Transforming IT Security and Infrastructure at Yesim–Almaxtex Tekstil
Working with the world’s largest brands is no small task. We know that well at Yeşim-Almaxtex Textile. Yeşim started its production in Bursa, Turkey, in 1983, and continues in the field of ready-to-wear and home textiles as Yeşim-Almaxtex Tekstil. We have more than 4,000 employees on a total area of 325,000 square meters.
Yeşim is one of the few integrated facilities in the world that can perform all operations from yarn to finished products under one roof. We manufacture for world-famous brands and have strategic partnerships with companies such as Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Inditex in ready-to-wear, and Matheis-Schlafgut in home textile. Working with these world-renowned companies put major pressure on our IT department. Downtime or security breaches would be disastrous.
These areas of business continuity have been a major focus of my 23-year tenure at Yesim-Almaxtex Tekstil. As a fast-growing company, it was time for our network devices and technologies to change. Since the manufacturing industry—and textiles in particular—contained a lot of processes, we used many different brands of models of network. For this reason, it became very difficult to control, manage, and secure network traffic. With the increasing importance given to information security, we needed to position reliable and powerful solutions within our company.
As the team responsible for keeping our company growing and innovating, it was time to begin the search for a new network that would allow Yesim-Almaxtex Tekstil to keep bringing the most reliable products into the market.
Striving for Innovative Solutions While Stuck in the Past
As the manufacturing sector becomes more engrained with technology, the way we do business is changing. Security requirements have moved to the forefront. The interaction between production and the line of business necessitates us to control applications, the IT environment, and business processes.
Even though our old network wasn’t causing major outages, we needed to be proactive to our new business realities. Contractors were joining our network for only specific projects, and the prevalence of internet of things (IoT) devices meant our small team had more devices than ever to manage. The influx also meant it slowed down our network. With core manufacturing and business applications running on the network, everyone was impacted.
Securely Back in Business with Cisco and Bizcom
As our older network was already Cisco, we set up some meetings with the Cisco team to learn more about the solutions on the market. After a handful of meetings over the course of two or three months, we were confident that Cisco understood our challenges and needs.
So when our friends at Cisco introduced us to the team at Bizcom, we knew we would be well taken care of. Bizcom is a premier Cisco partner based in Turkey, specializing in security. They act like an advanced IT security department to their clients. We were also intrigued because Bizcom has branches in Istanbul and Bursa, so we knew they would always be close by.
Bizcom is known for its strong customer support, so we were quite happy when the Bizcom team took over our engagement. A Cisco advanced services system engineer came to our Bursa facility and stayed for five days to help the Yesim Network and Bizcom teams with the implementation and facilitate training sessions. Bizcom not only supported us throughout at the beginning, but led planning meetings, scope design, project management, and delivery with the support of Cisco Advanced Services.
Modern Infrastructure: Strengthening the Fabric of Our IT Systems
With the increased need for security, and as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics became increasingly necessary, Bizcom recommended a suite of Cisco solutions.
We went with Cisco Catalyst 9000 series 24 and 48 port PoE switches with Cisco DNA Premier licenses and Aironet 1852 series access points and Cisco 3504 Wireless Controller in the network environment which uniquely supports NetFlow protocol for better visibility. We combined this with Stealthwatch to bring deeper behavior-based threat visibility into the network, and we used Cisco DNA Center to process the network deep packet inspection data. Cisco provided an end-to-end solution that is fully automated with the Cisco Identity Service Engine (ISE).
In our old environment, it was quite time-consuming to respond to problems in the network and react to security incidents. However, with the Assurance Model of Cisco DNA Center, we can easily probe network problems, downtimes, outages, and detect new devices. With Cisco DNA Center, we have reduced the time to troubleshoot from hours to minutes.
By combining Stealthwatch together with ISE, we can now monitor all our locations and all our network devices on one screen and enforce and update policies whenever we detect threats. And if something goes wrong, troubleshooting and remediation are now easier and faster—with one click, we can see the problem and everything in the network. Thanks to ISE we’ve automated our configuration process to save time and reduce human errors and security incidents.
In the past, we could not effectively monitor network traffic to detect unknown malware, insider threats, and policy violations. Now, with Stealthwatch, we can create customized rules and response actions for all types of alarms. Stealthwatch also gives us the ability to immediately analyze encrypted traffic and detect threats within it without decryption. Previously, our IT team didn’t have visibility into our complex and growing network footprint. Other solutions were insufficient as they offered limited visibility into our network telemetry, were not designed to scale over time, and required us to install multiple agents and sensors, which made the deployment process a nightmare. However, now we have Stealthwatch, which was easy to deploy, is scalable due to its agentless design, and provides enterprise-wide visibility across all our clients, devices, applications, and protocols.
With all our Cisco security solutions deployed, we are in a much stronger position to defend against cyberattacks, while gaining more control over our new, modern infrastructure and network.
Predicting the Future and Staying Secure with the Right Solutions
Our network is now more reliable, stable, and secure. While these Cisco solutions were being deployed company-wide as part of our IT modernization process, one more future-focused investment we made was purchasing Cisco Webex Boards and Webex Teams. At first, the importance and value of this investment might not have been obvious to everyone at the company. But in the wake of the global pandemic, those concerns transformed into relief.
While the ongoing challenges of the pandemic are far-reaching and serious, Webex has minimized the pandemic’s effects on our business operations, allowing us to carry on as best as we can. Our C-Suite leaders tell us they are very satisfied with our collaboration solutions, including the connection and quality of the video. Collaboration, along with security, have allowed for business continuity during these unprecedented times.
By putting our people first, we have come so far as a company. This guiding principle is woven beautifully into the fabric of our company culture. It is what has allowed us to produce for the world, pursue innovation, and provide a secure environment for all who work at Yesim Tekstil.
And when companies like Cisco and Bizcom put their customers first, they empower us to fulfill our role and power the teams that produce for the world.