ScottMaden is a management consulting group that supports Fortune 500 companies. The service provider focuses on two primary business areas: the energy sector and corporate & shared services. With 40-year experience in the industry, ScottMadden provides its clients with strategic planning through implementation across different business fields and functions.
Addressing numerous global clientele challenges represents ScottMadden’s expertise in sophisticated planning. Therefore, how does a company with up to 250 full-time employees throughout the United States and three local East Coast offices face internal security issues? Clinton Miller, IT Director of ScottMadden, shares their story on filling in the missing links in the organization’s cybersecurity strategy.
Securing employees on the go the right way
The company consults domestic and international clients — employees travel quite a bit to client sites and work hands-on on their projects. Hence, a hybrid work model wasn’t the new normal for the organization once the pandemic hit.
ScottMadden consultants spend a lot of time in airports and other public spaces where they would connect to the airport or mobile hotspots and hotel wifi. Yet, the company’s solution wasn’t as good for protecting and running smoothly while traveling.
“The concern was to improve the existing security model and ensure our employees had an encrypted connection regardless of which network they were on.”
Having better performance, following industry best practices, and fulfilling client requirements to protect data outside the office were the driving factors in looking for a change. But is there a solution that can solve the problem effectively and efficiently onboard?
Streamlined client drive-out to different environments
The traveling ScottMadden consultants and employees working from home used to rely on browser-based encryption. Using built-in data encoding in Office365 applications allowed them to perform job tasks and communicate with teams with some security levels.
However, the issue was the poor connection flow while video conferencing — latency is a deal breaker for online business meetings in a remote setup.
“Everyone during the pandemic did a lot of video conferencing via Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom. We aimed to ensure there was a minimal impact on video calls.”
One thing is handling latency to elevate employees’ and clients’ experience. But can the transition process administratively have a minimal impact on existing company infrastructure and cybersecurity strategy?
“One of the things we wanted to do was to push out the client fairly easily, operating on an SSO solution already in use.”
ScottMadden uses solution Azure AD single sign-on solution for user identification within the organization. The company operates in macOS and Windows environments, so the chosen solution had to fit into the criteria for integration and simplicity.
Why choose NordLayer?
NordLayer solution is compatible with major service providers on the market. Thus, the company could integrate with AzureAD IAM solution and roll out organization-wide onboarding to a new solution using existing SSO.
The endpoint management solution allowed remote access in macOS and Windows environments.
“The implementation of NordLayer went a lot easier when we connected clients to Azure AD. It relieved us from setting up new individual accounts for every 250+ people in the organization.”
The IT Director handled the process — it didn’t require a lot of resources and time to deploy the solution in the organization.
Organization onboarding using Azure AD by ScottMadden
According to Clinton Miller, the IT Director of the company, the longest step was to create an Azure group and add NordLayer. Once it was solved, the complete rollout to NordLayer solution took only a few hours.
Onboarding to a chosen solution enabled the company to secure team connections and extensive access to functionalities that comply with ScottMadden set benchmarks. Achieving data security didn’t have to compromise connection speed and video conferencing quality.
“Anytime employees are outside the office - at home or coffee shop - wherever they might be, we validated that they can reach all the services they needed, and speed wasn’t an issue.”
The transition to the new tool was heavily based on the company’s SSO. The documentation, knowledge base, and support team are highly responsive with communication to walk IT leaders through the process.
“For other potential decision-makers: onboarding NordLayer isn’t a heavy lift — you have the support and knowledge base ready, so it’s pretty straightforward.”
Moreover, NordLayer’s Control Panel provides a good cross-reference point for those using the tool while working outside the office by filtering ongoing active connections.
It also delivers another step in the reporting process for the IT admin and the whole organization. For instance, it verifies that the organization follows internal policies by exporting connection data to verify and justify to a third-party audit.
Pro cybersecurity tips
Different sectors, industries, and services, but the same goal unites every organization’s IT leaders — securing their company assets. Following best practices and professional knowledge helps achieve security targets easier. Clinton Miller, the IT Director at ScottMadden, shares his top-on-the-list tips:
Do you need to upgrade existing tools used in your organization to align with best practices in the industry, improve processes and performance for the team, or expand your capabilities of tracking and reviewing the implemented security strategy?
Using NordLayer, you can integrate more features and functionalities with the organization’s preferred tools, service providers, and IAM solutions. It is possible without committing to massive changes and re-organizing current policies and infrastructure. Reach out to find out about your options on how to secure connections for the off-office employees and improve their experience while working online.