CHI selects NEC XON as trusted cybersecurity partner

Issue 6 2023 News, Cyber Security, Industrial (Industry)

CHI Limited, Nigeria's leading market player in fruit juices and dairy products, has engaged in a strategic cybersecurity partnership with NEC XON, a pan-African ICT systems integrator. The collaboration aims to bolster CHI Limited's cybersecurity abilities, ensuring enhanced and proactive protection against evolving cyber threats.

Arthur Benting.

Arthur Benting, CHI Limited's Technical Director, emphasises the significance of being prepared and resilient in the face of cyber threats. He raises essential questions that organisations should ask themselves about their readiness for a cyber compromise and the quality of their cybersecurity partners. “How often do you practise for a potential threat? Do you have the right partner?”

Trust between partners is paramount

Grant Ferreira, NEC XON Security Solutions Engineer Architect, emphasises the need for a trust-based relationship between organisations and their cybersecurity partners. He highlights the bond between CHI Limited and NEC XON, where both parties openly collaborate and share responsibilities. Ferreira commends Benting’s inclusive approach, he welcomed NEC XON as an integral part of the team. This open communication allows for mutual growth, with each side acknowledging areas for improvement and pushing boundaries together.

Since Benting's recent appointment, he investigated areas where CHI Limited's security infrastructure could be strengthened. This prompted the approach to NEC XON, who helped to assess the situation. During this transition period, CHI Limited had to address a few opportunities to beef up the legacy security architecture, especially regarding applications. Two factors played a vital role in CHI’s improvement of the environment.

Grant Ferreira.

First, the swift supply and deployment of an upgraded firewall system, facilitated by NEC XON. Second, close teaming between CHI, NEC XON and KPMG, who worked hand-in-hand to ensure an improved security fabric could be designed, configured and successfully implemented. KPMG was appointed by CHI’s parent company, Coca-Cola Atlanta, to facilitate CHI’s Network redesign project.

The collaboration led to the de-provisioning of older security infrastructure and the implementation of new Fortigate firewalls. This upgrade enhances CHI Limited's security configuration and positions the organisation for its digitalisation journey over the next five years.

Simplicity can improve security

Ferreira notes that prior to this partnership, CHI Limited had a complex array of firewalls, which hindered effective security management. The transition to a simpler, consolidated system reduced complexity and minimised CHI Limited's external footprint, thereby strengthening its overall security posture.

Benting emphasises the importance of investing in cybersecurity. He highlights the importance of choosing the right partners with a strong regional presence and reputation. “NEC XON is a vital component of CHI Limited's cybersecurity strategy and played a key role in identifying risks and potential entry points during the assessment phase,” he explains. Ferreira adds that effective enterprise cybersecurity goes beyond deploying technology and requires ongoing collaboration and best practice sharing.

The partnership with NEC XON has enabled CHI Limited to accelerate its business growth while maintaining a strong focus on cybersecurity. Arthur Benting draws an analogy to a car, emphasising that superior brakes are essential for achieving higher speeds. Similarly, effective cybersecurity allows organisations to progress confidently along their digital journey.

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