Businesses can go faster and farther when they work together. This case study is a testament to that, illustrating how Cornwall IT, a JumpCloud Partner, secured the trust of Everest Media, a digital marketing agency. By implementing a modern, cloud-focused approach to centrally control and manage user access, Everest Media was able to take a critical step for their cyber security. Without the added cost and complexity of purchasing, installing, and maintaining any hardware and software on-prem, Everest Media could keep their foot on the gas and reach new markets. Soon after implementing JumpCloud, Everest Media successfully received their Cyber Essentials Certification to become an official Crown Commercial Service Supplier to secure contracts with public sectors of the UK Government. Through the tech guidance and support of Cornwall IT, Everest Media now provides digital and software development services in the UK Government’s Digital Marketplace.
The best part? Both of these organizations are building long-term, profitable relationship where both sides benefit. For Everest Media and Cornwall IT, this is just the beginning of their growth journey with JumpCloud. Security doesn’t have to cost small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) an arm and a leg (and a server room). Cornwall IT understands this pain point firsthand and differentiates their outsourced IT services by using JumpCloud.
|Location:||Penryn, Cornwall, UK|
|Services:||Managed IT, Cyber Security, IT Infrastructure, Websites & Hosting, Training|
|Client:||Everest Media Ltd.|
|Location:||Redruth, Cornwall, UK|
|Problem:||To avoid the costs and complexity of recreating an entire domain on a Windows Server for Cyber Essentials Certification|
|Goal:||To find and implement a practical alternative to Active Directory for cyber security|
The JumpCloud Partner: Cornwall IT
Based in Penryn, UK, Cornwall IT offers managed services in the form of IT support, cloud infrastructure, and cyber security. By first helping their clients identify network vulnerabilities through a cyber security audit, and then building a long-term business relationship with ongoing IT support tailored to each client’s environment, Cornwall IT is positioned to meet the rising demand for IT security. It’s a win-win for both sides, as clients save money and strengthen security by outsourcing the management of their IT infrastructure to Cornwall IT.
“With the dramatic increase of cyber attacks in the last few years, more and more business owners, particularly small business owners, are realizing they can’t keep carrying on the way they are,” Aaron Nihat, Director of Cornwall IT, explained. “They now have to think about cyber security and have a budget for that as well. That’s why we approach companies to provide more than just IT support and break-fix assistance—we also align ourselves as a cyber security company that can help businesses be secure and protect against cyber attacks.”
Marketing themselves as a cyber security company means more than just providing audits on-demand. Cornwall IT also takes a proactive, progressive stance against cyber attacks, and this differentiates their offerings across a range of verticals.
“Our clients span a wide range of industries and include accounting organizations, construction companies, dental practices, media groups, and more,” said Aaron. “We find that the businesses that must obtain and hold their customers’ personal or confidential data are the ones who take cyber security seriously.”
The Client: Everest Media Ltd.
Founded in 2014, Everest Media Ltd. rapidly grew into a digital agency offering a complete range of marketing and technology services. From search engine optimization (SEO) to digital strategy and conversion rate optimization, Everest Media’s team of award-winning experts provide their clients with cutting edge web design and software development.
As you might expect from a modern media agency, the office of Everest Media is entirely cloud-based. Their business thrives in part because their employees can use the right tools, resources, and processes for the job at hand, such as creating websites and digital campaigns that are accessible and scalable for their clients.
The Challenge: Cyber Security Without AD
Everest Media recently had the opportunity to become an official Crown Commercial Service Supplier, meaning they could join the UK Government’s suppliers list for digital and software development services. By doing so, Everest Media joins a select group of companies offering services to public sector organizations in the Government’s Digital Marketplace.
Businesses working with a governmental department of the United Kingdom are required to achieve a Cyber Essentials Certification. “Cyber Essentials provides organizations with clarity on what essential security controls they need to have in place to reduce the risk posed by threats on the internet with low levels of technical capability.” Ordained by the UK’s National Cyber Security Center, Cyber Essentials has established five technical controls that protect against around 80% of all common cyber attacks:
- Boundary firewalls and internet gateways
- Secure configuration
- Access control
- Malware protection
- Patch management
Around a year ago, Everest Media Ltd. contacted Cornwall IT and two other IT service providers for help in achieving their Cyber Essentials Certification.
“In the end, Everest Media ruled out one service provider, leaving just us and another,” explained Aaron. “The other service provider said Everest Media would have to implement a Windows Server with Active Directory, but this meant the employees couldn’t be logged onto each PC as themselves with their Office 365™ account. Instead, everyone’s profile would need to be recreated on Active Directory and each PC, and the directory services… it just seemed far too complicated and over the top.”
