Zero trust forms part of Industry 5.0 transformation

Leading global manufacturer leverages Zscaler’s integrated user protection and experience monitoring to provide business users and manufacturing systems with secure, high performance, VPN-free access to cloud and private applications.

Coats Group PLC, the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer for over 250 years, is adopting the Zscaler Zero Trust Exchange cloud platform to secure its Industry 5.0 transformation. With its deployment, UK-headquartered Coats will implement Zscaler for Users and Zscaler for IoT/OT as the company builds its security service edge (SSE) ecosystem. This SSE ecosystem will provide 18,000 employees secure access to Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems, including its manufacturing locations and R&D facilities across six continents.

“Data and data integrity are critical to running a competitive modern manufacturing enterprise,” said Benjamin Corll, Vice President of Cybersecurity at Coats. “With the accelerating adoption of IIoT [Industrial IoT], AI-powered robotics, and other connected industrial systems in collaboration with human experts, Zscaler will help us provide secure access for OT applications and workloads, as well as users and devices, based on a zero trust approach.”

For its deployment, Coats is implementing multiple fully-integrated Zero Trust Exchange user protection and digital experience monitoring (DEM) services. This includes flagship Zscaler Internet Access (ZIA), for supplying employees and contractors with streamlined, secure connectivity to the internet and SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365. Coats is also adopting Zscaler Private Access (ZPA), for high-performance, virtual private network (VPN)-free secure access to private applications residing in its data centres and hosted in public clouds.

“By giving us granular control, Zscaler enables us to provide context-based anywhere access to our employees, suppliers, and other third parties,” Corll said. “For example, with our OT systems, Zscaler will ensure that repair and maintenance technicians are only permitted to access the systems they require— thus greatly improving our security posture.”

To keep application performance and user experiences high, Coats is also investing in Zscaler Digital Experience (ZDX), for proactively detecting access issues before they affect remote or in-office users, applications, or workloads, and for rapidly troubleshooting complaints. “ZDX provides us with detailed information for analysing and resolving issues at their source, rather than subjective measures like ‘slow,’” Corll said. “Addressing root causes makes users happier and more productive.”

Coats also expects to increase efficiency and reduce overhead costs by improving help desk efficiency. “Using ZDX, we anticipate saving at least 150 help desk hours monthly across our enterprise, which is nearly an entire full-time position,” Corll said. “Simultaneously, ZDX will assist with reducing incidents by providing us with the analytics for tuning our deployment to optimize performance across all users, devices, applications, and workloads where Zscaler is deployed.”

“Whether it’s your shirt, jacket, protective gear, or even your car seats, whenever you're wearing clothing it's likely you're wearing a Coats product,” said Dhawal Sharma, VP of Product Management at Zscaler. “At Zscaler, we’re deeply committed to partnering with Coats on their IT transformation journey. This includes providing Coats with the end-to-end monitoring capabilities of ZDX for ensuring secure and optimal digital experiences. We look forward to our continued partnership to help them achieve their goals today and in the future.”

For a global operation like Coats, another advantage of the Zscaler platform is streamlining and simplifying regulatory compliance worldwide. “With Zscaler, all of the compliance requirements and reporting—whether it’s PCI in the U.S., GDPR in the EU, or mandates in other regions—are elegantly engineered into the solution and managed for us, providing us with one seamless, integrated, comprehensive platform that’s easy to use,” Corll said.

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