Located just three nautical miles southwest of the central business district of Myrtle Beach in Horry County, South Carolina, rests Myrtle Beach International Airport. Like many airports around the nation, Myrtle Beach International struggles with a variety of IT and security challenges from funding and staffing to time constraints and large-scale growth.
After experiencing a recent uptick in travelers – an additional 448,000 passengers in 2018 as compared to 2013 – and an increase in the number of aircrafts operating at the facility, the airport’s network and security management became difficult to maintain. To ensure the airport’s security posture is equipped to protect the growing network landscape, Myrtle Beach International decided to undergo a complete network overhaul and looked to Carolina Advanced Digital to guide them on adopting best-in-class IT technology through expert consulting and professional services.
Out with the old and in with the new
Network security is imperative to airport operators across the world. Coupled with the evolving cybersecurity threat landscape, the vulnerabilities associated with networks could pose detrimental impacts to Myrtle Beach International including disrupted daily operations, service interruptions, and data leaks or loss.
For more than 13 years, Myrtle Beach International Airport has collaborated with Carolina Advanced Digital to not only deliver, integrate, and secure the airport’s infrastructure with timely solutions and hardware, but provide state-of-the-art IT concierge services to guide and support decisions impacting the broader security environment. Myrtle Beach International utilizes 99 percent of Carolina Advanced Digital’s portfolio offerings. From the installation of next-generation firewalls and anti-virus to wireless uplifts and software and hardware updates, Carolina Advanced Digital has guided Myrtle Beach International through many changes, both big and small.
To support the facility’s network growth and security, Carolina Advanced Digital proposed a mix of solutions to support its firewalls, APs, switches, software, wireless and more.
“Now more than ever, IT teams need constant oversight of their security environment and best-in-class tools for cyber threat response,” said Ricky Helmer, C.M., airport technology manager at Myrtle Beach International Airport. “As we continue to grow, Carolina Advanced Digital helps us identify those tools with professional project planning, vetting and consulting services.”
After struggling to independently manage the organization’s legacy infrastructure and security solutions, the Myrtle Beach International IT department determined that their current tools had become outdated and not capable of meeting current and future needs. Seeking a new solution to implement across their entire network, Carolina Advanced Digital worked with the team to identify a solution that would best for their unique needs. After consulting with Ricky and the IT department, Carolina Advanced Digital understood that Myrtle Beach International’s growing environment required a fast, reliable solution able to provide high-performance connectivity for growth in IoT and mobility requirements. This guidance led the organization to replace the airport’s legacy wireless architecture with an integrated, automated solution from Aruba Networks that streamlines management and increases security.
“Through the pre-sales support and design, Carolina Advanced Digital’s expert sales and engineering team helped us determine that choosing the latest in Wi-Fi 6 technology would allow our IT department to reallocate their time and effort to other areas requiring manual management,” said Ricky.
Putting the ‘us’ in trust
Carolina Advanced Digital continues to work alongside Myrtle Beach International to ensure all of its solutions and applications function at enterprise-grade level.
The company is currently onboarding its SOC-as-a-Service to implement an all-inclusive service suite including managed detection and response (MDR), managed risk, and cloud security posture management (CSPM). Carolina Advanced Digital provides professional services around the security and networking infrastructure as well as a consulting overlay to the SOC-as-a-service implementation. Balancing multiple vendor relationships and management interfaces is a challenge for most IT teams, but Carolina Advanced Digital adds additional value by taking the heavy lifting out of the research and implementation.
To further expand the IT department’s visibility into the airport’s networked infrastructure, Carolina Advanced Digital implemented Fortinet’s FortiGate solution. This allowed the team to see bandwidth utilization for each airline circuit, helping troubleshoot slow or degraded networks, and also provided the airport with a better overview of their policies and protected environment.
“We work with Ricky and the IT department day and night to ensure that all potential vulnerabilities are accounted for,” said Bre Verreen, Account Manager at Carolina Advanced Digital. “It’s our job to make their lives easier, and with increased visibility, we give them peace-of-mind knowing that they can count on these solutions to provide reliable insight across the entire network environment.”
Carolina Advanced Digital worked with Ricky and the IT department to upgrade the admin/ops and security networks to FortiGate from its previous solution. The company also identified the need for and installed a separate FortiGate solution for the airline network where no firewall had previously existed. As the potential attack surface continues to grow year by year, Carolina Advanced Digital’s sales and engineering teams will continue to evaluate the environment, look for potential vulnerabilities and fills gaps to allow Myrtle Beach International to respond in a timely manner. In addition, the newly-deployed SOC-as-a-Service will inform on preventative vulnerabilities so Carolina Advanced Digital’s engineering team can advise on proactive protection.
More bang for your buck
Carolina Advanced Digital focuses its attention on best-of-breed solutions, including from Gartner Magic Quadrant industry leaders like Fortinet and Aruba, and maintains top-tier partnerships with other IT companies such as Arctic Wolf, Barracuda, Juniper, HPE, and more to provide clients with access to the best technology on the market. This has positioned Myrtle Beach International for success and identified the organization as a leader in next-generation technology.
As a reseller on dozens of procurement contracts, Myrtle Beach International can use Carolina Advanced Digital’s procurement contracts where appropriate. In the past, Myrtle Beach International has leveraged these to access services and solutions on contract, removing delays associated with purchasing and approvals.
“Having Carolina Advanced Digital as our main reseller helps us remain consistent and up-to-date on the latest technologies and renewals,” said Ricky. “They let me know of upcoming expirations which allow us to reevaluate our existing contracts to leverage procurement contracts and new technologies.”
Soaring into new growth
As a result of the growth experienced by the airport, Myrtle Beach International has been working on a master plan update to guide improvements. These developments will require the facility to continuously adapt its security to keep pace with the potential attack surface, growth in IoT devices, and network traffic and congestion. With the facility and network expansion, Carolina Advanced Digital will continue to serve as Myrtle Beach International’s go-to technology resource, providing reliable consulting and guidance and even better follow up to adjust solutions with the goal of accommodating the requirements and needs of the airport’s IT department.
For more information on Carolina Advanced Digital’s solutions, visit https://cadinc.com or call (919) 460-1313.