By Moti Sagey, Head of Strategic Marketing, published October 21st 2019
Avianca has embarked on a digital transformation of its operations. I met with Ms. Zully Romero, Avianca’s Security Architect, to hear more about the company’s strategy of defending against sophisticated threats as it moves many of its workloads from the premises to the cloud.
As it celebrates 100 years in operation, Avianca is building a digital foundation to support even greater agility and innovation in the future. Security is a key value—from transportation safety to cybersecurity. Innovation has been part of the company’s fabric from its founding. Compliance is also paramount. The cloud plays a key role in increasing operational agility, reach, and cost-effectiveness. One of its first steps was to move its Avianca.com to the Microsoft Azure public cloud environment.
Moti Sagey, Head of Strategic Marketing, Check Point: What do you see as your biggest challenge in moving towards the cloud?
Zully Romero: We’re experts in aviation and logistics and we rely on strategic partners for expertise in other areas. As we migrated to the cloud, we needed to ensure consistent, robust security across our portfolio of applications and services—whether in the cloud or on premises. And as an airline, we must protect some unique technologies that we use in internal operations and customer-facing services. At the same time, we have numerous compliance requirements. Avianca Holdings is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which requires compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). We also maintain compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standard, ISO 27000, and security requirements of the Star Alliance.
Moti Sagey: How did Check Point make the migration easier?
Zully Romero: We already use Check Point solutions for on-premises environments, so we’re familiar with the products. Check Point worked closely with us to accelerate and optimize deployment, which enabled us to deploy CloudGuard IaaS hundreds of times faster than we could have deployed other solutions. So, we were off to a great start. Once deployed, we could migrate Avianca.com, which is our primary ecommerce avenue, to the cloud. That move significantly improved website stability and allowed us to run special promotions that increased sales revenues. The Check Point R80 security management gives us unmatched visibility into cloud traffic, users, workloads, and policies—as well as consolidated monitoring, logging and reporting. It’s a huge help to our security team.
Moti Sagey: With secure operations in the cloud, how does that impact the overall business?
Zully Romero: As I mentioned, we were able to increase sales revenue via the website. We now can secure our applications and workloads in alignment with business and compliance requirements. We know immediately if anything deviates from compliance and can remediate appropriately. The ability to segment—and appropriately secure—different services greatly reduces risk. And unified management enables us to secure on-premises and cloud assets equally. Check Point enables us to make our corporate value of security a reality.
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