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Willemen Group builds solid security strategy with Fortinet & VanRoey.be

With many separate entities and sites, Willemen Groep's IT management was a challenge to say the least. The organisation engaged VanRoey.be as a Fortinet partner to further professionalise the security section, among other things.
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IT management at Willemen Groep poses a tough challenge. The organisation consists of many entities: 6 main sites where more than 100 people are employed at all times, many smaller sites and endless ongoing construction sites. All these locations need to be provided with IT services as well as security. The first steps towards centralisation had already been taken; the next part to be tackled was security...

Kenneth ClaesKenneth Claes is today IT Infrastructure & Operations Manager at Willemen Group. As a former IT Teamlead at Smals his responsibilities included network, network security, storage & backup. It is in this role that he was looking for a flexible party with high certification and expertise in security solutions. On the recommendation of Patrick Commers (Cybersecurity Expert at Fortinet), he got to know VanRoey.be, and it clicked immediately.

In his new role at Willemen Groep, he was able to join the drawing board and fundamentally build a new architecture. Thanks to his previous positive experience with VanRoey.be, he decided to introduce the Kempense IT company and take it under its wing again.

From security audit to security roadmap

Kenneth: "Together with Roel van Looy, we mapped out the entire organisation and all our challenges. The result was a fully outlined security roadmap, with short-, medium- and long-term interventions. This has since become our foothold. Except for a few slightly modified details, we follow this plan meticulously. This approach has systematically taken the organisation to a higher maturity in terms of security."

120 Fortigate firewalls

As many as 120 FortiGate Firewalls enabled. "Given the large number of firewalls, we wanted to play it safe. Hence the choice of Fortinet. Not only is the price/quality ratio fine, but with competing brands we had too much uncertainty with firmware upgrades. Experience taught us that things went wrong in almost 1 in 4 upgrades, causing unnecessary stress with every patch cycle. An upgrade gone wrong is not something you want to experience as an IT administrator. With FortiGate, we don't have that problem."

Deepdive in the Fortinet Portfolio

Profile photo Stefaan Scheyltjens | VanRoey.beStefaan Scheyltjens, Sales Manager at VanRoey.be for Willemen adds: "Securing over 900 users and +/- 1,200 devices obviously required more than just firewalls. Today, the organisation also has FortiClient EMS, FortiMail and FortiEDR. FortiManager and FortiAnalyzer are also operational. Finally, FortiWeb is also currently running in test deployment."

Kenneth: "The Fortinet portfolio takes us very far. To simplify the management of all laptops and smartphones (MDM), we use Microsoft Intune and Autopilot, which VanRoey.be completed the initial set-up with. This is another great step towards the centralisation and automation we want to achieve from our IT team.

Managed Security Services

Stefaan: "The whole system is currently also backed by Managed Security Services. This way, we relieve Kenneth's team of the burden of monitoring and regularly checking configurations. Moreover, they can always count on assistance & advice as their security approach evolves. This allows the team to focus more on strategic and operational matters to support the functioning of the organisation."

A fine partner we can count on

Kenneth: "Even when things go wrong, VanRoey.be sticks its neck out for us. Major logistical challenges worldwide are no stranger to Fortinet either. When a device failed - presumably after a lightning strike - Fortinet was contractually obliged to provide us with an immediate replacement, but unfortunately that went wrong when it turned out they didn't have a back-up device in stock. Fortunately, VanRoey.be jumped into the breach for us. They helped us out by lending us their own device.

Fortinet Expert Partner | VanRoey.beNor can we underline enough the contribution of their certified experts such as Kevin & Els, both Fortinet NSE8 (the highest possible certification, nvdr). Being able to call on their knowledge is invaluable."

Besides the security hatch, Willemen Groep also counts on other services from VanRoey.be. For example, many meeting rooms have now been equipped with CTOUCH touch screens and Yealink videoconferencing equipment. The company also turns to VanRoey.be today for wifi site-surveys and the purchase of new HPE Aruba switches and wireless access points.

About Willemen Groep

Willemen is one of the largest construction companies in Belgium. The family business was founded in 1956 and experienced major growth through the acquisition of contracting companies such as Franki, Aswebo, Van Wellen and Kumpen. Thanks to their mutual complementarity, they can handle the most complex assignments. Whether it is a sustainable construction project or an infrastructure project, from design through construction and financing to maintenance, the companies in this Group are a solid partner.

"Also, we cannot underline enough the contribution of their certified experts like Kevin & Els, both Fortinet NSE8. To be able to call on their knowledge is invaluable"
Kenneth Claes
IT Infra & Operations Manager
Kenneth Claes

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