Jun 21, 2022

Armis shines a light on OT for global consumer products manufacturer

Global Consumer Products

For over 200 years, Colgate-Palmolive has been a household name in the consumer products industry. Founded in 1806, the company has seen a lot of changes to their manufacturing floor over the years. Most recently, they’ve been navigating a rapidly evolving operational technology (OT) environment at manufacturing plants over the past decade. 

At the helm of navigating these changes for the organization are two Information security engineers: Rafia Noor and Shem Stephens. As leaders of the security team in charge of OT at over 40 manufacturing plants, they are deeply involved in strategic OT initiatives and operationalizing solutions and processes. Following a successful proof-of-value (PoV), the OT security team now relies on Armis to monitor and protect more than half a million devices across its manufacturing locations. 

“Armis provides a broad-sweep view of the devices in our environments, enabling us to visually comprehend what devices we have,” says Noor

Better visibility drives smarter security

As a key strategy to secure their network, the OT security team zeroed in on the goal of gaining better visibility into OT network devices. As Stephens explains, “From an overall security perspective, visibility into the manufacturing area was big for us. We needed a tool to see what our plants are doing in order to better support them in terms of their security posture—and Armis fit the bill perfectly.”

Thanks to the increased visibility that Armis provides into their network, the team is able to create custom policies that map to current threats and risks. For example, Noor configured policies to generate alerts when devices that should not be connecting to the internet attempt to do so. This is especially helpful for detecting OEM systems that try to connect to cloud platforms. With Armis, the security team can also better understand the vulnerabilities associated with industrial control systems that lack built-in security.

Armis captures the “complete picture”

With new OT units and new IT technologies being added in their plants all the time, Noor and Stephens appreciate how easily Armis integrates their data into a single pane of glass. The existing tools they use for endpoint security and advanced threat protection feed data right into the Armis dashboard, minimizing the need to look at different interfaces. There’s no longer any need to manually collect data from each point product and try to make sense of it.

“Armis provides the complete picture,” observes Noor, addingthat Armis’s cloud infrastructure and ease of management is another huge benefit. “It’s something Armis does really well,” she notes.

Not just a product, a relationship: The future for Armis and Colgate-Palmolive

Given the ever-growing use of connected assets across Colgate-Palmolive’s operations, asset visibility is becoming increasingly important to teams throughout the company. And so is the support of Armis in helping find solutions for new needs and challenges. 

“When Armis comes up with new features, we are able to do some testing and offer our feedback, which has been incorporated into new releases,” says Stephens. “This has created a solid partnership between Armis and Colgate-Palmolive, and that’s been very important in helping us expand our uses for the product.” 

From a swift and problem-free initial deployment to a collaborative, mutually beneficial ongoing relationship, the leadership at Colgate-Palmolive foresees additional use cases for Armis. While the OT team embarks on their journey to more network segmentation, other teams in the organization are also leveraging Armis for unique use cases that help them increase their efficiency and effectiveness. For example, Colgate-Palmolive auditors use Armis to gain insights into vulnerabilities at manufacturing plants, while systems engineers use Armis to determine when programmable logic controllers (PLCs) were last changed out.

“As our leadership continues to collaborate with Armis leadership,we can create these unique use cases that provide tremendous benefits for specific teams or individuals,” says Stephens. 

To learn more about how Colgate-Palmolive solved their smart factory OT challenges, visit https://www.armis.com/case-studies/colgate-palmolive-successfully-addresses-security-in-its-ot-network/.

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