Customer Success Story
Weichert Reinvents User Access Management with Zilla Security
In the fast-paced and strictly regulated world of real estate and global mobility, businesses are continuously on the lookout for novel methods to optimize operations and bolster security protocols.
Weichert, a leading national provider in this sector, faced a daunting challenge: efficiently managing user access reviews across their growing suite of cloud and SaaS applications.
Faced with stringent industry regulations and the regular handling of sensitive homeowner information, Weichert’s security team identified an immediate need to drastically revamp their existing processes to align with the company’s rapid growth. By utilizing Zilla Security’s capabilities, they automated their access review tasks, substantially reducing the effort previously required for compliance and governance documentation.
The Challenge: Navigating Legacy Processes and Security Risks
Historically, the company found itself ensnared in time-consuming manual application security certification processes. These processes often involved a lot of paperwork, including manually inputting data into Excel spreadsheets, and coordination between different teams and departments.
While the company was actively adopting cloud-based identity solutions, especially Azure Active Directory (AD), they needed help in ensuring a robust security posture. They also wanted to address some workforce offloading issues like non-deletion of accounts in Azure AD.
“With the Zilla platform, what once took months to complete now takes less than 24 days.Their unwavering support and dedication, combined with the capability to integrate even with systems that lack an API, make Zilla not just a tool but a partner in our growth. Their forward-thinking approach ensures we are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow while addressing the needs of today.”
CISO, Weichert Companies
Many accounts were merely deactivated rather than removed, which could lead to significant risks of unauthorized access, data breaches, and non-compliance with data protection regulations. In the real estate sector with frequent workforce changes – employees frequently coming, going, and sometimes returning – managing user accounts was a logistical challenge. The practice of just deactivating accounts rather than deleting them exacerbated this challenge.
A considerable part of Weichert’s operational challenge was tied to systems that either did not have API access or were legacy client-server applications. Having to rely on manually procured CSVs for these systems added an extra layer of effort and data inconsistency.
Goals and Objectives:
Enhanced Efficiency, Visibility, and Control
The company’s primary goal was to improve operational efficiency and security in its application certification processes.
They also aimed to reduce the time previously spent on application user access reviews, targeting quicker turnarounds, especially for systems that lacked API access.
They sought clearer visibility and control over user accounts, ensuring consistent security measures, especially regarding account deletions in Azure AD.
The need to seamlessly integrate with ticketing systems like ServiceNow was also critical, facilitating a cohesive, unified approach to user account revalidations.
Discovering Zilla Security
The company began its search for a solution that would bridge its operational gaps; their exploration led to Zilla Security, an identity security platform known for its innovative user access review automation, seamless integration with corporate ticketing systems, and out-of-the box support of over 500 SaaS and cloud applications.
Zilla Security showcased its worth immediately. It played a pivotal role in reducing campaign completion times from the previous 1-3 months to under 24 days for most systems. Its versatility enabled fast certification of systems that didn’t have an API, making processes more straightforward.
Zilla’s support team played a critical role in ensuring the smooth adoption of the platform. Their unwavering support even outside regular working hours exemplified their commitment to clients. It wasn’t just about the technology Zilla provided, but the holistic approach with their dedicated service that truly made the difference.
Additionally, Weichert recognized Zilla’s potential for improving cloud posture management and sought to expand its use in processes related to cloud adoption.
Realized Vision and Tangible Results
Since its adoption, Weichert has integrated over 30 applications with Zilla. Ten staff members actively engage with Zilla, while approximately 150 additional managers and system owners participate in the user access reviews.
During these review cycles, the company evaluates about 1,300 user accounts in Azure AD and over 600 users in its largest application, Salesforce.
The modified offboarding process for Weichert’s workforce, especially for contractors and temporary staff, now relies on Active Directory (AD) and Azure AD as the primary sources of corporate identities. Setting expiration dates for AD and Azure AD accounts triggers regular evaluations. Accounts are flagged for removal upon reaching their expiration, unless managers actively renew them.
“Implementing Zilla has been like trading in a magnifying glass for a high-powered microscope. Every detail of user access, once obscured by tedious manual processes, is now clear and actionable. My workload has become more manageable, and I have a renewed confidence in our ability to promptly identify and address potential security threats. It’s not just about efficiency; it’s about empowering us analysts with the right tools to uphold our commitment to security.”
Senior Information Security Analyst, Weichert Workforce Mobility
Zilla was instrumental in implementing an enhanced revalidation process to monitor accounts that might have departed early. With Zilla’s assistance, the company meticulously conducts user validations biannually and delves into Salesforce security reviews quarterly. Since Salesforce is the repository for most of Weichert’s user data and other sensitive information, regular checks are paramount.
After the Zilla solution was implemented, the transformation was evident. The security team at Weichert finally had the ability to see the entire user landscape more comprehensively. Zilla helped categorize users, ensuring that roles were clearly defined and appropriate controls were set in place. This not only streamlined operational processes but also helped with addressing security lapses, such as the incomplete implementation of multi-factor authentication.
As the partnership with Zilla Security matured, tangible outcomes began to emerge, reaffirming the Weichert’s decision to integrate with the platform.
One of the most significant achievements was the drastic reduction in campaign completion times. Processes that once took 1-3 months were now being completed in less than 24 days.
Flexibility and Integration:
Weichert was particularly impressed by Zilla’s unique ability to gather data from applications that didn’t support APIs or even an account export capability.
Support and Collaboration:
The Zilla team’s dedication was evident, not just in providing technological solutions but in ensuring these solutions were tailored to the company’s needs. Zilla provided a personalized touch, making the integration smoother.
The company witnessed firsthand Zilla’s commitment to listening to the customers and building a better product through continuous feedback. Zilla demonstrated they were in it for the long haul.
With the rapid pace of innovation in the tech landscape, the company was confident in Zilla’s forward-thinking approach. They were assured that as they navigated the challenges of tomorrow, Zilla would be right there with them, evolving and adapting.
About Weichert Companies
Founded in 1969, Weichert Realtors has grown from a modest single office to emerge as one of the premier national leaders in real estate and associated services. Our success stems from a steadfast commitment to our customers, ensuring trust and unparalleled experiences on their journey to homeownership.
© 2023, WEICHERT WORKFORCE MOBILITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
© 2023, ZILLA SECURITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.