Heetch Ridesharing App Revs Up Productivity and Network Security As Technical Teams Grow Globally

“We were making the transition to the AWS transit gateway network, and Perimeter 81 was super easy to actually plug into that gateway – it was almost plug and play. For me it was really a very elegant solution given our needs at the time.”
Vincent Leraitre
Infrastructure Team Manager
Ride Sharing
No. of sites:
100% cloud

About Heetch: 

French ridesharing app Heech was founded in 2013, and has been growing ever since. In a highly competitive market, Heetch quickly became the second most used rideshare application in France. Today, Heetch has over 300 remote employees, and operates in 10 countries across Europe and Africa.

Solution Highlights

Scaled from testing to full team deployment in less than 2 days
Reduced administrative overhead and complexity
Eliminated 5-10 days of annual maintenance

The Challenge:

As Engineering Teams Scaled Across Europe and Africa, Outdated VPN Tools Couldn’t Keep Up

When Heetch’s Engineering Teams experienced yet another growth spurt, new engineers from more and more locations across Europe and Africa were connecting to corporate resources via the company’s home grown VPN solution, and it became clear that the organization needed to upgrade their secure remote access technologies. 

The remote access solution that the teams had been using relied on multiple open VPN servers that required manual management and configuration. Vincent Leraitre, Infrastructure Team Manager, explains: “What might have been a good idea from a security perspective three or four years ago, became unmanageable as the team continued to grow.” 

“We were managing certificates manually for different VPNs, managing security, users, and everything else. It was costing us between five and ten days a year of maintenance – which was way too high given we were a small team managing all of the other infrastructure and IT challenges of a growing company.”

Ghislain Casier, Information Security Manager at Heetch, adds: “The previous VPN architectures would sometimes overlap. For the end user it was sometimes too complex to understand, or to configure, because sometimes you needed to be on one VPN to use one tool, and when you wanted to use another tool you had to switch VPN. It wasn’t seamless.”

Looking for Easy to Use, Easy to Scale, Secure Remote Access

Ghislain and Vincent began looking for a unified easy-to-use solution that allowed them to segment the growing network without having to invest so many costly hours in manual configuration. They identified three potential options, including Perimeter 81, and applied a number of evaluation criteria.

Ghislain Casier explains: “We wanted something fully managed. Basically we wanted to move from something that we managed ourselves to something that was managed, that we didn’t need to spend so much time maintaining.”

There were a number of other features and capabilities that were important to Ghislain and Vincent. As a cloud-first company, they were looking for a solution that integrated seamlessly with their existing AWS cloud environment. 

They also needed the solution to support their existing Okta SSO authentication, so that they could easily achieve granular control over employee access to different services per company policies. 

Compatibility with operating systems was another important factor. Ghislain explains: “As a mobile app company we need to have secure remote access on our test devices. We needed a solution with an easy-to-use agent that’s compatible with all the operating systems – macOS, Windows, and ChromeOS for desktop devices, and Android and iOS for mobile devices.”

Ghislain says it was also important that the solution included device posture check (DPC) capabilities: “We are a remote-first company, and we have a lot of people that work with their personal devices. We knew we wanted to have more control over the devices that access our resources and data. DPC allowed us to make sure everyone is logging in from compliant devices.” 

Based on these criteria, the other two solutions Ghislain and Vincent considered were not good matches. One did not provide full OS support, and the deployment was clearly going to be challenging. And they found that the other option, while intriguing on its surface, would not be able to deliver the performance they required.

The Solution: Effortless Secure Access and Rapid Deployment

Great Results from the Start

Vincent and Ghislain were immediately pleased with Perimeter 81 because it didn’t require installing an agent on the server side, and had an easy-to-manage interface directly with AWS. Says Vincent: “We were making the transition to the AWS transit gateway network, and Perimeter 81 was super easy to actually plug into that gateway – it was almost plug and play. For me it was really a very elegant solution given our needs at the time.”

They ran a two-phase beta test within the engineering teams, starting with 10 people, mainly from the Infrastructure team, the Delivery team, and the Security team, who they describe as “the hardcore VPN users,” with the intention of testing connectivity. The second phase included an additional 20 stakeholders from the technical teams. In this phase, they implemented firewall as a service (FWaaS) rules and groups.

The support that users got when they entered phase two was a main factor in convincing Vincent that Perimeter 81 was the right product for their organization: “When we opened Perimeter 81 for more users, they got dedicated support from Perimeter 81 for the first installation. In that first week I realized that the Perimeter 81 team was doing a great job supporting our users. Thanks to that, we had a very soft launch.” Vincent adds: “Beyond the technical aspect, that was the point where I said: okay, this is really, really useful for me.”

Scalability and Support

When it was time to deploy Perimeter 81 fully to the rest of the teams – about 80 people, it took less than two days. Ghislain states that while initially they sought out a replacement for their existing VPNs, they found Perimeter 81 provided more features and benefits – beyond basic remote access: “For me, it was the ease-of-use, and single-pane-of-glass dashboard, along with the DPC capabilities.”

Now, Perimeter 81 onboarding for new team members is done automatically, with access granted per role, and doesn’t require any manual work. Says Vincent: “It’s purely automatic. When someone is hired, depending on their team, they get automatic access to Perimeter 81, and the right groups.”

According to Vincent, Perimeter 81’s high level of support also saves technical teams a lot of time when it comes to maintenance: “most of the time, if one of our users has an issue with their connection, they contact your support directly, and it’s fixed within hours. Usually we don’t even hear about it. That also helps us save a lot of time.”

A Great Match for Other Medium-sized Companies

Vincent readily recommends Perimeter 81 for other medium to large companies: “Medium to large scale companies that are cloud-based will see the benefits of Perimeter 81 almost immediately. When you are small enough, you can still run your own home-made solution, and manage the support for your user. But when you become a medium sized company, it becomes more time consuming, and you can avoid that overhead with Perimeter 81.”

About Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81, a Check Point company, is a networking and network security leader that aims to deliver the premier SASE platform in the market. The company provides a robust yet easy-to-use, converged network and network security platform that connects all users, in the office or remote, to all corporate resources located on-prem or in the cloud. It is delivered as an easy-to-manage, cloud-native service all in a unified console. It enables any business to build a secure corporate network over a private global backbone, without any hardware, within minutes. Perimeter 81’s solution is used by more than 3,000 customers worldwide across various industries. Our 300+ partners are among the world’s leading managed service providers. The company has offices in NY, LA, UK, and TLV.

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