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    August 11, 2023

    Customer Story: Robinson, Grimes & Company

    Industry Driver Company Size
    Accounting FTC Compliance; Cyber Insurance 60

    The Challenge

    Robinson, Grimes & Co needed a SIEM to meet FTC Safeguards Rule and cyber insurance requirements, but thought they couldn’t implement, tune or maintain one without a dedicated security team

    The Solution

    Blumira’s all-in-one platform with pre-built detection rules, alerts, response instructions and security support teams made it easy for the accounting firm to quickly onboard and find security value right away

    After looking at Blumira’s product and demo, it became very clear right up front it was made for an organization our size with no dedicated security; no knowledge of how to tune a SIEM or tell it to look for – we don’t know those things. We got up and running with a trial pretty quickly, and it was very easy, simple and straightforward to start feeding information into Blumira.

    Craig Rhinehart

    rgco-logoRobinson, Grimes & Company

    Robinson, Grimes & Company is a mid-sized certified public accounting firm in Columbus and one of the largest CPA firms in the state of Georgia. The firm serves a wide variety of clients in the region, and has particular expertise in the areas of real estate, wholesale distribution, governmental, non-profit, construction, and healthcare.

    The Challenge: SIEM to Meet Compliance & Cyber Insurance

    Chief Information Officer (CIO) Craig Rhinehart leads a team of three IT generalists supporting the firm’s IT and security needs. Without any prior solution in place, he had been searching for SIEM solutions for about a year.

    “We were seeing indications prior to implementing Blumira that having a SIEM was going to be important to us for compliance and cyber liability insurance – a SIEM was something we needed to get put into place,” Rhinehart said.

    When it comes to compliance, the firm has clients in the banking and financial sector that undergo audits and must vet them as a reliable vendor, as part of their vendor management program.

    “The IRS has taxpayer protection guidelines that were put into place a few years ago. The FTC released their own set of guidelines a short time ago with a broader scope; it covers any entity that possesses financial information for others, known as the FTC Safeguards Rule,” Rhinehart said. “They have different sets of rules and compliance checklists that we have to pay attention to, which will probably just become more and more common.”

    He tried out a few open-source and free solutions, as well as had conversations with many different security providers, including AT&T Cybersecurity (formerly AlienVault), Exabeam, FortiSIEM, Graylog, Qradar, Rapid7, Securonix, Perch Security, LogRhythm, Sumo Logic and many more.

    “I learned a lot over the course of a year about what it takes to operate a SIEM. I reached the conclusion that a SIEM wasn’t in the cards for us, as we were too small and any product would be placing too large a burden on us, as we didn’t have a dedicated security team. We couldn’t implement a system that required the amount of tuning, maintaining and responding to all of the information that a SIEM would provide us,” Rhinehart said.

    The Solution: Blumira is Designed for the Security Success of Small IT Teams

    After a year of researching different vendors and learning a lot about what it takes to run a SIEM, Rhinehart heard about Blumira from a colleague at a conference, and started looking into the solution.

    “After looking at Blumira’s product and seeing the demo, it became very clear right up front it was made for an organization our size with no dedicated security function or security experts; no knowledge of how to tune a SIEM or tell it to look for – we don’t know those things,” Rhinehart said. “We got up and running with a trial pretty quickly, and it was very easy, simple and straightforward to start feeding information into Blumira.”

    Blumira’s all-in-one XDR platform is designed for businesses with small IT teams to easily identify security threats and respond to them faster. Our transparent pricing model is based on the number of knowledge workers or employees, rather than the amount of data ingested into the platform.

    “It made me very happy that the cost didn’t vary based on the amount of information sent to Blumira. There’s no storage limit; no limit on the number of records sent to the database,” Rhinehart said. “A lot of Blumira’s logic rules and alerts are pre-built. All of those things made it a much easier implementation for us. A lot of the other solutions out there put the onus on us to do those things.”

    To reduce the burden on small teams, Blumira’s internal teams provide many services to ensure the success of a customer’s deployment and ongoing use of the platform, including:

    • Onboarding and ongoing check-ins provided by our dedicated Solution Architects
    • Troubleshooting any issues that may arise with our Technical Support Analysts
    • Customized security detections, answers about security findings and 24/7 support for critical security issues by our Security Operations Analysts (SecOps)
    • Threat hunting, detection rule development and tuning by the Incident Detection team at Blumira to help identify indicators of a compromise early and often

    Throughout the lifecycle of a customer’s Blumira experience, our customer success teams partner closely with customer contacts to ensure their needs are met and requests are heard by the product and engineering teams.

    “I’ve been very pleased with how I feel cared for. I have felt totally and completely that Blumira was interested in us succeeding in our effort of implementing our SIEM product, and it was never just about making the sale,” Rhinehart said.

    The firm worked with Blumira’s team to complete implementation of Blumira’s platform, integrating it with their tech stack, including Windows servers, VMware vCenter, VMware Horizon, UAG appliances, Citrix NetScalers (ADCs), SonicWall firewall, Cylance EDR and MDR, Duo Security, and their password manager. APIs were used to connect many of these systems to Blumira; other logs were configured to be sent via syslog.

    “We were very pleased with how Blumira was pre-installed, set up and ready to go – all we needed to do was point our devices to send our logs to it. It was literally that easy,” Rhinehart said. “We saw data sent to and reported from Blumira within a matter of minutes.”

    Blumira’s Value For Other Small and Mid-Sized CPA Firms

    Robinson, Grimes & Company is a member of (a member of Crowe Global), an association of accounting firms where members can share practical knowledge and insights, with access to resources and training to help expand accounting services. Rhinehart attended their conference in early summer 2023.

    “I have been singing Blumira’s praises quite a bit. I got on my soapbox for a few comments and told them they probably need a SIEM, and Blumira was the one they needed to use,” Rhinehart said. “CPAmerica is an association of 90 CPA firms roughly the same size as ours, and they could benefit from partnering with Blumira.”

    Once Rhinehart got Blumira up and running, he was able to understand the full benefits and value of having the solution in place for their firm.

    “I had not wrapped my head around the actual benefits of a SIEM – it was almost more of a compliance checkbox. When we got it up and running, it hit me that Blumira is providing us the visibility that we didn’t have before. There are devices and systems that we can’t install our AV on, and Blumira can give us advance or early warning of something funny going on that we didn’t have before we implemented it,” Rhinehart said.

    Learn more about the FTC Safeguards Rule and how Blumira can help you comply.

    Thu Pham

    Thu has over 15 years of experience in the information security and technology industries. Prior to joining Blumira, she held both content and product marketing roles at Duo Security, leading go-to-market (GTM) and messaging for the portfolio solution Cisco Zero Trust. She holds a bachelor of science degree in...

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