Striata provides digital customer communications for companies around the globe. Striata’s applications and services enable financial services giants, telecommunications companies, and insurance providers alike to better connect with their customers through innovative, digital-first communications. This case study follows Striata and their Head of Global Managed Infrastructure, Riaan Olivier, along their journey to modernize, streamline, and further secure their IT.
- Organization: Striata
- Size: 140+ Employees
- Location: United States (New York, Florida), UK, Asia Pacific, and Africa
- Problem: Need for standardization across a global, distributed environment
- Goal: Unify and automate while achieving PCI and ISO27001 compliance
Riaan Olivier has worked with Striata for the past 16 years in various capacities. His duties have run the gamut, including working as a reliability engineer, as a Striata application specialist, an infrastructure designer, a sysadmin for Linux® and Windows® users, and much more.
When asked about his day-to-day duties, Riaan said, “My team supports all the Internal systems and Striata product platforms for clients. We also work with various databases and web servers across different operating systems.”
With his extensive industry and Striata knowledge, Riaan realized he needed to make a change from traditional identity management platforms to help reach overarching company initiatives regarding compliance for PCI and ISO27001 standards. With those goals in mind, Riaan said, “We decided to start using cloud identity management solutions to support our international operations, integrate seamlessly with our various internal systems, and reach compliance goals.”
With company divisions all over the globe, Striata needed to standardize their authentication processes.
“This last year, in November, the CEO of the company decided that since we have multiple branches of the company all over the world, we should standardize how everything functions,” Riaan said, adding that the team he now leads, Global Managed Infrastructure, was created to help support this initiative.
“We are in charge of managing all of Striata’s infrastructure and implementing IT standards,” Riaan said. “One of the biggest considerations is making sure we have standardized security processes across the globe in addition to PCI and ISO27001 compliance.”
The goal of standardizing identity management worldwide made it clear that traditional solutions would present problems.
“We had to find a solution that we could effectively implement across the globe,” Riaan said. “We needed it to work across all regions, operating systems, and user devices, as well as servers.”
Additional, interrelated challenges include:
- Non-Windows Machines: Like many modern IT environments, Striata uses all three major operating systems –– Windows, macOS®, and Linux. Some of the systems are local and some exist in the cloud. Riaan said, “We have a wide spectrum of different operating systems. So our systems and implementations need to support all of them.”
- Latency: “It’s more difficult for an international company to implement solutions that don’t experience latency problems,” Riaan said. “Latency can affect speeds and, in turn, create a bad user experience. For Striata, JumpCloud® works well because the servers are hosted all over the globe.”
- Remote users: Aside from having a global workforce, much of Striata’s teams work remotely or split their time between the office & remote work. Riaan said, “This includes support engineers and system administrators located internationally to provide 24/7 support. They need to be able to access systems across the globe.”
- Outdated Thinking: “Sometimes people get stuck in their current way of thinking. They think that you have to continue doing things a certain way. But the fact is there are better solutions out there that have changed with technology advancements,” Riaan said.
Riaan asked himself a simple question: “Have you searched around to see if there is something better out there?” That’s when he found JumpCloud. “We tested the JumpCloud platform with 10 free users, and everything was great,” Riaan said. “It proved to us that we could do things we could have never done previously, and the turnaround times were so much faster.
After testing, the Striata team decided to rollout JumpCloud Directory Platform.
Striata made a focused effort to implement JumpCloud. Some of the uses so far include:
- VPN – The VPN is an invaluable tool for Striata because it enables the global workforce to securely access critical pieces of infrastructure remotely. “We’ve configured JumpCloud as the master source for the VPN account,” Riaan said. “Users log in as the actual JumpCloud user on the VPN. It makes it easier for people because now they only have one set of login records. Plus, we’re adding multi-factor authentication on top of the JumpCloud login via LDAP to increase security.”
- User and System Centralization – With the previous systems it would be very hard for Striata to standardize login across multiple operating systems, especially Linux. Riaan explained, “Having that central layer that works the same across different platforms puts us in a much better position.”
- System Management – “Security is of utmost importance to Striata as a company. The ability to lock individual systems down provides a valuable chunk of the overall security posture the team seeks to live by. JumpCloud helps our system administrators and support engineers by giving them the ability to perform tasks that weren’t easy in the past — like rolling out policies to different OSs,” Riaan said. “That is just one of many crucial features that helps our organization increase security across the board.”
In just six months, JumpCloud helped Striata achieve results that would have taken much longer with traditional identity management solutions. This is all aided by automation, which helps Striata reach compliance goals and provide enhanced security along with time and monetary savings.
Perhaps the best result for Striata is the ability to automate much of their user management. Riaan detailed for us how this process works:
“The moment that a user is onboarded, we make API calls, and based on predefined rules, it literally assigns the user to the required system with the relevant permissions. On the flip side, to remove a user from every single resource they had access to in one step, is crucial for us. Once we’ve disabled a staff member from the Internal Management System, the automation does the rest. The backup, reallocation, and deactivation access across all the systems is immediate and seamless.”
“Automating all of these user management tasks is great but we also needed a way to incorporate it into our change control and records for auditing purposes,” Riaan said.
“For ISO 27001 certification this is important because we can prove that we already have an automated, repeatable process in place that provides the required compliance records.”
“Our automated process is well-documented and we record the events, or logs, of each activity.”
“Not only are we moving away from human error failures or time delays, these events and activities can be monitored by our security systems and be presented on a dashboard to our security analysts,” Riaan said. “They can very easily detect unusual or unexpected activities without logging onto multiple systems.”
Performing tasks manually such as removing a user’s access from every system represents a major chunk of time normally required from several different people. But not with automation. “We can mark the exact date an employee will leave the company. The system then activates at that exact date and time,” Riaan said.
“This is where using JumpCloud’s single sign-on is great because once a user is centrally deactivated, they get logged out of all systems.”
“Time spent completing these tasks really adds up. Not only does the initial task need to be performed, but we also add a verification step to make sure it was done correctly,” Riaan said.
“Automation allows us to implement, test, and verify once – then reap the benefits going forward. Over a year, we can probably save thousands of dollars with JumpCloud in conjunction with our automated systems.”
“We were very quickly able to realize a positive ROI. The fact that we were able to automate everything and provide a single sign-on across all systems, in less than six months, made the investment in automation and tools very worthwhile.”
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