, is pushing toward cybersecurity consolidation. 

“It’s all about speed, effort, efficiency and cost. When you think about a defense-in-depth strategy, you need your different integration layers to work together. If you don’t, you’re going to have holes, and your time to remediation is going to increase,” said Ken. “We found that our overall efficiency increases through good integrations and a good partner landscape.”

What improvements have you seen with the Falcon platform and its tech integrations?

Robert Peden, Cybersecurity Manager at Cox Automotive, talked about speed. “One of the major changes we saw when consolidating our disparate toolsets [to CrowdStrike] is now we’re seeing our security telemetry coming into one console, which has reduced our mean time to respond and increased our visibility.”

Ken from Sunbelt Rentals echoed that sentiment. “The biggest change in our environment was simplifying our effectiveness. With multiple tools that don’t work together, it’s a lot of complexity. And if an integration is not built at a partner level, you’re building it yourself, which is work that doesn’t actually improve your security. By leveraging CrowdStrike integrations, we have higher confidence that we’re managing the risk appropriately. And we have a lot higher confidence that we have the technology we need to defend ourselves.”

For Andrew at Ciena, the primary benefit of cybersecurity consolidation is better security. “Anything that secures Ciena is a huge win. We can reduce the attack surface with the CrowdStrike and Okta integration, so that’s a huge win for us.”

How has consolidating on the Falcon platform made your work simpler?

Robert at Cox Automotive shared how installing the Falcon sensor during the CrowdStrike implementation was a straightforward process that didn’t impact end users.

“We have 26,000 employees with endpoint security with CrowdStrike. [The installation] was done simply, effectively and silently in the background. And when we need to adjust policies or exclusions or even update a sensor version, we’re able to do that easily with a couple of clicks — versus having to do an uninstall and a reinstall and do it under high pressure and high priority, with it impacting the user experience or our overall security posture,” said Robert.

Robert’s colleague Imran Akhtar, Cybersecurity Manager at Cox Automotive, manages the company’s Zscaler deployment. According to Imran, the CrowdStrike and Zscaler integration has had a transformative impact at Cox Automotive, streamlining threat intelligence sharing and resulting in heightened visibility and decreased response times.

“With tools like CrowdStrike and Zscaler talking to each other, they contribute to one ecosystem, and that’s what we were pursuing from Day One,” said Imran. “With threat intelligence sharing, we’re not firefighting, we’re doing more meaningful work,” added Robert.

Ken from Sunbelt Rentals took a different angle, noting how CrowdStrike and its technology integrations have reduced the need for more headcount. “My company has grown 500% since I started. To manage that growth, it can’t be done through only people, it has to be done through technology. Without a quality integration layer and good quality partners, you can’t do it.”

He added that searching for new security technologies now starts with his existing security vendors, a nod to the simplicity that vendor consolidation brings. 

“I’ve been a longstanding customer with each of these companies [CrowdStrike, Okta and Zscaler]. One thing I appreciate in this partner ecosystem is the ability to look through their integration partners when I’m trying to solve new problems,” said Ken. “A good example is a product like Airlock, which I found in the CrowdStrike Marketplace. Knowing the integration layer works so well, I pulled it in, POCed it and rolled it out extremely quickly for a very difficult problem and got a nice collaboration between two tools to firm up our environment.”

Watch the CrowdCast

To hear the panelists expand on these topics, watch the new CrowdStrike Protectors Spotlight webcast, “Customer Best Practices for Security Consolidation Success.” You’ll leave with new ideas on how to streamline your security operations and harden your environments. 

CrowdStrike works with a thriving ecosystem of partners including Zscaler and Okta to help you solve your toughest security challenges. Visit the CrowdStrike Marketplace to discover and try more than 400 trusted partner applications and integrations. 

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