Case study: MTV

Protecting the news

F-Secure Rapid Detection and Response Service helps MTV keep their cloud based IT infrastructure safe



Solutions from F-Secure

F-Secure Rapid Detection and Response Service





MTV Oy is a Finnish media & broadcasting company founded in 1957. The originally modest firm has grown into Finland’s largest commercial TV company, broadcasting news, sports and entertainment across dozens of free and paid channels. MTV has over 300 full-time employees and around 300 external contractors, with an annual turnover of close to 250 million euros.

“F-Secure’s managed detection and response service fits our strategy really well. The solution is helping us with the cloud transition, and allows us to live with the changing environment and prepare for modern threats.” Juha Allonen, Head of ICT, MTV OY.

Their need

MTV is always trying to be on the forefront regarding cyber security – the business requires it. Maintaining the integrity of their programming is an utmost priority, especially in the current landscape of fake news and highly-publicized cyber-attacks. MTV’s Head of ICT, Juha Allonen, is well aware of the modern threats that are out there:

“The threat landscape has really changed, with advanced attacks, spear-phishing and data breaches becoming the norm, instead of the exception. As a broadcasting company, it’s really important to us that we can always guarantee the continuity of our operations to both customers and employees – fake news or service interruptions are not things we want to see on any of our channels.”

The threat landscape is not the only thing changing. The cloud transition is ongoing everywhere, and MTV is no exception: making operations more efficient and improving the overall user experience are key success metrics within the company. Running up-to-date, reliable and engaging broadcasting 24/7 is not simple, but it’s made a lot easier with the right tools.

“We want to give our employees the best possible tools to do their job. What this usually translates to is flexibility: you can choose where you work, when you work and which devices you use to work”, Juha says. “The cloud helps us with this, and it’s great – but it does bring a bunch of new security challenges with it. Endpoint protection, firewalls and the like are the bread and butter of our security strategy, but they don’t cover everything.”

A more complex IT infrastructure and varied device base are not the only issues, as MTV also relies heavily on external contractors to run their day-today operations. In many cases these workers are equipped with devices from the company and can access internal networks and applications, creating a host of new challenges. Juha quickly figured out that the combination of all these developments called for new investments in terms of technology and expertise.

We had to solve three key issues: firstly, we needed to get comprehensive visibility into our whole digital environment. Secondly, we had to be able to detect intrusions and attacks quickly, even without the traditional signs associated with data breaches and hacking. And thirdly, any new solutions had to be easily manageable, with clear reporting and hands-on support – ideally being easy to integrate with our external SOC provider’s systems.”

Juha Allonen, Head of ICT, MTV OY

The solution

In looking for solutions, Juha turned to long-time cyber security partner F-Secure. With years of cooperation involving risks assessments, IT security policy creation and penetration testing, Juha knew that F-Secure would have a good idea where to start looking for suitable products.

The answer was closer than he thought, packaged into one ready-made solution: F-Secure Rapid Detection and Response Service. “When I did my own research, it seemed that a managed detection and response — or MDR — service would be the answer to our problems. After speaking with the guys at F-Secure I got a confirmation: it seemed that their own Elements Endpoint Detection and Response Service would be a great fit with our IT strategy”, Juha explains.

The idea behind managed detection and response is simple. By inserting sensors across an organization’s endpoints and networks, it allows for full visibility and accurate threat detections based on suspicious behavior, instead of obvious signs of malicious activity. This is key in detecting advanced attacks that do not rely on traditional intrusion methods.

F-Secure’s unique spin on MDR, however, adds several additional benefits on top of the customary features. By leveraging the unique combination of man and machine — cutting-edge AI along with the best threat hunters and white hat hackers in the industry – allows for a max 30-minute gap between breach detection and response. F-Secure experts are also available 24/7 should an attack hit the company.

“F-Secure’s been a long-time partner, so we had a high level of trust in place anyway. But the features really sealed the deal. We had to try this out.”

The results

With an agreement in place, F-Secure quickly deployed the sensors to MTV’s IT environment and made the necessary arrangements with the partner SOC. “The deployment was really smooth, and we didn’t have to take a big hands-on role, which is a huge plus”, Juha says. “Our IT team is decently-sized, but running the day-to-day operations takes up most of our time – it’s best when new solutions can be taken into use quickly and painlessly.”

The benefits of Elements Endpoint Detection and Response Service started to show up almost immediately. From the start, MTV got an improved visibility into their devices, applications and users. The solution also produced pre-filtered and accurate threat detections, with AI and F-Secure’s threat hunters helping to root out any false positives.

“The level of sophistication is a huge benefit. My team and I, or our SOC for that matter, don’t want to comb through a massive list of potential threats. Investigating false alerts is nobody’s idea of a good time”, Juha explains.

“We have effectively improved our SIEM and SOC’s visibility by using Elements Endpoint Detection and Response Service as an additional high-quality data source.”

MTV has also grown to appreciate the concise way in which the service packages information. Not only are noteworthy detections grouped clearly together, their threat levels are also analyzed within the context of the customer organization’s specific circumstances and the wider threat landscape.

When asked about Elements Endpoint Detection and Response Service’s greatest benefits, Juha doesn’t hesitate: “The best thing about the service is the ease of use. It also does what is promises against the modern threats.”

Overall, F-Secure Rapid Detection and Response Service has become a core part of MTV’s cyber security strategy. Whether it’s adding depth to traditional security solutions, enabling the secure functioning of a cloud based IT infrastructure or detecting targeted data breaches, the solution is supporting the broadcaster with their IT operations. This leads to happier and more productive employees, and ultimately better business results.

Future outlook

There is no “silver bullet” technology, however, and although Juha is satisfied with the current status of MTV’s cyber security program, he is always looking towards the future.

“Keeping up to date with IT and security is one of the biggest parts of my job. We are always looking towards the newest technologies and insights, and want to be among the first to adopt new solutions and best practices. Having a proactive partner like F-Secure is a huge help – and a fully managed threat detection and response service is one of the most valuable assets supporting us with our business.”

Respond to security threats with speed and ease