The Birmingham Zoo Part 1

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44 minutes
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I on Mike Storm cybersecurity, distinguished engineer with Cisco and welcome to another edition of Cisco's I T security makeover this season were down in Alabama, visiting the Birmingham Zoo with more than 700 animals and 1/2 1,000,000 visitors each year. Transparency and safety are vital.
So when the time came to upgrade their network security,
Cisco was there. Go to come along as I chat with all the players that made this happen for the zoo and its guests.
So tell me about the zoo. What does it mean to you? Zoom means everything to made were not only entertainment for family, but we're conservation organization. So we get to live our mission on a daily basis of inspiring passion to conserve the natural world. That's awesome. I am the chief financial officer of the Birmingham's is. So I handle the whole business side of the zoo,
and so you guys have been doing a lot of work here, a lot of transformations going on. So tell me a little bit about so we are in the midst of a three faced capital construction campaign.
How is your technology been able to keep up with that based upon all your transformation. It's one of things we've had to do some significant investment in right, and that experience that you want to provide to them obviously introduces new security concerns as faras not only the scale of it, but also the potential for
everyone using their own devices. They're here, right? Yes. So as a not for profit, it's always a struggle where you find the funds
to do everything that you need to do in the proper way. You need to do it. That's the makeover. Yeah, now we have the We have the team in place to get it done and putting in the technology, which is going to give you the opportunity to have that open environment for all of your visitors. And given that experience that they'll never forget, I am a one person
I t department, which is kind of funny, since that's not my specialty. But I have a great support network for through Red Clay to come in
and see what we're doing here.
Red Clay Technology group Zoos managed service provider were the boots on the ground throughout the makeover process, so I flew over to talk turkey with Damon Per l and Ray Washburne about the zoo's infrastructure and the details of their security makeover.
So you got to do a makeover for Jenny Zoo. Tell me a little bit about that. It was, I mean, just fascinating. And we learned as much as they did probably, uh, Mawr.
I would say about the network and about the things that were going on here than we ever knew. Were you missing a lot he didn't know about?
There were some surprises. Just put it that way. There was a lot to learn the environment before. Kind of give me an idea. What did it look like? What was the general makeup of the network environment prior to the makeover? Um, we have a variety, different vendors in place. So there wasn't any centralized location to go to to get answers.
We had things split off into the lands on the way of our friend defense and waiver in point defense.
But I bring in Cisco firepower umbrella, you know, and maybe even using amp in the future, that's gonna give us one go to write and integration, integration, visibility. You got all your logs together. You've got your threat response capabilities. All that stuff is tied together. That's great. And I heard Tech data helped you guys out quite a bit.
They did tell me a little bit about that
Instrumental in the Thai Rachel, The team over there did such a good job bringing us on. We had a lot of training get under our belt as a new MSP Cisco and on And it really just opened a world for us. The crucial piece to this entire network security project. WAAS
Tech Data. The Cisco distributor who brought it all together.
So I journeyed to chat with Rachel Ray Vague. No. And Tyrus Gordon to hear their side of this I t security story at tech data, we have over 300 people that are dedicated to just supporting partners and M S P's who have a Cisco practice any time they run into troubles are
I need some support. They've got you guys no matter what. And you guys have Cisco. So we can all work together, is one big team and
make the customer successful. It is. It is one big team. Yes, absolutely. So we're really kind of a force multiplier for those partners where they are trying to support their customers and their projects, and they can rely on the team at a tech data to be a much larger company. So obviously, Birmingham Zoo is in a massive expansion,
trying to implement new capabilities for their visitors and technology.
Give me a little bit of insight into the kinds of things that went into the makeover. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're crafting these solutions. We need to make sure that we're crapping in scale. And that's the most important thing is not about the network today. It's about the future as well.
So tell me what Cisco products and Solutions are you guys actually using? The bigger were using the firepower. 10 10. That gives us that hard candy. As you said. Layer of protection for the perimeter threat. Focus. The whole deal exactly. Yeah, exactly. Logging.
