Executive Summary

Japan’s specialty chemicals manufacturer Nikko Chemicals produces ingredients for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and sustainable products. As a responsible corporate citizen, Nikko Chemicals works to balance both environmental and economic considerations. As an integral part of its business continuity strategy, the company strives  to run a secure, scalable, hassle-free and fully visible cloud operation. Since deploying Splunk®, it has:

  • Automated cloud operations with a holistic view across multiple SaaS applications
  • Maximized business security through centralized and proactive threat protection
  • Boosted efficiency with simplified operations and painless system maintenance
Challenges
    • Time-consuming integration of logs from disparate sources with restricted operational visibility
    • Security concerns on cloud migration and SaaS applications management
    • Limited manpower and resources for Cloud infrastructure management
Business Impact
    • Streamlined log management with full visibility over the entire cloud environment
    • Heightened security through centralized SOC monitoring and proactive threat detection and mitigation
    • Simplified operations, allowing a small team to manage the company's environment with ease, confidence and efficiency
Data Sources
    • AWS logs from Config, CloudTrail, CloudWatch and S3
    • IDS/IPS
    • Cisco Meraki
    • Box
    • Okta
    • G Suite
    • Office 365
    • Netscape
    • SentinelOne

Fueling a cloud-first strategy

In response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent tsunamis in 2011, Nikko Chemicals kick-started a cloud migration initiative for better business continuity planning. By replacing on-premises infrastructures with software as a service (SaaS) applications running on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company hopes to minimize damage and speed recovery during disasters. To ensure service integrity and protect business-critical information, Nikko Chemicals replaced its legacy asset management tool with the Splunk Data-to-Everything Platform, which immediately improved operational visibility across the organization.

In addition to working well with AWS, the Splunk platform enables a small team at Nikko Chemicals to manage multiple SaaS applications through a user-friendly and highly visualized interface. Splunk Cloud fuels the organization’s SaaS focus by automating system updates and catering to a wider range of logs.

“Splunk is worth every penny, creating unprecedented value and opportunities for companies with resource-strapped operations teams like us.”



Yuichi Higashihara,
Security Management Division, Nikko Chemicals Co., Ltd.

Bringing data to every question with unified visibility

With Splunk, Nikko Chemicals easily collects security-related logs from an extensive range of applications to unify visibility across all its SaaS deployments. Log monitoring is now on a 24/7 basis, while log analysis is done through an external security operations center (SOC) service. 

These improvements allow Nikko Chemicals to turn its data into action, automatically detecting unanticipated outliers and responding to events in real time.

Achieving business goals

Thanks to Splunk Cloud, Nikko Chemicals now integrates logs to a unified platform while centralizing SOC monitoring to a single node. This minimizes costs and enables correlation analysis of SaaS applications, enabling the team to bolster security and bring data to more decisions across the business.

“Splunk gives us a cross-sectional view of logs for deeper threat investigation,” says Yuichi Higashihara, who works in the security management division at Nikko Chemicals. “Initially I thought we could only access AWS logs on the SIEM platform, but it turns out that we also receive alerts about potential issues on the network side, and we can store Cisco Meraki logs in Splunk Cloud too. The team is able to manage most logs with Splunk and, more importantly, realize which logs are missing, which is a great advantage,” Higashihara explains.

Since Splunk Cloud scales to address changing objectives, Nikko Chemicals has effectively deployed new SaaS applications to achieve new goals.  To further this success, the company has established a standard to only use applications that are compatible with Splunk Cloud.

Doing more with less

Convenience is a key feature of Splunk Cloud. Higashihara and his team now enjoy meaningful outcomes across the entire operation.  “We easily deploy Splunk’s applications on our own, even in such a complicated cloud environment,” says Higashihara. 

“Equally impressive is that we can manage an ever-increasing stream of log data. Splunk Cloud is flexible enough to fulfill every wish and is an effective solution for companies with minimal resources like us.”

Higashihara particularly appreciates the “managed software upgrades” feature of Splunk Cloud, which ensures they always have the latest functionality without maintenance hassles. “Splunk delivers the best value for money, enabling us to manage a complex operation at our fingertips with improved efficiency and productivity,” he says.

Data creates opportunity

 “We require real-time visibility into operation logs, including from our operation monitoring systems, so that we can immediately turn data into action when needed,” says Higashihara. “While operation logs are currently managed under another framework, we believe Splunk will do a much better job.”

Moving forward, Nikko Chemicals plans to aggregate other types of logs on the Splunk platform, including mobile security logs generated from Microsoft Intune and Jamf, as well as web conferencing applications. Higashihara also plans to manage operation logs with SignalFx, another critical step in helping Nikko Chemicals bring data to every question, decision and action across its business.