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Ransomware Containment

How Brooks Uses Illumio to Stop Ransomware from Running Rampant

"Our highest security priority is to minimize risk for the business. Being in the retail and e-commerce space, strengthening controls against ransomware is at the center of almost everything we do."

For Senior Security Engineer Ryan Fried, keeping Brooks in the lead of the running gear industry means keeping ransomware and cyberattacks at bay. In today's ever-evolving threat landscape, businesses like Brooks face continuous challenges in safeguarding their assets from cyberattacks.

In 2021, Fried and his team embarked on a mission to build resilience against the looming threat of ransomware. Understanding that no system is entirely impervious, they realized the importance of adopting proactive measures to contain breaches and prevent unauthorized access to critical servers. This realization led them to the path of segmentation, a proven strategy for mitigating the spread of breaches.

After conducting a thorough evaluation of available solutions, Brooks found the perfect match in Illumio's Zero Trust Segmentation Platform. The platform's cutting-edge approach to breach containment aligned seamlessly with Brooks' security objectives. Illumio was exactly the solution Brooks was looking for, explains Fried:


The lean team needed an easy-to-use solution for a very particular starting point: controlling user-to-server traffic to eliminate unnecessary connections and reduce ransomware's potential attack surface.

One of the primary concerns for Brooks was minimizing user-to-server traffic, as unnecessary connections could serve as entry points for ransomware attacks. With Illumio Core, the team could easily control and manage these connections, significantly reducing the potential attack surface for ransomware and other cyber threats. Importantly, they achieved this without causing any disruption or downtime for their users.

In the event of a ransomware attack, time is of the essence, and Brooks found an ally in Illumio Core's swift and decisive response capabilities. With a single click, the team could activate crucial protections that effectively contained the breach, preventing it from spreading to other high-value servers that remained unaffected.

Brooks quickly gained protection of hundreds of Windows servers by selectively applying deny rules with Illumio Core with zero user impact or downtime. And in the event of a ransomware attack, with one click, the team can activate protections to contain the breach and keep it from spreading to unaffected high-value servers.

Illumio Core has also become a source of invaluable visibility into communications across Brooks' hybrid, multi-cloud environments, as Fried shares:


But the benefits didn't end there. Illumio Core became a critical source of visibility for Brooks' hybrid, multi-cloud environments, shedding light on communications between servers and offering unparalleled insights into their connectivity and potential risks. The team uses Illumio's visual mapping and traffic flow telemetry to monitor flows in and out of servers. As a result, Brooks has gained a greater understanding of connectivity and risk than ever before. This newfound understanding allowed the team to fine-tune their security measures with precision.

Illumio's application dependency map also allows the team to visually test the impact of its segmentation strategy and policies before moving into enforcement, which has been "game changer," according to Fried. This visual mapping tool enabled them to test the impact of their segmentation strategy and policies before implementation. With the ability to assess the consequences of their decisions in a controlled environment, the team gained confidence in their approach and strengthened their overall security posture.

By adopting Illumio Core, Brooks successfully reduced their cyber risk and bolstered their preparedness against ransomware attacks. In a time where cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, Brooks has demonstrated their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of their customers and business.

Read the full story to learn more about how Brooks is using Illumio Core to reduce its cyber risk and be better prepared for ransomware.

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