Global Payments, Inc. may not be a household name, but if you’ve ever swiped your card at a grocery store or another retail institution to make a purchase, chances are you’ve used their services.

The company, based in Atlanta, provides electronic transaction processing services for credit and debit cards around the globe. Like many global companies, it has endpoints distributed worldwide, including over 15 relay servers, 3,000 laptop and desktop workstations and some 2,000 servers. Adding to the complexity is the mandate to remain PCI compliant, which means the company must meet rigid security guidelines and pass frequent audits to demonstrate its capacity to keep confidential financial information secure.

Global Payments Faces Major Compliance Challenges

At IBM InterConnect on Monday, Feb. 22, Darren Kroll, a senior application analyst at Global Payments, shared how things used to be done — and how IBM BigFix has revolutionized the way his department works.

Connie Lamicela from ESM Technology joins Darren Kroll from Global Systems, Inc. at IBM InterConnect.

“We used to manage all our information on spreadsheets,” said Kroll. “We would have different versions of the spreadsheets living on different computers. And the thing about spreadsheets is no one ever really updates them — sometimes someone would mark a row in yellow and pass it on to the next person without telling them what the yellow highlight meant.”

That kind of tracking system made compliance audits tricky and stressful for Kroll and his team. “We needed a solution that provided us 100 percent visibility into what was connected to our networks and tell us whether or not those systems were in compliance, and we had to roll it out in under three months,” he said, speaking to an audience of about 130 at the InterConnect breakout session.

IBM BigFix Streamlines Business Operations

Kroll and his team chose IBM BigFix as the solution. Admittedly, meeting both the goals and the deadline seemed daunting, but Kroll and his colleagues were pleasantly surprised when the BigFix rollout began. “We discovered hundreds of endpoints in just a few hours, and we had asset, patch and compliance data in easy-to-read reports within just a few days,” he said.

Those quick, accurate reports are critical for Global Payments. They positioned it to pass compliance audits without the strife and stress of wrangling spreadsheets by hand — not to mention the increased accuracy. “BigFix enabled us to eliminate weeks of manual work and processes to prepare for an audit. We can give the BigFix reports directly to the auditors, so when we tell them we’re in compliance, the proof and validation is easy to produce and easy for them to understand.”

BigFix also helps Global Payments with patching its endpoints and ensuring it knows what endpoints are connecting to the corporate network. “Our patch success rate is well over 90 percent, and today we can track our assets in real time. BigFix completely changed the way my department worked — for the better.

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