Racing Post bolsters endpoint security with SentinelOne
Johan Pieterse, Racing Post Group’s Chief Security Officer. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

Racing Post bolsters endpoint security with SentinelOne

Racing Post, a specialist print and online digital publisher, has protected against a growing number of cyberthreats after deploying a next generation endpoint security solution from SentinelOne.

Racing Post is a market-leading, multimedia sports company, providing a mixture of premium data, award-winning editorial content and expert tipping services.

Since starting as a newspaper in 1986 it has become an industry leader for horse racing news, cards and results, providing unrivalled sports content through various channels.

In recent years, it has invested heavily in its digital portfolio, developing a number of innovative products including a mobile app and a new customer-facing website.

It also operates a growing B2B division, a thriving publishing arm and has expanded its digital product range into sports other than horseracing – such as football, golf and boxing.

In light of the digitalisation process, Racing Post needed an endpoint security solution that would futureproof the organisation.

It turned to SentinelOne, an autonomous endpoint protection company, deploying its next generation endpoint protection platform to secure its distributed workforce, platforms and systems against a growing torrent of cybersecurity threats, especially ransomware. 

The challenge

A growing and progressive organisation with a strong brand heritage, Racing Post has evolved from a daily newspaper specialising in horseracing into an international digital content provider, serving both B2C and B2B customers through multiple platforms, across a diverse range of sports.

Challenged by the escalating threat landscape, Racing Post has made significant investment into reinforcing its security posture through ISO27001 certification, people, processes and policies.

In doing so, it realised its legacy anti-virus solution was no longer fit for purpose in protecting against modern malware and the growing prevalence of ransomware attacks. With its staff using solutions across different operating environments, including Windows, Mac and Linux, it needed a technology that would seamlessly integrate with different operating systems.

“As a growing, ambitious and dynamic business we needed a cybersecurity solution that would protect us, not obstruct us,” said Johan Pieterse, Racing Post Group’s Chief Security Officer.

“It needed to protect the business today and into the future as we look to deliver new and innovative digital services to the market. It needed to be comprehensive but not complex and create as little overhead as possible from both a technology and people perspective, allowing us to fully automate manual processes.”

The solution

SentinelOne delivers autonomous endpoint protection through a single agent that successfully prevents, detects and responds to attacks across all major vectors.

Designed for extreme ease of use, the S1 platform saves customers time by applying AI to automatically eliminate threats in real time for both on premise and cloud environments and is the only solution to provide full visibility across networks directly from the endpoint

While SentinelOne’s solution was an immediate contender, it was only when it caught 28 out of 29 ransomware attacks during a simulated proof of concept trial that the Racing Post was completely won over. Once deployed, SentinelOne’s cloud solution gave the Racing Post the ability to manage and oversee its entire security across all platforms via a central dashboard.

“After installation my team ran a simulation to test the new system, unbeknown to me,” said Pieterse. “Moments later my inbox began flooding with emails saying which machines have viruses and how SentinelOne was quarantining the problem in real time.

“My initial fright turned to confidence that we really were safe in SentinelOne’s hands as I got continuous messages assuring me the problem was being dealt with. We haven’t had that luxury with previous vendors and have usually only become aware of a problem as we discovered it, not via the anti-virus.”

 “Our goals were to totally automate our processes, ideally working with a partner that truly felt like an extension of our team. We found that partner in SentinelOne,” added Pieterse.

Intelligent CISO spoke to Pieterse to find out more about the implementation.

What digitalisation process has the organisation undergone and what security challenges have these created?

Going from a traditional print title into digital, we had to complete the journey of moving from on premise data centres to the cloud.

The natural concern is always security – we were moving from an on-prem data centre service which we installed, managed and controlled, into the ether where we have no idea what’s actually happening.

We embraced that process and reviewed what we wanted to do, how we wanted to do it, how we could improve things, how we could be more cost effective and efficient, and then we took it step by step, making sure we were secured by design at heart.

Are there any particular threats facing organisations like yourself?

I think generally you have malicious actors on a daily basis who try to see if they can find vulnerabilities with the aim of attacking your site.

I don’t think there is anything specific to us – it’s about asking whether you have a good security hygiene and ensuring all the bases are covered.  

You are never going to be 100% protected but it’s about staying on top of that and using your resources as effectively and efficiently as you can. And if something does happen and you’re aware it’s happening then you can do something about it.

Why did you select SentinelOne?

We came up for renewal with our existing anti-virus vendor and I wanted to do a proof of concept with SentinelOne.

But the thing we couldn’t test properly initially was ransomware, until my team found a site which allows you to simulate 29 different ransomware vector attacks.

The existing vendor only picked up one out of 29. The SentinelOne product picked up 28 of 29.

I was also concerned about installation as we hadn’t had a very good experience with the previous one. But with the help of SentinelOne it was actually a very nice streamlined process.

Immediately we started seeing a reduction of incidents reported to the helpdesk.  Previously there would have been a number of incidents that the helpdesk had to go and service due to anti-virus causing problems or conflicts etc. Since SentinelOne, that’s stopped.

The other thing I like about SentinelOne is that, during this period, we had some mergers and acquisitions and it was a very nice, easy process to go and roll the product out to other group companies.

It made my life much easier with acquisitions, where in the past with previous anti-virus, it would have been a real pain to get that rolled out.

How far would you say the system has future-proofed the organisation?

The beauty of SentinelOne is that it just sits in the background and does its job without hard maintenance. I now have the confidence that my estate is protected whereas I didn’t have the confidence in the past.

What best practice approach should other CISOs take to find the right endpoint security solution for them?

Don’t just look at the cost, look at the full benefit package. Don’t just go for the cheapest anti-virus to tick the box because it’s not as simple as that. Cheap might be very expensive later.

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