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CITEO: TrustBuilder.io MFA is a must-have for the transformation of the information system

In the process of transferring its information system to the cloud and aiming to simplify the connection experience of its employees, Citeo identified inWebo MFA as an essential part of its IT strategy. Seen as an immediate and effective response to cloud security, inWebo’s MFA solution was surprisingly easy to use and manage for both administrators and end-users.

Citeo, accelerator for the circular economy

Logo_Citeo

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-Martin-CITEO

Julien Martin

Head of Production and Infrastructure, CITEO

Arnaud Larant

System and Network Administrator, CITEO

"TrustBuilder knows how to make simple and secure solutions. (...) With TrustBuilder, one feels well supported and assisted".

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.

"During lockdown, inWebo's solution provided ease of use and a significant added value for users."

The solution

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.

Cloud Solution

TrustBuilders SaaS strong authentication frees Citeo from the constraints of datacenter management.

Simple and user-friendly

Employees can connect more easily to their digital environment, whether at the office, on the road or at home. No more passwords to remember and no more password entry errors: there is only one push to validate on the mobile or PC application for users who do not have a professional smartphone.

Customer proximity and personalized assistance

The quality of the relationship and the support provided by TrustBuilders teams, who have demonstrated their availability and ability to listen, allow the product to evolve with and for its customers, meeting their specific needs as well as possible.

"Ease of use is a key feature. Our users expect nothing but simple connections and inWebo meets these challenges".

Results

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”.

Going forward

The deployment of the TrustBuilder.io strong authentication solution to all employees has yet to be made a reality. Eventually, Citeo wants to go further with the integration of the MFA solution and replace Microsoft Authenticator to allow all employees to connect / authenticate themselves via a single solution. It is important to optimize the IT environment without adding different strong authentication solutions and thus making the user journey more complicated. By covering all applications, both internal and external, TrustBuilder allows to unify strong authentication across all enterprise connections.

 

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.

"Choosing TrustBuilder is a bet on the future. Not only is it a solution that meets our immediate needs, but it is also a solution that we should be able to rely on in the future in a much larger way in terms of authentication of our business platforms as soon as we move towards full cloud mode", concludes Arnaud Larant.

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