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Savoring security: Fresh Mark's recipe for cyber resilience

Fresh Mark, the parent company behind the Sugardale meats brand, has been in the game for over a century, satisfying customers' cravings for top-quality products. With a delicious array of bacon, ham, hot dogs, pepperoni, and salami, they've become a prime choice for meat lovers everywhere. As Fresh Mark expanded from a local Ohio meat provider to a national supplier, they knew they had to stick to their strengths—safely producing outstanding foods. However, as they grew, they faced the familiar pains that come with success: aging equipment and visibility gaps in their OT environment. These challenges exposed them to potential cybersecurity threats, but Fresh Mark was determined to overcome them. 

Fresh Mark faced a number of pressing issues:

  • Compiling accurate OT asset inventories across their facilities 
  • Gaining visibility into the activities of individuals on their OT network, including third-party vendors
  • Establishing a streamlined process so vendors could add new equipment or troubleshoot existing equipment remotely

Informed decision: Fresh Mark selects Gray Solutions

While Fresh Mark rightfully wanted to evaluate a variety of solutions from multiple integrators and vendors, we ultimately demonstrated that Gray Solutions and Claroty software were the clear winning combination. We provided more than just basic software demos; we also invested the time and knowledge to customize it to Fresh Mark’s needs because we understand the importance of thoroughly assessing solutions to meet requirements, regardless of the outcome. Making informed decisions is key in this process. 

In our demo, we tackled Fresh Mark's real-world scenarios, guiding them through each step, addressing questions and issues promptly. We shared best practices for setup and highlighted how the product could adapt to their evolving business needs. This instilled confidence in Fresh Mark, assuring them that our partnership goes beyond mere installation.

Defeating cyber threats together

Fresh Mark shared their cybersecurity concerns with our team, and we were more than ready to resolve them. Armed with extensive experience in OT networking and cybersecurity, plus deep familiarity with Claroty's cutting-edge software, we were confident we could keep out pesky cybercriminals and keep Fresh Mark safe. Throughout the discovery process, we listened with an open mind, free from preconceived solutions. 

The insights Fresh Mark provided were invaluable in shaping our approach. It became clear that Claroty’s Continuous Threat Detection (CTD) software was the game-changer they needed. It would provide them with unmatched visibility into their OT environment, identifying all their assets and flagging potential cybersecurity risks. On top of that, we saw an opportunity to boost their remote access capabilities with Claroty’s Secure Remote Access (SRA) software. Together, these formed a comprehensive solution that revolutionized their OT environment and protected them against cyber threats.

Assets locked down, cybercriminals locked out

We implemented two powerful solutions for Fresh Mark. First, we deployed CTD to three facilities to identify OT assets and proactively detect potential cyber threats. To streamline management, we established a centralized cloud-based system. Next, we developed and integrated the SRA solution, offering credentials- and time-based restrictions for secure remote access. This solution gives Fresh Mark the ability to closely monitor user activities, record and play back sessions, and terminate sessions when necessary. We ensured seamless integration between CTD and SRA, fulfilling Fresh Mark's requirement for event correlation, and customized the SRA setup to eliminate reliance on their active directory for authentication.

Staying ahead together

At Gray Solutions, we believe in arming customers with both solutions and knowledge. We partnered with Fresh Mark to implement a unique solution tailored to their individual needs, then went a step further, creating two tracks of personalized training: one to get the tech-savvy IT personnel up to speed on the Claroty community portal, and another to equip workers on the plant floor with the skills to conquer cybersecurity threats. 

Fresh Mark made us put our thinking caps on with one particular request: they wanted local authentication with the added security of multi-factor authentication (MFA). We submitted a feature request to the Claroty community portal to be sure MFA can be utilized this way, and we're dedicated to staying on top of this and working hand-in-hand with Fresh Mark to deliver exactly what they're looking for.

That’s because our commitment doesn't end once we’ve delivered the solution. We’ll provide ongoing training to keep Fresh Mark secure as their needs evolve. Next up for us is a collab with a European vendor to install an advanced smokehouse system. The SRA solution we developed is the key to seamless installation. We’ll also be analyzing data provided by CTD alongside Fresh Mark to identify and address any threats, including those posed by outdated and unsecured equipment. Together, we'll set new food industry standards so our customers, and their customers, can all savor the taste of success.