CITEO: TrustBuilder.io MFA is a must-have for the transformation of the information system
Citeo, accelerator for the circular economy
As a non-profit organisation, Citeo was born from the merger of Eco-Emballages (plastics) and Ecofolio (paper) in 2017. The company was created by major industrial groups wishing to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and paper by converting them into new resources.
“The company serves as an “orchestra conductor” when it comes to eco-design,” points out Arnaud Larant. Citeo provides support to companies, local authorities, industries, operators, associations, public authorities and citizens, both in France and across Europe, looking for effective solutions to reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption. Its ambition is to establish sustainable consumption, eco-design and recycling in the habits of French companies and citizens.
The ISD at the heart of Citeo's digital transformation project
Julien Martin, Head of production and Infrastructure, and Arnaud Larant, System and Network Administrator, work together within Citeo’s Information Systems Department.
Julien and Arnaud are in charge of organizing and managing the evolution of the information system within the company in response to the emergence of new ways of working, while at the same time ensuring data security and protection. It is precisely in this context that they have engaged with inWebo.
Julien MartinHead of Production and Infrastructure, CITEO
Arnaud LarantSystem and Network Administrator, CITEO
What the Group was looking for ...
Project: Full Cloud and IT outsourcing
From Hard to Software
Historically, since 2006, Citeo had relied on an on-prem hardware appliance solution, HID’s ActiveID, to secure employee and service provider access to its VPN. It was a good fit, up to a certain point.
“A new parameter then came into account,” explains Arnaud Larant: our desire to move towards full cloud solutions and to outsource our IT as much as possible”. Given its features and technical approach, ActiveID was not compatible with this new strategic vision. Especially since, due to support issues, it was not possible to adapt the product to meet Citeo’s new requirements. The company therefore decided to look for a new MFA solution.
Securing the VPN
Another factor also needed to be considered. Securing the VPN with strong authentication was at first designed to meet a very specific need: provide a secure access for mobile employees, a category restricted for Citeo to the people in charge of relations with local authorities.
Telecommuting, strikes, lockdown ...
“With the rise of telecommuting, the need for strong authentication is more global, involving all our employees, whatever their function.” – Arnaud Larant. In fact, the need for external access has grown considerably with the development of telecommuting (Citeo has set up one day a week of home office as of 2019), the increase in the number of external contractors (service providers and partners) who also need to access the information system, as well as the boom in mobile tools, which generate the need to connect from anywhere and under any circumstances.
It was a tough challenge, especially in the context of two major events that were difficult to foresee: the strikes of late 2019/early 2020 followed by the Covid lockdown. For Citeo’s IT department, that meant having to answer two crucial questions: how many MFA licenses do we need and how long will it take to deploy them in order to ensure both security and business continuity.
It was obviously out of the question for Citeo to offer connections to internal applications without strengthening security. “It’s essential that our users are as well protected as possible,” insists Julien Martin. The data that circulates internally is extremely important and must be secured by a robust solution.
Consequently, the IT Department was looking to be able to adapt quickly and simply to the evolution of working processes with specific security needs. Promoting the mobility of employees is crucial in handling the different crises that may arise.
TrustBuilder.io MFA: a solution that makes the users' daily life simple
As part of its strategy to transform its information system with the aim of moving towards cloud solutions and removing infrastructure constraints, Citeo has made a priority of finding a SaaS, highly secure MFA solution with specific features.It soon became clear that inWebo ticked all these boxes. “The solution is simple and functional. It meets our needs”– Arnaud Larant.
“We also chose inWebo MFA solution because of its ease of use and its seamless processes” added Julien Martin. Simplifying processes and making the solution easy to use, for both users and administrators, has been a significant time saver for the teams in charge and an asset in helping employees embrace the company’s digital transformation, promoting mobility and telecommuting.
“One of the most significant benefits of inWebo’s solution highlighted by user feedbacks is that it simplifies the connection. There is no password to retype, no risk of error in entering the password. The VPN connection is therefore much more seamless”, says Arnaud Larant. A feature that provides “a real guarantee for user satisfaction””, adds Julien Martin.
The POC soon confirmed the reliability of the technical aspect of the solution, which the IT department teams were very pleased with. Citeo then began to extend the scope of deployment of the TrustBuilder.io MFA solution beyond the IT department to cover a larger workforce.
“We had many constraints at the beginning of the project, but TrustBuilder was able to adapt to meet all of them”, explains Julien Martin. The flexibility of the solution and the expertise of TrustBuilders pre-sales teams allow it to integrate very specific tech environments such as Citeo’s.
The implementation and deployment of the solution has been a success, both for the administrators’ and for the end users. In fact, Julien Martin recalls that, prior to the implementation of the new authentication solution, they were a little concerned about users’ adoption, a sensitive aspect when deploying a solution, but “the feedbacks we got were all very positive”.
The challenges for the IT department are essentially related to the cloud and to cybersecurity. The company wants to move to the full cloud within 2 years from now and deploy Single Sign-On (SSO) on most of its applications. As such, strong authentication is a key element on which to rely on, both from a technical and a user experience point of view, in order to ensure that the new process can be carried out successfully.