Rentokil Initial enhances security

October 30, 2023


Rentokil Initial

Rentokil Initial enhances security compliance, tracking and reporting across 25,000+ IT assets worldwide. Author: Karen Lambrechts, Lansweeper.

Based in the UK, Rentokil Initial is one of the largest business services companies in the world, with 44,500 employees and operating in over 80 countries. The company offers route-based services including pest control, hygiene, and workwear, through teams of local experts.

Rentokil Initial identifies gap in asset management strategy

In early 2020, Rentokil Initial’s Global Configuration Manager was looking for a way to solve the gap in its asset management strategy. The Rentokil Initial team uses ServiceNow IT Service Management platform to manage digital workflows for enterprise operations, and has also been using its IT asset management capabilities to track and manage IT assets across the enterprise. 

The company needed a solution that could automatically identify and add assets to the inventory that might otherwise be overlooked or forgotten. With more than 25,000 assets to manage, this large-scale automation was a critical capability to have.

Enhancing IT asset management and identifying potential vulnerabilities

Complete IT Asset Identification: Rentokil Initial first goal was to identify all IT assets and potential vulnerabilities residing within Windows devices and software across its extensive global IT estate. This was essential for maintaining a comprehensive view of their digital landscape.

Accurate CMDB Data: Rentokil Initial aimed to feed up-to-date, accurate IT asset inventory data into its ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB). This data would serve as the foundation for compliance tracking and reporting, helping them stay in line with industry regulations.

Accurate Data Records: Rentokil Initial used Lansweeper IT asset management software to discover the IT assets on its network. Thisaccurate data seamlessly fed into their CMDB, creating single, verified data records for each managed asset. This transformation laid the foundation for streamlined compliance processes and real-time reporting.

Computer Security and Visibility: In a world where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, Rentokil Initial recognised that safeguarding their digital assets was paramount. Security became the chief motivator for embracing Lansweeper, enabling them to gain a comprehensive view of their IT assets, including Windows devices and software, and pinpoint potential vulnerabilities.

Rentokil Initial bid farewell to spreadsheets and manual processes, which often left room for errors and inefficiencies, and ushered in streamlined operations with enhanced accuracy. By eliminating time-consuming manual tasks that plagues IT asset management, Rentokil Initial was able to foster a more agile and responsive approach.

Integration was a cornerstone requirement for enhanced IT asset management, and Mark Blackman, Global Configuration Manager at Rentokil Initial, underscored the importance of this by saying: “We needed a solution that would complement what we already had in place and simplify software audits. While our ServiceNow platform provides asset and configuration management, if somebody didn’t manually register an asset, or if there were connected Windows devices that had not been identified, we were blind to those asset’s existence.”

Understanding the magnitude of security risks, including identifying and alerting when an unknown asset connects to the network, was deemed critical. This integration with ServiceNow empowered Rentokil Initial to proactively monitor its IT landscape, fortifying its security posture.

“Rather than relying on a single tool, we have multiple tools in place, which feed information to the CMDB within ServiceNow,” explains Blackman. “Having data from many tools creates data “triangulation,” providing a depth and breadth of information across all virtual machines, physical devices and software on the assets we want to manage.”

Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a compelling driver for embracing an IT asset discovery solution. Lansweeper provided the necessary tools to maintain GDPR compliance, ensuring Rentokil Initial remained in harmony with the ever-evolving legal landscape.

Organisation-wide visibility

In the quest for comprehensive IT asset management and security compliance, Rentokil Initial deployed Lansweeper scanners across regional data centres in North America, Asia, and EMEA. This was a significant milestone and set them on a journey to revolutionise their organisational visibility.

All the data gleaned from these scanners was centralised in a data hub in the UK. This data repository served as the linchpin of Rentokil Initial’s IT asset management strategy, facilitating real-time insights and compliance tracking on a global scale.

While ServiceNow operated in the cloud, Lansweeper’s on-premises “mid server” acted as the bridge between the two. This on-premises component seamlessly executed Lansweeper queries, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. The results were then seamlessly transmitted back to the cloud instance of ServiceNow, creating a harmonious marriage of precision and convenience.                                                                                                   

Illuminating the IT Landscape      

Rentokil Initial gained the ability to peer into every possible area of their IT assets connected to the corporate network. This panoramic view extended across continents, helping them gauge the state of IT globally.

Moreover, this newfound visibility wasn’t just about counting assets—it was about identifying potential vulnerabilities and risks lurking beneath the surface. Armed with this insight, Rentokil Initial could proactively fortify their IT infrastructure, safeguarding their business from potential threats.

The combination of agent-based and agentless scanning is ideal for managing devices across global locations. The agentless scanning provides the ability to determine whether a lost or misplaced device is GDPR compliant and/or free from vulnerabilities, and therefore not at risk of being compromised. 

A key use case for these features was for mergers and acquisition integration, which is a key part of Rentokil’s Initial strategy. “When we acquire a new company, we simply deploy Lansweeper on the company’s infrastructure, and we can immediately see all the devices they have, what operating systems are not supported, and whether they’ve been patched properly,” said Blackman.”That helps us budget appropriately for any hardware upgrades or remediation work to bring these assets up to our corporate standards.”

The data in the CMDB keeps Rentokil Initial’s senior management team informed via KPI reports generated by the ServiceNow platform, and data from Lansweeper is essential to creating those reports.                                                                                  

Nine months to global transformation 

The global rollout was no small feat—the networking team played a pivotal role, meticulously identifying subnets and credentials. These details were the keys to unlocking a comprehensive scan, and the infrastructure team meticulously verified them to ensure the initial scan’s success.

It stands as a testament to Rentokil Initial’s commitment to organisational visibility and security. It’s a journey that has not only illuminated their IT landscape but also fortified their defences against the ever-evolving threats of the digital realm.

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