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Erecting secure infrastructure

One firm rebuilt its security and enterprise management systems, saving money

November 15, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Lend Lease Corp. had antivirus software running on all of the gateways, e-mail servers and desktops that serve its 10,000 workers worldwide, but that wasn't enough to prevent a Blaster attack on Aug. 3, 2003. That incident prompted the global real estate management and financing company to begin a process that resulted in a sweeping revamp of its IT infrastructure.

"Blaster hit us rather hard and on a global scale," says Chief Security Officer John Miles. The antivirus protections notwithstanding, he says, "we didn't have the right tools for proper insight to tell where the virus was coming from."

Sydney, Australia-based Lend Lease appraised its security, systems and service management software. The goal: to be better prepared for attacks and to improve how the business deals with internal and external customers.

A little more than a year after the Blaster attack, the company had completed a $1.8 million project to purchase and install 18 software products from six vendors, including Remedy, a unit of BMC Software Inc. Lend Lease dubbed the project HighRISE, after the company's work on skyscrapers and because it includes Remedy identity, system and endpoint management tools. The products, deployed together, went live in early September.

Software Pyramid

Miles describes HighRISE as a five-level pyramid, with service management functions at the top (see diagram, next page). These include help desk, service level, asset and change management products from Remedy, as well as remote-control and business intelligence products from ManageSoft Corp.

John Miles and Jay Skibinski of Lend Lease
John Miles and Jay Skibinski of Lend Lease
Image Credit: Ann States

The next tier down, the identity and trust management level, includes password and identity management products from M-Tech Information Technology Inc., as well as documentation that Lend Lease created based on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards for operations and security management.

The directory management tier includes administration products from NetIQ Corp., plus directory software from Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.

The configuration and vulnerability management layer includes configuration, security path and vulnerability management tools.

The bottom tier, threat and availability management, includes application, security and inventory management functions.

Lend Lease CIO Jay Skibinski says he wanted the products to be integrated at the same time to keep the project rollout time short. "Integrating all the products in series would have taken years to complete, and integration would have been a challenge," he says.

Lend Lease set up a bidding process, invited three vendors for each functional area and then picked the one with the best features and technical quality. As part of the deal, Skibinski required the vendors to meet upfront and agree to make their products interoperate. By doing so, Lend Lease was able to avoid hiring an independent integrator. "The vendors understand it's a big win for them as well to interoperate, and it's something that leads to better business," Skibinski says.

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