We're gonna be using umbrella internally to cover corporate assets as well as visitors to give them an extra layer of protection. Number one vector is still email. We got email covered. We got email cover, you know, again to go back to the financial aspect. Things
takes a lot to keep this place up and going, so there's a lot of critical data that comes in and out through email. So I heard a lot of the real improvements had to do with
taking all the disparate systems and lack of visibility that you had, bringing those together and integrating them and kind of giving you one window and into the in the world, you know? How do you How do you find the current simplicity? Integrations Francisco Right now we had just a segmented network, right? That was just
it wasn't easily manageable. It wasn't easy to get a picture of what's going on. We might have an idea in one place, and it's completely different somewhere else.
And now, with the new tools, that's all brought into one secure place and weaken view at any time we like. My head starts to spin when we talk about risk, and it's always like, What's my exposure? What's my exposure right? You're saying a lot because not every small business may even know what their risk is or may even know that they have to think about it.
It's a great example of not only a small business with very valuable data,
but also not for profit. That's getting the job done and protecting yourself and that of all your employees and customers, etcetera. So it's a big undertaking, and sometimes it's daunting. So it's nice to have a team around you that can give you that reassurance that you're heading down the right path,
tell us a little bit more about the public WiFi and uses umbrella and how that's really a laid A lot of Jenny's concerns about risk. Not only is it is organization wants to make sure that their WiFi is protected, but the users nowadays, due to they want to make sure that when they're going and connecting to an open WiFi that they're protected, their devices are protected.
So with Umbrella, it's really important to have that first line of defense of the DNA slayer there.
And we're all using a public DNS server whether we know it or not. An umbrella, the extra line of defense that layer So specifically, Let's talk about the FTD device. The 10 10 Why, why do you think that is such a good fit for businesses this size? So our overall goal is to reduce risks in an organization with the fire part 10 10. We have not only the threat defense
there, but that allows us to do is
integrate all these other solutions to be able to address the three main phases of an attack. And so not only recovering and hardening of perimeter layer, but also being able to defend against during when the tax happening. And we're never gonna forget that attack occurred after did
so. That's why it's really important to implement a solution that has all these technologies building to What about the makeover? Surprised you the most. You could pinpoint one thing, you know. Honestly,
it was the ease of transition to it. Really, That was probably the biggest surprise. So the migration or just the use of the technology, or both? Both really, that the team at Tech data and then the team within Cisco doing being a part of Makeover and then our team, I guess just really being as open as receptive to it as we were.
It made this transition so easy and and I was expecting it to be a lot harder.
So we have 122 acres here, and so and we have fiber and computers all over the place. That's a large amount of space to have a team cover and understand how all the connectivity happens. And we do have a special relationship with the zoo because aside from being an MSP were on the team here. So
we go to the meetings. We, you know, Jenny Oh, call me directly all hours of the day or night and
we value that relationship. Ciscos the name you hear a lot in our I t world, but it's also one that is enigmatic, you know, not advice familiar with it. And once you do a dive, you realize this isn't a scary Yeah, and like you said, I mean those that do sometimes it comes to the stigma of complexity and expense, and
turkey's even right. But once you get into it, you realize it's like, Wow, this this is good for the small business
does give you the peace of mind, the protection, the things that are really desired today, you know, by just by virtue of our current threat landscape, which is crazy.
So if you could pick one thing from the makeover that really stands out is success or surprise. Whatever is What would it be, really? For me, the surprise or the success story is really being able to see Red Clay developed as a Cisco partner so they can deliver that Cisco solution
to Birmingham's.
And now you've got great technology that's protecting your entire environment, reducing your risk, and you've got a fantastic team that's managing it. So it sounds like it's been a win win all the way around. The nice thing has been the whole process and tailoring thesis allusions to fit us. So it wasn't just Here's what you get. It's more off.
What do you need to make it work for you?
Like a flock of birds or an old server? Looks like it's time for me to migrate. But if you're headed south for the winter, be sure to fly by the Birmingham Zoo, where this Dream team has finished one of our biggest makeovers yet, thanks to red clay technology group tech data and, of course, Cisco Security,
the zoo finally has the fast, strong and safe network it deserves.
I'm Mike Storm signing off protecting businesses globally. One customer at a time