Case Study – Securing Active Directory
The rise in coordinated cyber-attacks across the industry is driving organisations to improve their Cyber Security practices and further protect their critical business assets. Most organisations now depend on Microsoft’s Active Directory service to protect their internal user accounts which provide access to critical business systems and customer data.
Our client, a leading UK digital bank, had already established a Cyber Programme to better protect their business and address a number of business and technology risks. One key objective was to consolidate and secure their Microsoft Active Directory environment in order to simplify the environment, protect critical business systems and enable future initiatives to support the wider strategic plan. Our client’s objectives were to remove legacy/out of support operating systems with expensive support agreements and to mitigate or remediate all business risks associated with the platform.
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This involved upgrading the environment to a current version of Microsoft Windows Active Directory Domain Services. Our client also needed to secure the upgraded platform to remove some of the legacy authentication protocols and mechanisms in place. Our client had established an 18-month project to transform their Active Directory environment. Although making good progress, their project was being slowed down by competing demands on key technical resources required to support the business-as-usual services to internal colleagues. These competing demands on key resources to deliver the project exposed our client to the ongoing risks associated with legacy technology platforms.
Quorum were initially engaged to assist our client in better understanding the risks associated with the project that could affect their critical applications and services. Our consultants worked with the client to perform an assessment of the servers, applications and business services that resided in the Active Directory environment. Drawing on many years of experience with Active Directory Transformation in other clients, Quorum were able to streamline the delivery approach to achieve the objectives of the project. We made a number of recommendations based on our standard approach as to how our client could restructure the delivery to improve the chances of success. From this assessment, Quorum consultants then worked with our client to build a new delivery approach which focused technical effort and prioritised elements of the project to streamline the delivery.
This was aligned entirely with their internal processes and delivery framework. This improved approach allowed our client to better understand the effort and time-scales required to successfully deliver the desired business outcomes. Quorum engaged experienced technical resource including infrastructure architects and Active Directory technical subject matter experts to work with the client’s own resources to lead the upgrade and hardening of the AD environment. Our skilled and experienced resources brought a wealth of knowledge to the project and were quickly able to prioritise the delivery to a more efficient factory model using small agile teams to fast track the delivery.
With Quorum’s knowledge and experience in multi-year complex Active Directory Transformation programmes, we were able to better structure the approach and project delivery plan to be more efficient. Quorum put in place a streamlined approach to the upgrade and hardening of each of the client’s Active Directory environments, including structured testing and implementation process. This structured approach allowed our client to better understand the time-scales associated with the delivery of this complex project while reducing the risks associated with upgrading the client’s core Active Directory services. The completion of the project removes a number of client owned risks associated with securing and supportability of the Active Directory service.
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