SoftwareOne case study

Establishing a human firewall

A group of people looking at a laptop.

Better protection through fully managed cybersecurity

Almost everyone has at some point received an email that looks innocent yet contains harmful links that can plant dangerous malware on a PC. When this happens in the workplace, the consequences can have a major bottom-line impact. Illva Saronno, the Italian company famed for brands like Disaronno and Tia Maria, was determined to avoid these ‘phishing’ attacks by proactively training its employees to spot them before they clicked creating a human firewall.

Choosing the SoftwareOne Cybersecurity User Awareness Service, employees were trained to recognize potential phishing attacks through simulated campaigns. Within 9 months, Illva’s security culture had improved with a decrease in clicks on malicious emails from 8 to 2 percent and improved rates of real phishing and risk identification. Continuous 24x7 support is also provided by SoftwareOne's Security Operations Center (SOC) to monitor and validate cyber threats.

Illva Saronno logo
Illva Saronno
Consumer goods
SoftwareOne Cybersecurity User Awareness
Making our employees aware of the risks associated with cyber-attacks is a key factor in preventing incidents. This was a fundamental step in our cybersecurity improvement plan. It also involved reviewing all other key factors around IT security like firewall, antivirus, backup, and Disaster Recovery.

Antonio Pisano
Chief Information Technology Officer, Illva Saronno Holding

About the client

Illva Saronno S.p.A. is part of the Illva Saronno Holding S.p.A., a food and beverages company wholesaling and distributing alcoholic beverages, semi-finished ice creams, and bakery products. The Italian multinational company has a presence through distributors in over 160 countries. Illva Saronno is known for Disaronno, a very popular Italian liqueur, representing the “Made in Italy” image and taste worldwide.

The challenge

Cybersecurity trends show a significant rise in data breaches, hack attacks, and malicious campaigns. More than 3 billion fake emails are in circulation every day, and 91 percent of cyber-attacks start with phishing.

Focusing on continuous optimization of productivity and efficiency using cloud-based services such as Microsoft 365, Illva Saronno and SoftwareOne had already established a close partnership since 2014:

As an international company with more than 40 offices in Italy, Europe, and the US, we need a global partner who can provide the best IT solutions and guide us through our digital transformation. The Microsoft 365 cloud solution offered by SoftwareOne’s 365Simple managed service helps our employees to work more efficiently, whether in the office or mobile working environments. Turning to them for cybersecurity awareness was the obvious next step,
– said Antonio Pisano, Chief Information Technology Officer at Illva Saronno Holding.

At the same time, Illva saw a rising demand for effective protection against ransomware and phishing attacks. Because human error causes 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches, all workers need an understanding of cyber threats and the potential impact a cyber-attack could have on Illva’s business. Being aware of the steps required to reduce risk and prevent cybercrime from infiltrating their online workspace is key.

A person is using a laptop with an email icon on it.

The solution

Illva engaged SoftwareOne’s Cybersecurity User Awareness Managed Service to enhance employee security knowledge and best practices. A lasting awareness and education program was developed at Illva to support and train 480 employees across the company over a one year period. SoftwareOne implemented the service in close collaboration with its business partner KnowBe4, an industry-leading security awareness and training solutions provider.

As part of SoftwareOne's fully managed Cybersecurity User Awareness Service, SoftwareOne's Phishing Incident Response Service triages and responds to suspicious phishing emails reported by Illva employees. The training program also provides a “Phish Alert Button” to notify IT of any suspicious incident. SoftwareOne's Security Operations Center (SOC), staffed 24x7 by more than 20 certified security engineers, monitors, scans, and alerts Illva to confirmed phishing threats. This service helps Illva’s IT team save time and improve the operational security efficiency. In addition, with the phishing campaign evaluations, SoftwareOne’s Service Success Manager provides regular insights and recommendations that help Illva’s IT department maintain an up-to-date picture of cybercrime risks to adjust strategy accordingly.


The result

  • Improved knowledge & cybersecurity awareness: The number of clicks on simulated phishing links has dropped from 8 percent to 2 percent in 9 months since the education program began.
  • Improved security strategy: SoftwareOne's regular insights and recommendations help to identify and reduce vulnerabilities in Illva’s cybersecurity awareness strategy while achieving its security and business objectives.
  • Fast response to prevent attacks: With just one click, email threats are routed directly to SoftwareOne's 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC), enabling Illva's IT team to quickly respond to potential cybercrime attacks and prevent any risk of damage.
  • Relieved IT department: SoftwareOne's SOC monitors, scans, and alerts Illva to confirmed phishing threats so Illva's IT department saves time and effort.
  • Safer organization: Illva has become a safer company and working place thanks to a reduced risk from cyber-attacks.
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