Case study: Koillis-Satakunnan Sähkö

Stress-free breach detection and response

Better IT risk management and significant security savings with partner managed Rapid Detection and Response – hands off

Company

Koillis-Satakunnan Sähkö Oy

Solutions from F-Secure

F-Secure Rapid Detection & Response

Industry

Energy

Country

Finland


Koillis-Satakunnan Sähkö Oy is a Finnish energy provider originally established in 1946, who sells and delivers electricity to over 16,000 locations within their operating area. The company obtains electricity from various sources, including renewable hydropower, and prides themselves in providing their customers with reliable, responsive and cost-friendly service.

One of the most popular targets

Koillis-Satakunnan Sähkö Oy (KSAT) operates in an important industry: constant access to electricity is crucial for businesses and ordinary citizens alike, not to mention the wider society. Unfortunately, this also makes energy companies an increasingly attractive target for cyber attacks. There are already some examples of successful breaches that have occurred around the world, while the energy sector has also been reported to be one of the most popular marks for cyber espionage.

These worrying trends hadn’t gone unnoticed by KSAT’s ICT Manager, Jari Hakala. The whole company operates with a forward-looking and innovative mindset, always ahead of the curve with both their core business and the many supporting functions around it – including cyber security.

“The sorts of sophisticated threats we’re seeing nowadays can’t be stopped with traditional security solutions. I had been looking into different intrusion detection and log management solutions, but nothing really seemed like the right fit.” 

Jari Hakala, ICT Manager, KSAT

Besides best-in-class technology, KSAT also had other important considerations. With a relatively small IT department devoid of dedicated cyber security specialists, the company didn’t have the highly specific human expertise needed to deal with the attack techniques often associated with modern data breaches. “It was clear to me we needed to outsource this part of the equation. It just didn’t make sense to invest a ton of resources into developing these capabilities internally”, Hakala explains. This wasn’t as simple as it sounds. KSAT was running a relatively complex IT network managing critical infrastructure across many remote locations, which they worried most external service providers would find complex to navigate. Adding a potentially complicated new service onto their existing systems and bringing in a new security partner just seemed too difficult to even consider.

Our proof of value

KSAT had been working with long-time cyber security partner Telia Inmics-Nebula Oy for many years already, with the latter supplying the energy company with various IT security services. In a quarterly customer meeting, Telia Inmics-Nebula brought up F-Secure Rapid Detection & Response – the endpoint detection and response solution from one of their principal suppliers.

“F-Secure’s solution was really the first product in this area that seemed to meet our needs”, Hakala says. “It had the AI-driven technology to detect advanced threats based on data collected from our computers, while being practically invisible to the end user.”

But technology was just one piece of the puzzle. On top of F-Secure’s product, Telia Inmics-Nebula was also offering KSAT their own Managed Detection and Response service, with full threat monitoring and trained incident response assistance in case the company would get hit with a cyber attack.

“Cooperation with Telia Inmics-Nebula was even more important than the product itself”, Hakala explains. “With a knowledgeable and skilled managed service provider on our side, everything went smoothly from deployment to actually running the solution.”

Reliable, responsive and cost-friendly service

F-Secure Rapid Detection & Response made itself useful during the very first weeks of its implementation. Although KSAT hasn’t been hit with a cyber attack, the solution has already detected two instances of unusual network activity. Although neither has been a serious threat, their identification has helped the company plug security holes in their systems with direct assistance from Telia Inmics-Nebula.

“We’re very impressed with the product!” Hakala exclaims. “It’s amazing to see how well the technology and our managed service provider work together. The software and AI do most of the heavy lifting, but we have a keen pair of eyes looking over anything suspicious at all times, so nothing gets by us.”

What’s left for KSAT to do? Not much – giving them the opportunity to focus on more business-critical tasks.

“We are kept informed about everything that’s happening, our IT guys don’t have to constantly stress about hunting for potential intruders in our network. Instead, they can focus on their normal day-to-day job. When we scale this mentality across the whole company, the impact on our bottom line is huge”,

Although KSAT appreciates the cost-effective way in which F-Secure’s solution solves the problem of advanced cyber attacks and keeps them compliant with regulations, Hakala maintains that the biggest reason for improving their security still lies somewhere else. “In the end, it comes down to people”, Hakala explains. “For the customers, it’s about sticking to our core promise: reliable, responsive and cost friendly service. In this day and age, that has a direct link to cyber security.”

“For our employees, it means giving them a productive work environment and minimizing the extra hassle thatIT security often brings”, Hakala continues. “This solution has allowed us to do just that. It’s very nonintrusive, and really only shows up when something is wrong. We can all sleep our nights better after taking F-Secure Rapid Detection & Response into use.”

Respond to security threats with speed and ease