How to create unparalleled workstation security
April 12, 2021
Every day more than half a million Accenture people fire up their laptops as they set out to do their work. And when they do, we face the huge task of keeping this massive fleet of workstations secure from cyber-attacks and other vulnerabilities.
We have had a check-up tool on every machine, but its usefulness was reaching its limits in addressing today’s rapidly changing security threat landscape. We needed a better way to keep our machines secure at a high level of protection and do it with speed.
Our global IT team decided to develop a more robust workstation security tool. We wanted to capitalize on Accenture’s experience with platforms and our innovations in applied intelligence and automation.
As our team brainstormed, we imagined a solution that could perform preemptive analysis, minimize vulnerabilities, and provide sophisticated visualization capabilities with near real-time data to drive proactive, corrective actions. We named it Accenture Protect myTech. What is distinctive about this solution is the use of big data and hyper focus on automated remediation and in-application notifications.
Protect myTech has two key components: a workstation tool and a data analytics platform. What’s cool about it is that it runs continuously in the background of every Accenture Windows workstation to monitor communication between the workstation and data analytics platform and to monitor and verify the installation of proper software versions and operations of security agents.
The tool auto-remediates security compliance issues if certain thresholds are met. Health checks and remediation tasks run in the background and at a user’s request. If auto-remediation fails, the tool alerts the end user and suggests self-help procedures. The tool even helps end users to open an incident with the Service Desk if the individual is not able to fix the issue on their own.
The data analytics platform is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that collects and analyzes workstation compliance data across the entire workstation fleet. It pulls in data from the infrastructure multiple times a day, and in some cases, nearly real-time, and determines security compliance status for each workstation. It serves as the single source of truth with a big data foundation architecture as a backbone for security standards. This approach enables predictive analytics to proactively anticipate changes.
The platform also gives us insights to evaluate the health of the fleet and the ability to monitor the state of the fleet at any given time. With visualization capabilities, our support teams can deliver more specific views of data from fleet to machine level for all security measures.
The biggest challenge in developing the Protect myTech solution was the scale and complexity involved driven by Accenture’s in-depth set of controls—much more than most companies. We worked through the extensive scale of the requirements to build all the components. This also involved enabling the ingestions in near real-time so that workstation security compliance reporting is also nearly real-time.
In the end, Protect myTech is innovative as it was built with seamless automation. This allows us to pivot quickly to resolve security vulnerabilities. Data can be analyzed to not only adjust to new threats but to also enhance automation and identify and remediate inefficiencies. Some notable aspects include:
Today, Protect myTech provides Accenture with exceptional visibility of the security status across the company’s entire workstation fleet at any given time. Accenture can now calculate its position at a high frequency. Never in our history have we had the ability to manage workstation security compliance as effectively as we do now. And our efforts were recently recognized with a CSO 50 award.
By combining the ingenuity of our teams with technology, we answered the need for a solution that contributes significantly to improving our security posture.
Accenture explains how we are helping our people to collaborate using Microsoft Teams to bring data, insights, and apps to be more productive. Read more.
In their blog, Accenture's Christina Demetriades and Stephen Nicoll share how Accenture empowers their Legal and Sales teams to work effectively together.
Accenture CIO Penelope Prett explains low code and its impact on how we manage, promote and feed innovation in our businesses. Read more.