Accountants
Case Study

Liberate IT were approached by a well-established Accountant as they felt that their current IT systems were not up to scratch, and their IT support response times were too slow. Many staff work outside the office on their laptops and need to access files when remote working. They were experiencing quite a few repetitive issues and also wanted to make sure they were complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Challenge
The Challenge - Square

The Challenge

Accountants are subjected to strict regulations, which are outlined by The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This specifically states that personal data is kept for 7 years and payroll is kept for 10 years. There are certain tax cases that can request data as far back as 15 years. If the company suffered any kind of data loss, it meant that these regulations would be infringed and the company could have to pay a heavy fine. The new GDPR regulations meant the company could be hit with an additional fine in the event of a data leak by employees or a virus/cyber-attack.

The firm was using a backup solution which involved Directors taking tape drives out of the server every night and rotating them with others. These were not encrypted so if these tapes were lost or stolen anyone could access this information. If the server were to fail without a good backup the results would have been catastrophic to the company. Even with a successful backup, it would have taken approx a day’s work to get the server up and running. 
When you take into consideration the hourly wage cost of downtime and tight deadlines for an SME this could impact the client even further.

The server itself hosted the companies emails as well as all their company and client data. Staff had been complaining about issues in accessing file shares, slowness in connectivity and sometimes getting disconnected from their emails.

The Solution

Liberate IT proposed several changes to instantly improve connectivitysecurity, and their backup solution. With the help from a local government funding opportunity, we put together a cost-effective long-term plan for the company that was 40% funded by grants.
  • We replaced the existing server which was 8 years old, starting to fail, and out of manufacturer support. The new server has the latest file security and encryption methods, redundant power and disks, and a 5-year warranty. The server now conformed with the latest legislation and provided vast improvements in performance and reliability.
  • We moved over to Liberate IT’s secure cloud backup solution. Our solution includes hourly encrypted onsite backups and a fully encrypted offsite backup to the Liberate IT datacentre here in the East Midlands. This provided much-needed security and encryption to the backup solution. If the server were to fail a complete image could be recovered within an hour. As part of Liberate’s service, we provide annual disaster recovery tests that test both on and offsite backups. Guaranteed maximum 3 hours downtime was a worst-case scenario which the client found extremely reassuring. We also supplied a disaster recovery policy, including a recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) – needed by many compliance specifications.
  • Liberate IT migrated their emails to Microsoft 365. This provided security and stability/redundancy but also improved their connectivity. Their emails no longer rely on their local internet connection and have an uptime guaranteed by Microsoft. To find out more about how Office 365 can improve your business, see this article.
  • One last and very important major change we made was to introduce a secure SSL VPN (remote access) for external users. This ensures members of staff can go about their business, securely from anywhere.
  • Improved client security and connectivity
  • Introduced a secure and redundant backup system
  • Extended the lifetime of the network infrastructure
  • Conformed the company to the latest legislation
  • Complied with the latest Cyber Essentials compliance
  • Gave the client peace of mind
What Is IT Security?
What Is IT Security

This was all complimented by a Liberate IT Support Agreement, so any urgent IT issues are dealt with within an hour by experienced and friendly technicians. We understand our clients’ requirements and they can call on us 24/7 to help.

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