CUSTOMER STORY

Asian Paints Empowers Transformation with F5 Silverline Web Application Firewall

BENEFITS

Easier management and visibility across environments

Prompt support and guidance

Seamless scalability

CHALLENGES

Complex security policies and compliance across environments

Visibility across the application security landscape

A scalable WAF solution for uninterrupted service availability

India’s leading paint company, Asian Paints Ltd., has grown and expanded significantly since its humble beginnings in 1942. Seeking to improve the security of its digital services, Asian Paints engaged F5 to help enhance its customer experience and drive scalability in a digital-first economy.

The Challenge

Since its founding almost eight decades ago, Asian Paints now serves consumers in over 60 countries, operating in 15 countries with a brick-and-mortar network complemented by a growing digital presence. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company manufactures a wide range of paints and is constantly expanding its portfolio of offerings, which include wall coverings, adhesives, water proofing, etc. The company is also present in the home improvement and décor space in India and offers kitchen and bath solutions. Asian Paints has also recently made its foray into lighting, furniture, and furnishings.

Reinvention is a core philosophy of Asian Paints—with every generation of leadership, the company adapts to remain relevant in a dynamic business environment. Today, it has transitioned from being a product-driven to a services-driven company providing a wide range of home improvement solutions.

As business scaled, Asian Paints shifted online to be closer to the end customer. With customers reaching out across multiple channels, it had to ensure that their private information remained secure and well managed. Additionally, the company recently created a next-generation omnichannel for its dealer community, enabling a seamless experience for dealers across voice, web, and mobile channels.

With this new dealer interface and the ever-expanding customer base, Asian Paints’ IT team was micromanaging web application firewall (WAF) security policies across multiple solutions, on the premises and in the cloud. The IT team had to keep pace with the latest attack tactics and protection measures while attempting to deliver consistent policies and compliance across environments. Any lapses could result in security vulnerabilities, higher expenses, and a slower response to threats and compliance issues. And with potential customers and dealers reaching out anytime from anywhere, minimizing downtime was crucial.

As an innovative company, Asian Paints needed a solution that would adapt and evolve alongside its digital strategy. After considering solutions from Barracuda, CloudFlare, and Imperva, among others, the company sought help from F5 to:

  • Reduce the complexity of managing multiple WAF solutions.
  • Ensure visibility across its application security.
  • Maintain IT effectiveness, returning valuable time to the IT team to explore emerging technologies that are relevant for the business.

“Asian Paints’ business philosophy is just like painting,” says Deepak Bhosale, General Manager Systems at Asian Paints. “Our strong business heritage forms the undercoat, ensuring we always provide our customers with the best. It is then overlaid by a technology-driven topcoat. Tech is an integral aspect of our business, and we’re proud to be industry disruptors—from implementing automated storage and retrieval systems when robotic warehousing was unheard of in India to adopting the first S/4 HANA in India’s manufacturing industry and converging digital channels with the physical world. The company continues to focus on transforming the business and delivering joy to customers through able partnership with our stakeholders.”

"With F5 Silverline Web Application Firewall, we can entrust the complexity of maintaining consistent policies and compliance to the experts at F5."

The Solution

Asian Paints selected F5 Silverline Web Application Firewall—a service delivered via the F5 Silverline cloud-based platform—to protect its applications and data hosted on-premises and in the cloud.

Opting for a managed service and needing to drive efficiencies, Asian Paints partnered with F5 to handle its complex WAF policy and compliance needs through the certified experts in the F5 Security Operations Center (SOC). With experts constantly monitoring its website traffic and proactively building and fine-tuning WAF policies against known and emerging threats, Asian Paints reduced risk and increased network and application efficiency while eliminating the effort of processing threat-sourced traffic. SOC experts working around the clock deliver 99.999% uptime, ensuring Asian Paints customer access anytime, anywhere.

Silverline Web Application Firewall provides comprehensive protection from advanced layer 7 attacks, OWASP Top 10 application security risks, and zero-day attacks. Deployment flexibility across hybrid environments ensures consistent web application security, availability, and user experiences across traditional data center and cloud hosting environments. This relieves the Asian Paints IT team of the burden of managing security policies across multiple platforms.

The WAF service also includes access to the Silverline customer web portal, which allows administrators to securely communicate with the F5 SOC experts and view centralized threat-monitoring reports. The portal provides real-time attack details and enhanced visibility into the mitigation techniques used to detect and prevent application attacks. This single pane of glass offers Asian Paints a consolidated view into actions taken to protect its applications. Details include source geographic IP mapping, blocked versus alerted attacks, blocked traffic, blocked attack types, alerted attack types, threats, bandwidth used, hits per second, and traffic and visit type (bot or human).

Asian Paints found its answer in Silverline Web Application Firewall, which has improved the security of its websites and applications, giving its customers and dealers safe, “always on” access.

“We are on a strong growth trajectory, and it is important that our security posture does not break our momentum. With F5 Silverline Web Application Firewall, we can entrust the complexity of maintaining consistent policies and compliance to the experts at F5. Working with the F5 team has been a great experience, and they have been providing top-notch support from day one. This has allowed us to return valuable time to our IT team to innovate and explore new technologies that will elevate our customers’ experience,” says Deepak Bhosale, General Manager Systems at Asian Paints.

"Working with the F5 team has been a great experience, and they have provided top-notch support from day one. This has allowed us to return valuable time to our IT team to innovate and explore new technologies that will elevate our customers’ experience.”

The Results

Easier management and visibility across environments

Silverline Web Application Firewall removed management complexity, speeded policy deployment, and reduced operational expenses for Asian Paints. Along with proactive alert monitoring, the customer portal provided a clear, simplified view of actions taken to protect applications, delivering visibility and control over the company’s security posture across multiple environments in a single pane.

In addition, the WAF service protected against a variety of attacks, including DDoS and the OWASP Top 10. Its built-in compliance and reporting capabilities also helped Asian Paints remain in compliance with various industry security standards, including HTTP protocol and RFC compliance.

Prompt support and guidance

With F5 SOC experts at its service 24/7, Asian Paints can access specialized experts for all its security needs with confidence that threats are defeated before they impact its business. In addition, Asian Paints has minimized configuration errors and ensured the overall effectiveness of each policy to protect web applications no matter where they reside in the network.

Seamless scalability

Using the F5 Silverline cloud-based application security and delivery platform, security services can be deployed on demand to achieve seamless scalability, protection, and performance for applications in traditional and cloud environments. This flexibility ensures security grows with the company, providing peace of mind while enabling Asian Paints to focus on its digital transformation journey.