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Use Case 2

Manufacturer of automotive components

Implementing access control linked to personnel data and security policies enables the creation of a secure and flexible network in a short time.

Business type Manufacturer of automotive components
Goal To enhance the setting and management of access rights when personnel are transferred, enter or leave the company
NEC's solution NEC SDN Solutions - Access Authentication Solution

In this case study, we will show how NEC SDN Solutions helped a car parts manufacturer that was experiencing frequent organizational changes at its offices and plants nationwide. The company's access rights management operations for its internal network had become inefficient due to frequent personnel transfers and sudden changes in the number of temporary staff according to the season. The firm also had issues with data management security in its development projects and required robust network security. NEC implemented the Access Authentication Solution to resolve these issues.

  • *SDN: Software-Defined Networking

Challenges and results

Challenges Results
The information system department's workload had skyrocketed due to frequent personnel transfers, organizational changes, and floor layout changes. Setting modification workloads were reduced, which enabled IT staff to concentrate on their daily system operations.
Previously, access rights for the entire complex organizational structure and individual projects were set manually. Due to the possibility of mistakes in access rights settings, the company had apprehensions about information leakage, unauthorized access, targeted attacks, and other network security issues. Setting mistakes were minimized thanks to automated access control linked with personnel data and security policies. At the same time, the entire network was made robust against unauthorized access and information leakage.
The department was unable to quickly respond to changes when new development projects were launched as provision of information infrastructure took a long time. It has become possible to provide secure ICT resources in a far more flexible, dynamic and timely manner.

Increasingly complex access rights management caused by frequent personnel transfers and sudden changes in temporary staff numbers

Every year, the internal network access rights of close to 300 transferring or relocating staff members had to be manually modified. In addition, being a car parts manufacturer, the company experienced seasonal changes in business volume. The number of temporary staff therefore increased and decreased considerably, a phenomenon that is peculiar to the industry. When the company anticipated high demand for its products, such as when a new model was released or during a marketing campaign, it injected large numbers of temporary staff into production lines and delivery centers.
In addition to frequent personnel transfers, seasonal fluctuations in the number of temporary staff exacerbated the workload of the people responsible for access rights management.

Figure: System engineer in the information systems department

In addition, because access rights were set manually, many mistakes occurred.

Figure: System engineer in the information systems department

In addition to wanting to mitigate internal risks, the company was also considering how to address targeted attacks originating from outside and improve the overall defense capability of the network.
A distinctive feature of car parts manufacturers is that they have a number of fluctuating development projects. New projects are frequently launched, while new departments and project teams are set up often due to advances in parts technology. On top of that, car parts manufacturers are likely to have a large number of items in their product lineup. All of these factors contribute to the growing complexity of access rights management.
In addition to the security issues mentioned above, many sales staff at the company had also requested that secure access to the intranet be granted from their mobile phones, smartphones and tablets, as these devices are much more convenient to use. This is known as BYOD (*), whereby secure access control can be administered for devices wherever and whenever they are used, and individually for each device.

  • *BYOD (bring your own device): The use of employee-owned information devices for work.

How could the company establish a secure network and improve the efficiency of management operations at the same time?

Figure: System engineer in the information systems department

NEC's Access Authentication Solution enabled the company to fully automate access rights control for each location, each device, and each staff member through an integrated authentication database. The system spontaneously reconfigures settings in response to personnel transfers and increases and decreases in staff numbers, allowing only authorized personnel access to the intranet from a variety of devices at different offices and departments. In other words, the Access Authentication Solution accurately identifies each member of the staff and provides a highly secure network environment.

Figure: Simultaneously achieving robust security and more efficient operations for both users and administratorsLarger viewSimultaneously achieving robust security and more efficient operations for both users and administrators

Figure: System engineer in the information systems department

The company has successfully prevented information leakages from its intranet, as well as achieving robust security at the network level. The firm has subsequently been able to create a robust system to defend against unauthorized access and targeted attacks originating from outside.

How can a company achieve the mobility to quickly provide secure ICT resources on demand?

NEC's SDN Access Authentication Solution is ideal for cases where ICT resources need to be provisioned quickly, such as when building a new intranet for a newly launched project or constructing a secure network for a short-term project such as the development of a new product. This solution can smoothly handle operation systems that encompass multiple departments and projects, as well as relocations of staff and assignment changes among different offices. The Access Authentication Solution enables flexible and mobile network construction that was not previously possible.

Figure: Rapid construction of a flexible network that can be controlled in project unitsLarger viewRapid construction of a flexible network that can be controlled in project units

Figure: System engineer in the information systems department

The company's access control needs are representative of a car parts manufacturer that respects young employees' feelings and values. NEC's Access Authentication Solution not only solves urgent security issues, but it also enables the construction of a robust network that can be adapted to meet future system needs while providing a secure network environment.

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