British Army Training Unit Suffield Leverages Absolute Secure Access to Combat Mobile Connectivity Issues

BATUS Turns to Absolute Secure Access to Keep British Army Personnel Connected on the Modern Battlefield During Live-Fire Exercises

Canadian Forces Base Suffield in Alberta is home to the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), the British Army’s premier live-fire training center. When soldiers use the training base, they rely on a variety of mobile technologies to carry out the training exercises in preparation for real-life battles and combat around the world.

The Story

Reduce Lost Connections and Unwanted Application Crashes

BATUS faced a dilemma. Persistent mobile device issues interrupted battle groups and instructors during live training ops, wasting precious time and frustrating users. As the soldiers traversed the uneven terrain, their mobile devices could not stay connected to the cellular network, causing unwanted application crashes.

In addition to fixing these mobile connectivity issues, IT was tasked with reducing the high cost of data plan overages while lacking visibility into why the devices were reaching plan limits so quickly and without knowing how the devices were being used for work-related tasks during training sessions. They also wanted to route all data traffic through the unit’s network with an always-on VPN tunnel that users couldn’t disable—something their old VPN could not do.

Security Challenges

Improve Mobile Experience for Soldiers

Provides Greater Visibility

Saves Almost $100,000 in Data Plan Costs

"During our rollout, we discovered a huge new feature — the ability to block or allow access to specific hostnames. Rather than blocking IP addresses, we can whitelist specific sites to further control the use of our iOS devices."

CARMEN PAYNE
SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR
BATUS

The Solutions

How They Did It

Eliminate Dropped Connections and Software Crashes

During a 30-day evaluation of Absolute Secure Access, they saw immediate improvements; no more disconnects or software crashes. IT was pleased that they had resolved the VPN issues, but still had to rein in the cost of data plans on each device, especially iOS devices that connected to the cellular network for situational awareness on the battlefield.

Provide Greater Visibility Into Network, Device, and Application Usage

After a trial using the Absolute Insights™ for Network product, which is part of the Absolute Secure Access solution, they quickly realized how much information they could glean right out of the box with the pre-configured dashboards. In particular, dashboards revealing the highest application and network usage provided the visibility and granular detail they had been lacking. They were able to identify who was streaming data, how much data, and which networks they were using, as well as the websites they were visiting during work hours. As a result, they implemented specific usage policies that managed or blocked unwanted behaviors.

The Results

Improved Mobile Experience for Soldiers in the Field

The complete Absolute Secure Access solution gives the BATUS the connectivity their field users need to do their jobs on the battlefield and the insight IT needs to control data usage costs and user behavior on all mobile devices.

For BATUS, Absolute Secure Access:

  • Improved mobile experience for soldiers in the field
  • Eliminated dropped connections and software crashes
  • Provided greater visibility into device, network, and application usage
  • Saved almost $100,000 in data plan costs over a one-year period (Absolute alone was responsible for at least $50,000)
  • Improved control over the websites users can access

Absolute Platform FAQ

The Absolute® Platform leverages a cloud-based, highly-available and secure multi-tenant architecture that is available across different regions. It’s comprised of a variety of foundational components that power Absolute product features that are being leveraged by the company’s enterprise customers and ecosystems partners (e.g., independent software vendors, original equipment manufacturers, or managed service providers) alike.

The Absolute Platform consists of three core components:

  • Absolute Persistence Technology

Absolute Persistence® technology, a unique, patented technology is already embedded in over 600 million devices as a result of Absolute’s partnership with nearly 30 system manufacturers from around the world. Once activated, this technology is fiercely resilient and is the only solution to survive attempts to disable it, even if the device is re-imaged, the hard drive is replaced, or the firmware is updated.

No other technology can do this. Ultimately, it provides a secure, unbreakable, and always-on connection between the Absolute Platform and the endpoint, allowing you to gain unprecedented real-time visibility, control, and remediation capabilities.

  • Absolute Resilience Technology

The Absolute Platform utilizes two types of patented Absolute Resilience™ technology to ensure that mission-critical applications remain healthy and operational and to provide end users with the most productive, as well as optimized remote access experience possible:

  • Application Resilience™: Monitors mission-critical applications’ health and behavior; detects if missing, corrupted, or not running; and automatically repairs or re-installs components when necessary – without requiring human intervention. Application Resilience ensures security controls are working as expected and provides optimal user experience by fixing unhealthy applications. Currently more than 60 mission-critical applications are enabled for Application Resilience and more are being added frequently.
  • Network Resilience™: Monitors and automatically, as well as transparently restores and optimizes unhealthy network connections so networked applications continue to operate without end user-impacting interruptions that would otherwise require manual application restarts, network re-connects, and/or re-authentications. Network Resilience allows for superior connectivity and reliability, allowing end users to focus on their tasks and not network behavior.
  • Absolute Intelligence

Absolute ensures a digital tether to each device remains intact, providing you with reliable insights and intelligence from all of your endpoints to the network edge — on or off your corporate network.

Hundreds of data points are gathered and served up as insights, providing guidance on utilization, health, security and compliance posture, as well as a unified view into the entire end user experience. Applying AI-based risk assessment and user entity behavior analytics lets you go beyond the monitoring of resources and applications, allowing for automated remediation and uncompromised user productivity.

Other foundational components of the Absolute Platform that enable the Absolute Secure Endpoint™ and Secure Access™ products are as follows:

  • Web console
  • Mobile app
  • Rules and policy engine
  • Alerts
  • Dashboards
  • APIs
  • Application Persistence-as-a-Service SDK
  • Third-party integrations (e.g., SIEM, ITSM)

Customers can leverage the Absolute Platform components through Absolute’s packaged products, APIs, and SDKs. The result will be rapid innovation. The Absolute Platform is always included in the product package of choice.

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