Organizations of all sizes face the ongoing challenge of safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring the integrity of their networks. For the Muir Group, a housing association managing 5,500 properties across England, this posed a particular challenge. Ian Whitwell, Assistant Director of Business Transformation and Technology, knew his small team couldn’t adequately provide the level of security the organization needed.

Things changed for Whitwell and the Muir Group four years ago when they found Fortra’s Alert Logic Managed Detection and Response (MDR). For Whitwell, the security has been outstanding, the customer service couldn’t have been better. “I just wish we had more Alert Logics in the world as it would make my life a lot simpler,” Whitwell shared.

Before Alert Logic, one of Whitwell’s major concerns was the multi-layered nature of cyber threats. Muir Group had a defined approach to cybersecurity including a small staff composed of four technical analysts and a technical manager. But there was a lingering fear that a threat actor could breach their network. Whitwell realized partnering with an MDR provider would give them vigilant eyes actively monitoring suspicious activities within their network, swiftly identifying and shutting down potential threats around the clock.

Finding the Right MDR Solution

Whitwell began his search for an MDR provider by conducting soft market testing instead of actively seeking quotes from providers.

When Whitwell discovered Alert Logic, he was surprised at the team’s willingness to conduct a no-cost proof of concept. “Unlike other providers who just provided marketing materials, Alert Logic’s in-depth proof of concept allowed us to build a compelling business case for a significant annual investment in their product. The proof of concept ensured we were buying a solution that was absolutely what we needed,” said Whitwell.

The unparalleled customer service Muir Group received during the proof-of-concept process further solidified their decision. And the level of service continued through their four-year relationship with Alert Logic. “Our customer service manager has monthly proactive meetings with us going over a Service Value Review report on how much value we’re getting out of MDR,” said Whitwell. “It’s like a breath of fresh air compared to how I usually have to drag suppliers kicking and screaming to meetings and then have to write my own minutes and agenda. It’s a huge selling point. People don’t realize it’s not about just price, it’s about the actual experience you get on a human level.”

Quantifiable Benefits & Cost Savings

Alert Logic MDR was deployed across all Muir Group servers and endpoints. With Alert Logic’s comprehensive coverage and Security Operations Center (SOC), Muir Group experienced significant improvement in their security posture. The continuous monitoring and analysis of logs provided real-time insights they had not had access to in the past.

“One notable advantage is the ongoing reporting of vulnerabilities,” explained Whitwell. “In the past, we had a set of vulnerabilities we’d learn about once a year. With Alert Logic, we can now prioritize our vulnerabilities immediately, often resolving them with routine patching on our servers. On a daily basis, we look at the Alert Logic console for any incidents that have been raised since we last went in and clear them down.”

What’s particularly valuable to Muir Group is they have not had to hire additional security personnel. Today, three members of their technical team are fluent in Alert Logic MDR and use it daily. “Our partnership with Alert Logic enables us to maintain primary responsibility for cybersecurity while leveraging external expertise,” shared Whitwell. “And on a personal level, I can now sleep at night without worrying about what’s going on in the network.”

“I deal with a lot of companies of a similar size or bigger or smaller and as far as I’m concerned, Alert Logic is as good as it can get.”

Ian Whitwell, Muir Group

From On-prem to Azure Migration

About two years ago, Muir Group decided to migrate to Azure cloud. The organization spent significant time preparing for the Azure migration to assure a seamless transition.

Ensuring immediate security once they were in the cloud was essential for Muir Group. “We engaged in early discussions with our customer service manager and collaborated with our account manager. They facilitated discussions with Alert Logic’s technical experts to plan the migration process and assure us of its feasibility,” said Whitwell.

Muir Group easily deployed an Alert Logic appliance in Azure, obtained from the Azure store. The setup was seamless thanks to the setup wizard and guidance of the Alert Logic tech team. And over a weekend, they completed their Azure migration with their key business servers and conducted thorough testing. Downtime started on a Friday and they were fully operational in Azure by Monday morning.

Since the Azure migration, Muir Group continues to experience the high level of security they had on-prem. With the move to the cloud, they utilize Azure Event Hub to collect relevant logs and then ingest them into the Alert Logic appliance to be monitored by the Alert Logic SOC.

Whitwell has been asked by colleagues working in security for other organizations if he’d recommend Alert Logic. His answer is always an enthusiastic yes. “It’s a great product and it certainly does everything that we were promised and more. But what really is the win from my perspective is the great customer service we get. Trust me, I deal with a lot of companies of a similar size or bigger or smaller and as far as I’m concerned, Alert Logic is as good as it can get.”

Additional Resources:

Alert Logic Customer Experience | Managed Security Services

Microsoft Azure Security Services | Alert Logic

Muir Group Improves Security Posture with 24/7 Monitoring

Heather Wiederhoeft
About the Author
Heather Wiederhoeft
Heather McLean Wiederhoeft is the Senior Content and Social Media Creator for Fortra’s Alert Logic. An accomplished strategic communicator, she brings more than 30 years’ experience in content creation, marketing communications, public relations, and publication development to the team.

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