Samuele Armondi, the Managing Director of Everest Media Ltd., confirmed this sentiment and elaborated on their evaluation process between service providers and proposed solutions.
“We initially ran a trial project implementing traditional AD, but the process turned out to be very disruptive and was eventually halted,” Sam said. “We were aware of Azure AD and other directory providers, but most of them failed either on cost or implementation complexity.”
In the end, Aaron and the owner of Everest Media Ltd. reached the same realization. “There must be a better, easier solution than trying to recreate our entire domain with new user accounts,” Aaron explained. “Recreating their entire domain with new user accounts was pretty much going back to the beginning and having to start again. Instead, the owner of Everest Media just wanted something that would work right away with their setup and move them forward.”
The 100% Cloud-based Solution
From Everest Media’s perspective as the small business seeking IT support and advice, the option to avoid implementing an in-house server in favor of going full cloud was ideal.
“Finding out there was an elegant alternative to using an on-prem Windows Server was a huge relief,” Sam said. “As a small company, we don’t have an in-house comms room or any desire to establish one. We run everything on cloud platforms, so it felt a bit wrong to put a server in a corner! We were also relieved because of the disaster recovery implications, since a local server would have required making a contingency plan which, thankfully, hasn’t been necessary.”
“Achieving our Cyber Essentials Certification has been a smooth process overall,” Sam asserted. “When we did encounter any challenges, Cornwall IT and JumpCloud worked together to quickly implement a solution. If we had known how straightforward the process would be, we would have gone for an assessment from Cornwall IT much sooner!”
Not only was Cornwall IT able to help Everest Media achieve the Cyber Essentials Certification they needed to secure government contracts, they built long-term trust by tailoring a progressive and practical solution for their client’s particular IT environment.
“By choosing our services at Cornwall IT and using JumpCloud, Everest Media was able to implement an effective solution, and there were certain policies that we could then push out to all their PCs,” said Aaron, “Overall with JumpCloud, it’s so much easier than installing Active Directory, setting up Group Policies, and recreating everyone’s user profile. JumpCloud offers a much more intuitive and quicker solution than implementing Active Directory, and in my opinion, JumpCloud is just as secure.”
For Cornwall IT, a cloud directory not only helps with their cyber security offering, but also with their efficiency through web-based cross-platform, multi-client management. Client environments based on G Suite™ or O365™ can now integrate and extend user credentials to reach single sign-on (SSO) efficiency gains. This minimizes the amount of time Cornwall IT spends on each client’s users, systems, and networks.
“Everest Media has a few users on Apple products, so they also needed an IT solution that could be easily pushed out to MacBooks as well as Windows PCs. Thankfully, JumpCloud handles cross-platform environments well,” Aaron said. “Most of our clients are on Office 365, and we provide those licenses, so that’s the type of customer we have at the moment that we try to manage with JumpCloud.”
Security & Efficiency for the Future
“We are right at the beginning of this project with Cornwall IT and JumpCloud, so we are still in the process of reaching additional gains, but we’re very much looking forward to rolling out single sign-on for some of our cloud platforms. One significant gain has been the implementation of group policy, limiting the time it takes to set up and configure a new kit,” Sam said.
As the need for cyber security continues to drive SMBs towards outsourcing IT support, Cornwall IT realized a business opportunity to stand out from the crowd with JumpCloud.
Aaron said, “I’ve spoken with other businesses who need the Cyber Essentials Certification, and most clients think they need to have a Windows Server with Active Directory to have a domain. Otherwise, they think they can’t possibly be secure. So, I think the reality is people just aren’t educated enough on the alternatives.”
Aaron concluded by elaborating on the challenge of educating small businesses on the benefits of moving to the cloud. “I’m always coming across people who don’t take cyber security seriously, and that’s always a challenge,” he said. “We sell products like JumpCloud that can help them be more secure and share the message that there’s an easier way.”
“For a lot of businesses, it comes down to their budget. If you’re trying to convince them that they need to invest more into IT, the key is that it’s really an investment into the future of their company, more than an expense. So for me, it’s about trying to get the message across that products like JumpCloud can make them more efficient and secure.”
More Info on JumpCloud’s Partner Program
JumpCloud’s Partner Program empowers IT Service Providers with central identity management from the cloud. Fine-tuned for MSPs with cloud security offerings or clients transitioning to the cloud, Directory-as-a-Service can be easily bundled at the center of any product stack to make your business, and your clients’ businesses, as efficient and scalable as possible. Make Work Happen® for your clients while improving the bottom line for your business.
For more information on how you can leverage a cloud directory for cyber security services, drop us a note at [email protected].