Case Study

Enabling a global workforce with cloud- driven security

An animation studio connects artists and safeguards IP with Palo Alto Networks best-of-breed solutions.

In brief


A global animation studio

Products and Services

Television and feature film development, production, and distribution


Media and Entertainment

Organization Size

500+ employees

    • Limited productivity of remote workforce
    • VPN latency
    • Lack of traffic visibility
    • Deliver a fast, secure dependable connection
    • Provide visibility into network-related issues
    • Deliver a complete Zero Trust security framework

Studio selects Prisma® Access, the cloud-delivered security platform for providing Zero Trust Network Access for employees anywhere in the world and Cortex XDR® to stop attacks.

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When the pandemic hit, the Media and Entertainment industry encountered a unique challenge. The public’s demand for content became greater than ever—and it remains so. At the same time, though, social distancing directives meant many creatives who previously collaborated in studios were working from home. Studios suddenly found themselves in need of technology solutions that would enable their artists to remain productive without compromising data security.

In response to COVID-19, a North America-based animation studio shifted its operations to a hybrid model, with some employees working in-studio and most of its workforce commuting digitally. The company’s artists are now working remotely from locations around the world, including North America, the Asia-Pacific region, India, and Europe.

The studio wanted to provide its artists with technology that would replicate the experience of working in-studio to the greatest extent possible. The company also needed to ensure its clients’ intellectual property (IP) remained protected.


Productivity was halted with an instant upgrade required

Without a way to securely connect to the applications they used in-studio or transmit the huge volumes of data required for animation production, artists were blocked from doing their work. The artists are very sensitive to data latency, impacting their productivity and causing frustration. The studio tried sending data to some artists who worked locally on their computers, which wasn’t ideal.

The studio was also looking for an opportunity to improve its IT security infrastructure. Its previous anti-malware didn’t allow its small IT team to rapidly detect or closely inspect suspicious activity to identify the source. The organization sought a best-in-class, cloud-delivered security solution that would provide employees with an exceptional user experience from anywhere they work, extend consistent protections everywhere, and afford its clients confidence that their data was being fully protected.


A better solution was needed for critical dependability

In order to support its artists’ ability to work from anywhere, the studio relies on many remote desktop software solutions. The company needed a way to address latency concerns for its artists, who require a fast and dependable connection to do their job.

When evaluating solutions, the IT team placed a high priority on a solution’s ability to make their job easier, save time, and help them increase efficiencies. They wanted a central management platform since relying on multiple solutions would strain their limited resources. The team also required excellent visibility to detect, block, and determine the cause of threats.

Because its reputation and products were familiar to the IT team’s leaders, Palo Alto Networks was already top of mind when the organization began considering vendors and solutions.


The right fit comes with seamless integration

In every respect, Palo Alto Networks Prisma® Access cloud-delivered security was the right fit for the studio. Prisma Access protects sensitive data no matter where the studio’s employees are located while providing an optimized user experience. The company looked at other solutions, but found they lacked the maturity, flexibility, and reliability of Prisma Access.

In addition, the studio’s IT team was able to leverage Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR®, providing access to advanced machine learning (ML) and analytics to detect, investigate, and respond to threats.

The new Palo Alto Networks cloud-delivered solutions fluidly integrated with the company’s existing Palo Alto Networks deployment, allowing the IT team to seamlessly manage everything from a central console.

The studio deployed Palo Alto Networks’ industry-leading Next-Generation Firewalls to deliver a consistent security posture from the remote user all the way to its premises, providing a complete Zero Trust security framework across its highly distributed network. Palo Alto Networks Unit 42® threat intelligence, which brings together world-renowned threat researchers and an elite team of security consultants, gives the IT team access to state-of-the-art research and advice.

Implementation was simple. The studio’s IT team deployed Prisma Access in one week and spent a second week fine-tuning the rule set. After a few initial setup calls with the Palo Alto Networks support team, the studio’s team was able to handle everything on their own.

Implementation of Cortex XDR also went smoothly. The IT team ran the installer for Cortex XDR then uninstalled their previous antivirus software. Everything worked out of the box without a hitch.


Single-pane visibility creates confidence

The studio is now confident in its ability to assure clients their IP is secure. With Cortex XDR, the IT team has the visibility they need. If they notice unusual behavior from a workstation, they’re able to identify the issue quickly and resolve it. For example, if a benign worm infiltrates the studio, the IT team is able to execute a Python script from the Cortex XDR console making it harder for the worm to spread.

On one occasion, someone accidentally dragged a folder to the wrong location. The IT team ran a query, received a single result, and knew exactly what happened. Without Cortex XDR, that precision, accuracy, and efficiency wouldn’t have been possible.

Prisma Access provides the studio with a more secure data path for remote desktop sessions. Prisma Access also reduces latency, allowing artists to be more productive. Artists now have a consistent connection and no longer have to deal with the lag experienced when connecting via a virtual private network (VPN).

With Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewalls, the company can reduce data plane and network congestion by up to 3x. Peak usage currently hovers around 40-50 percent compared to 60 percent and over previously.

As an added benefit, the studio is audit-ready and, in the event of a security incident, able to show auditors that it can be forensic in identifying the issue.

The studio retains its competitive advantage

The animation studio is now looking at implementing a Palo Alto Networks data loss prevention (DLP) solution to provide more options for sending information over the internet while reducing the risk of a data leak. With Palo Alto Networks suite of security solutions, the company is positioned to continue being a creative force and entertainment powerhouse in the era of hybrid work.

Find out more about how Palo Alto Network’s best-in-class security solutions can help accelerate opportunities for your organization. Additional information is here.