Case Studies

CLIENT : International manufacturer and distributor

We were called in by the company’s attorney due to ongoing litigation to determine if the system had been compromised. The approach was two fold: To analyze individual computers for intrusion, then perform a security analysis of the network. We found that the network had implemented no security. The following symptoms are extreme but not atypical:

All employees were logging into the server with administrator rights, and able to access all data on the network. The server was old, having failed twice, was running out of disk space, did not have Antivirus software loaded and there was no backup solution installed. The cabling was old, improperly installed and did not meet specifications. Thirty of thirty-five computers were past their useful life. None had security software and none had legal copies of Windows and MS Office. The Internet connection was constantly failing. We immediately assigned individual employee credentials to access to network. Repurposed a server intended for a remote office to replace the main server, purchased security software and implemented a backup solution.

Due to cost and to limit disruption the remaining action items were phased in over eighteen months. We replaced cable sections as problems or department realignment occurred. Created a plan to standardize and purchase new systems at the rate of five per month. Since the company had a contract with their ISP we performed diagnostics to determine the problem was at the Internet providers central office.

CLIENT: Mortgage Company

This company started with one computer and grew to over 100 computers with 19 locations in 6 states. The branches were connected with a variety of connection types depending on size and availability of service. The main branches were connected via Frame Relay circuits for voice and data traffic. We provided all IT services until the company was sold.

CLIENT : Retail Corporation

We were called in to convert hardware store with 3 locations in two cities - from a mainframe to PC based accounting system. After reviewing all the related materials we were able install T1 data circuits between the stores at a rate that actually reduced their monthly telecommunications expenses. The change paid for the T-1 monthly charges and reduced their monthly phone bill by 50%.

CLIENT: Warehouse Bank

A local warehouse bank purchased our mortgage customer. We moved all equipment, programs and data onto the clients’ server. Two months later the vice president in charge of operations placed a service call that their network was shut down by a virus. We arrived onsite, diagnosed and cleared the virus within an hour. They kept getting reinfected due to the interconnection with their host bank. We disconnected their network from the bank until the bank issue was resolved. After repairing the problem the bank also became a client!

CLIENT: Bank

This Regional bank hired an administrator from a competitor to implement security, standardize IT and upgrade the infrastructure. After two years, the problems all encompassing we performed an audit of the main office and four branches. We began by reconfiguring the servers to enhance performance then implemented security by branch, department and employee. During this time the bank changed servicing software, upgraded their phone system, installed integrated voice and data service, added a new branch office and implemented an imaging system integrated with their servicing software company.

CLIENT: National PC Manufacturer and Distributor

A major client has concerns about the performance of their distributor’s computers. The outsourcing company for their client blamed the manufacturer. We were called in as a senior level advisor and found that manufacturer needed to change the standard Windows configuration settings for their machines but the main problem was the poor design and implementation of the network segment infrastructure by their outsourcing IT vendor.

CLIENT: Registered Investment Advisor

An RIA was starting a new company and required equipment, software and compliance procedures. They started with two computers, one printer, industry software and an Internet connection. The company has grown to six computers in two locations. Through a detailed plan the company has a well documented system with redundant printing, data and Internet connection. The company also has a Disaster Recovery Plan, Imaging System and Computer / Email retention policy.

CLIENT: Dental Practice

We were called in to a new practice which was converting to a digital x-ray system and the network was unreliable. The current networking company was blaming the software vendor. Access to patient x-rays in real time was absolutely vital. After a brief audit we discovered that the server did not have a proper license and was not being backed up, the vendor software was not configured properly for their environment, the server was improperly configured and the cabling was suspect. We implemented a plan to manage their practice, corrected the immediate issues to provide a stable network and installed a $70 dollar program as an interim backup solution. This move of ensuring a valid backup is our standard procedure it proved fortuitous when the office manager applied a software update per the vendors recommendation and the database was completely corrupted. We were able to restore the database from the backup software we installed as a stopgap solution. The dental office was moving within six months so we made sure the basic IT infrastructure cost, a new server and backup system, was included in the financing for the move.