Software & Cyber Security Case Studies

Ever wonder how real institutions use Data-Tech technologies to solve problems or further their research, education and service missions? Here are some real world examples from the Nonprofit industry for you.

Cryptolocker
When Data-Tech’s customer was hit with the dreaded “Cryptolocker” virus, Data-Tech sprung into action and restored the network with astoundingly little downtime.

On June 15, 2015, one of Data-Tech’s customers was affected by a new strain of the Cryptolocker virus. Cryptolocker is a Ransomware Trojan hidden in executable programs that appear to be benign, typically found in emails falsely claiming to be from popular brands such as UPS or Amazon. Once an unsuspecting user clicks on the executable, the program starts running in the background, encrypting all local Word, PDF, Excel and other popular files. Once the local encryption is complete, the virus moves to the shared drives attached to the device and begins to encrypt the files therein.

Without proper compartmentalization of an organization, the whole company can be brought down in a matter of hours. The encryption is extremely strong with no hope of unencrypting without a key. This leaves only 2 options if infected:

Purchase the key from the criminals that created the virus at $500-$2000 or Restore all infected files with a backup.

The only secure preventative measure that can be taken at the moment is using a Next Generation Firewall with DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) enabled. DPI allows the firewall to inspect all traffic, including encrypted traffic, coming into the network. Data-Tech has forged a partnership with Dell SonicWALL—the leader in advanced network security, secure remote access and data protection—to make these devices affordable for the average small business to adopt. See Firewall-as-a-Service, which eliminates upfront costs entirely)

As soon as Data-Tech was aware of the infection we sprang into action. By using custom Kaseya scripts—created by Jonathon Blacklidge at Data-Tech—we were able to scan all devices on the customers network for any signs of the Cryptolocker virus. This also enabled us to identify the terminal and user where the virus originally infiltrated the network. We immediately rebooted the server to stop any additional encryptions from taking place, and then performed a thorough assessment of all devices. From there, it was determined that the only affected devices were the terminal server and a storage server containing a shared drive.

Upon knowing the full extent of the encryption, we mounted the latest backup from the customers StorageCraft backup. From this backup, we restored all infected files to their original content with minimal data loss.

Engineer Jonathon Blacklidge worked on the restore throughout the night to ensure that the customer would be fully operational first thing in the morning. We maintained constant communication with the point of contact at the customers headquarters—to keep him up to date at all times.

Of course, with any data restore, there is the chance that program configurations need tweaking and the most recent data going missing. Data-Tech remained vigilant and worked directly with the customer, so we would immediately be made aware of any issues as they arose. The customer informed us the next morning that users had trouble logging into Persona. We quickly logged into his machine and found that the mounted backups were interfering with the UNC mapped drives on the terminal profiles. Jonathon then worked to set the correct permissions on the Persona share, so the program would operate effectively. By 1:10 PM, the customer had full functionality with Persona.

Overall, Data-Tech’s customer was operational with less than 30 minutes of production downtime, and application issues were resolved quickly after they were found. This is an astounding response time for a virus that has literally crippled entire organizations.

Data-Tech was once again able to show that our Managed Services department is miles ahead of the competition.
Kaseya
Data-Tech Chooses Kaseya Over Major Competitor After Three Month Evaluation

What Does This Mean For our Clients

Kaseya

A Managed Service Provider is only as efficient as the monitoring tools at its disposal. That’s why Data-Tech recently conducted an extensive, three month evaluation of two of the industry’s most prominent providers of managed service tools—Kaseya and a major competitor—before making a final decision as to which company’s offering would ultimately grant our clients the highest and most consistent level of service.

Kaseya is a recognized leader in the production of remote management software for the information technology industry. Founded in Silicon Valley in the year 2000, Kaseya’s solutions are used by more than 10,000 customers worldwide, in fields including technology, healthcare, government, education, retail, manufacturing, finance and media, to name a few. The company currently has a presence in over 20 nations throughout the world.

Kaseya’s competitor is also a developer of remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools designed to help global IT solutions providers become successful managed services operations. With more than 4,200 partners and over 4 million agents sold, the RMM platform has become a common tool of MSPs and IT service providers worldwide.

Recently, a number of managed service providers in central Florida have chosen the competitor to provide their remote management tools, due in large part to the fact that it is a considerably less expensive alternative to Kaseya’s solutions. This discrepancy was at the heart of Data-Tech’s evaluation process. It was imperative to determine what effect this choice would have on our valued customers. Equally important was to ensure that no additional costs would be relayed to our clients, regardless of which company Data-Tech chose to partner with.

Our Evaluation
One major component of Data-Tech’s evaluation focused on each offering’s capability to remotely connect to our clients, real time. When providing managed services in a Kaseyabusiness environment, a quick, reliable remote connection is paramount. When a tech needs to access a client’s workstation, delays and failed connections are unacceptable. Our research showed that remote access to the competitor requires a local fat client application. In other words, specific software must be downloaded in order to access the interface. In contrast, Kaseya’s web-based console allows for quick and easy access from just about anywhere. This translates to speedy, reliable service whenever and wherever it’s needed.

We also found that Kaseya provides a much friendlier Graphical User Interface (GUI). This allows our technicians, as well as our clients’ in-house IT professionals, to navigate through the information necessary to address potential issues and complete required tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. In addition, Data-Tech has been able to seamlessly integrate our corporate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with Kaseya’s interface to provide a quick, customizable snapshot of the most important data for each individual client. From Kaseya’s interface, technicians can also see which users are not only currently logged in, but which ones are active as well. This allows our techs to install updates, address potential issues, and ensure total functionality while users are away from their desks, therefore eliminating employee down time. Along the same lines, Kaseya allows our techs to streamline certain tasks by creating specific groups. For example, a technician can easily locate every computer within an organization that has QuickBooks installed, and create a group based on which version each machine is running. When it comes time to install updates, techs can do so far more efficiently.

It Was A Simple Decision
In the world of technology, we all know that no program or tool is perfect. No matter how many precautions are taken, problems will eventually arise. The challenge for any managed service provider is to identify and address these issues before they become problems for end users.

Data-Tech’s decision to partner with Kaseya ultimately grants our clients a superior level of service at no additional cost to them. According to Mike Ponticello, General Manager of Data-Tech, “Overall, Kaseya has more features out of the box and has been the leader in the industry that all others imitate but can never duplicate. The capability to provide the enhanced level of service our customers have come to expect, at no additional cost to them, far outweighs the additional expense on our end.”

In this business, there’s simply no justification for trying to save a few bucks if it means our clients will ultimately lose valuable work time. This is the foundation of Data-Tech’s impassioned, proactive approach to managed IT services.
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