Rent-A-Center

AWS and Alert Logic synergies has allowed me to avoid costly CapEx purchases year in and year out on maintenance and support.

– Mike Santimaw, VP of Information Security, Innovation Labs & Corporate Solutions

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Cost Effective Cloud Security
Rent-A-Center's Cloud-First Approach on AWS

Rent-A-Center offers brand-name, rent-to-own furniture in more than 3,000 stores across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. No-cost repairs and a no-credit path to ownership deliver a unique customer experience. 

The Challenge

The retail environment has become increasingly challenging in recent years with the acceleration of digital technology and e-commerce. Technology underpins virtually all of Rent-A-Center’s operations, from point-of-sale terminals to in-store displays and e-commerce, yet they strive to maintain a lean IT team. That made cloud services an attractive option. “We don’t have a huge IT staff, and we needed ways to speed up delivery and improve service in our stores,” says Gary Sprague, Director of Information Security at Rent-A-Center. “Using the cloud had the potential to increase our efficiency and enable us to continue growing without opening our own physical data centers across the country.”

However, Rent-A-Center couldn’t afford to ignore security when adopting cloud services. As a public company, it is governed by strict Sarbanes-Oxley security and privacy requirements. And, because it takes credit card payments, it must adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). 


With multiple IT and business groups on AWS, we need to be able to understand what they’re doing and where our data resides. Using Alert Logic, we can see if someone has inadvertently moved something into the cloud that shouldn’t be there.

Gary Sprague, Director of Information Security, Rent-A-Center

Why Alert Logic?

Prior to adopting a cloud-first approach, Rent-A-Center partnered with Alert Logic for their fully managed 24/7 Security-as-a-Service. “Alert Logic is a managed service that identifies which security issues need our attention,” says Sprague. “They ensure that we’re spending our time on issues that matter so we can use our time wisely and manage genuine security issues effectively.” Rent-A-Center wanted to continue getting this high level of security assurance after moving to the cloud.

Rent-A-Center discovered that Alert Logic was available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) through the AWS Marketplace, an online store that helps organizations find, buy, and use software and services on AWS. The company quickly decided to adopt Alert Logic in the cloud based on past positive experiences.

Alert Logic on AWS is designed for the cloud, empowering Rent-A-Center with advanced threat analytics, detection, and alerting across its applications and services. Using full-packet inspection within the AWS environment, it uniquely protects against threats that proliferate inside an organization’s cloud environment as well as attacks coming from outside.

It also helps the company stay on top of what’s going on in a fast-moving environment “Along with the Alert Logic services we were already using on-premises, we now subscribe to Alert Logic Cloud Insights™, which provides a graphical view of what’s going on in our AWS cloud,” says Sprague.

The Results

The increased visibility from Alert Logic and AWS cloud management tools gives Rent-A-Center’s IT staff peace of mind. “You might think you’re safer on-premises managing things yourself, but it can actually be harder to know what’s going on,” says Sprague. “When you’re in the cloud and the tools are designed to show you what’s most important, you can be more proactive.”

Using AWS and Alert Logic has enabled Rent-A-Center to transition to a cloud-first approach. “When we upgrade applications, we migrate them to the cloud,” says Sprague. “if that’s not possible, we shift to a different solution that works in AWS. We definitely won’t be building out any more data centers.”

Alert Logic offers cloud security expertise in addition to advanced security technology. “Using Alert Logic on AWS provides cost-effective, 24/7 security coverage of our entire environment, the equivalent of six full-time security employees,” says Sprague. “Those resources can now be used to create better services and experiences.”

“Using AWS, the AWS Marketplace, and Alert Logic gives us the efficiency and agility to help us maintain our competitive advantage and deliver the best customer and employee experiences possible.”