Fast growing low-cost airline Viva, based in Medellín, Colombia, has selected Microsoft technologies, the software company announced on its website, to protect its IT infrastructure from cybersecurity dangers. The security was implemented by Microsoft partner Sofistic Cybersecurity, a firm with offices in Spain, Colombia, Panamá, Chile, and the Dominican Republic.
Viva had already successfully moved to a remote work modality for office workers during the pandemic, and then moved to a hybrid work environment where workers could either go to their airport offices at the end of the runway in the Medellín suburb of Rionegro, or a new leased facility in Medellín’s leafy Milla de Oro business district. Viva also has operations across 18 Colombian cities and six different countries, not to mention a fleet of the latest data-connected Airbus A320 and A320neo aircraft.
“The first step to raise cybersecurity standards was to define governance with a focus on end-user computers,” says Fabián Ramos, Vice President of Technology (above photo). “We needed to be flexible and allow our employees to work from where they were, without sacrificing security.”
“We presented this challenge to Sofistic with a specific timeline. We had decided that our office would be located in a coworking space, therefore we needed to secure the endpoints outside the network perimeter so that the devices would provide the same level of security regardless of where they were from,” said Ramos.
Viva maintains an IT network across 18 Colombian cities and 6 different countries, with more on the way.
Viva already had a Microsoft Azure-based infrastructure, running Azure Active Directory, and using Office 365. By adopting the various security solutions that Sofistic recommended, the airline was able to fully ensure device navigation control compliance, software update control, and threat protection across more than 400 devices. The solutions adopted allows Viva to manager and secure computers from the Azure cloud without domain controllers of VPNs.
“We decided to take advantage of the technology that was there and start extending the services,” says Juan David Díaz, Microsoft 365 Expert at Sofistic. As a result, Viva adopted Endpoint Manager, a solution that provides modern management to protect data in the cloud and on-premises by managing and monitoring mobile devices, office PCs, virtual machines, embedded devices, and servers, and Defender for Endpoint , which allows evaluating the level of risk of each device and prevents users from accessing corporate resources from non-compliant devices.
Cost Conscious Security
As an ultra-low-cost airline, Viva is extremely aggressive when it comes to spend, and demands solutions be effective, but cost effective. Invoices presented must remain low, and the company employs internal auditors to pinch every peso that doesn’t reduce safety and security. Microsoft had to demonstrate that their solution was as cost effective as possible while providing the necessary level of security.
“Another important benefit we had was to optimize costs,” says Michael Pinto, Manager of Technological Continuity at Viva.“ Being a low-cost business model , we always seek to optimize our budget. By opening a new office in a coworking space , we were able to leave the physical infrastructure aside, guaranteeing high security standards”, he adds.
“Today we have employees working from different cities and countries with the security guarantees we required,” adds Ramos. “Technology for Viva is no longer just a support issue. We really live it. We work daily to bring products and innovation that allow us to offer better experiences for our customers.”
Azure allows us to respond to market needs quickly. If we were in an on-premises environment, we wouldn’t be able to think of something and apply it quickly. Microsoft’s cloud environment allows us to grow safely,” concluded Pinto.