Interview with Erin Holman, IT Manager
What is the role of the IT team in supporting the business?
Devon Transport Ltd DBA Budget Rent A Car has been British Columbia’s #1 car and truck rental company for over 50 years. The IT team manages 30 locations and over 250 employees using 150 devices connected to the network – if it plugs in we are responsible for it. We are a classic example of a solid and successful local Canadian business.
What are some of the challenges?
As manager of IT that serves distributed locations, the daily job combines maintenance and management of existing systems, upgrading technology, and fighting fires that inevitably come up. We make active use of remote desktop management to help with individual. The good news is that we are able to have pretty tight control over the network and the desktops so we are able to limit issues that many other similar sized organizations might have.
With respect to security – how important is it to your team?
I would say that up to 20% of our budget/time is spent doing tasks related to security with much of the work being done at the traditional gateway. Even with our standard firewall and anti-spam filters in place we do still see perhaps 10 items per month getting through to our users with the majority being fairly traditional spam emails. The good news is that to date we have been able to avoid any big costly issues. Although the primary issues are at the end-user level, we generally see 1-2 DDoS attacks in a year that system impact performance. That said, we have direct visibility into a trend towards more threat activity and more volume at our various gateways. This mirrors what we see in the news and made us look again at our security strategy.
Security is definitely moving up the priority list to the point where the organization is willing to sacrifice some usability for security. Our team has to carefully balance how we lock things down because we want our end users to be able to do their jobs and not to try and find a work-around that would expose the organization.
In many ways, an organization like ours (mid-sized) is in a scary place because we can’t allocate funds to do security in the big leagues, but we aren’t so small as to be ignored. Therefore, we need solutions that are cost-effective to implement and add security without a huge maintenance burden.
Why did you choose CIRA DNS Firewall?
We tried it out based on a referral from one of my peers. Once we put it in place and saw how easy and cost-effective it was to add this protection, it was a no brainer to sign-up. Our users haven’t been impacted negatively, the service runs in the background and does its job catching potential threats. I wish everything was so easy.