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Helping a Client Regain Access to their IT Infrastructure

Our client’s sudden departure of their in-house IT Manager meant they needed to regain access to their IT infrastructure. In this article we will be showcasing how we helped a Cambridgeshire based technology firm regain access and administration over their IT infrastructure.

The challenge Cambridge Support faced

Our client contacted Cambridge Support needing support following the sudden departure of their in-house IT Manger. Without the chance to conduct a formal handover and knowledge transfer, our client found themselves in a situation not able to administer critical elements of their IT infrastructure.

Without control of the environment, our client was not able to administer the Windows domain environment, firewall configurations, Microsoft 365 tenant, and other elements. Not only was there restricted access and limited administrative credentials, there also wasn’t any known documentation of the IT infrastructure. This presented further challenges as our client didn’t fully understand all the systems in their environment. This was why they desperately needed to regain access.

It was now necessary to assist the client with discovering all the components of their IT infrastructure, regaining access to them, and then building new documentation to document the findings. The client was concerned if they were to restart key servers or other networking infrastructure, that they could not bring it back up again if issues were experienced.

Our client was left in a position where their infrastructure was working, but unable to perform routine maintenance due to not knowing critical information. This includes the ability to install patches, the knowledge of what needs patching, and the ability to log into said systems.

The solution we presented

Cambridge Support performed a full IT infrastructure and services audit. This is the first step in trying to regain access. This was to uncover all the systems that were configured within the environment and establish the roles that they performed. We were able to use this detection process to identify physical servers, firewalls, virtual machines, and networking components. Also, cloud platform services, Microsoft 365, and others.

The client provided Cambridge Support with the former IT Managers device where we identified many credentials associated with some of the services that we identified during discovery. However, we lacked some critical pieces of information.

Further to the above, we performed a deep dive into the client’s file structure. We identified key documents containing credentials to some of the critical systems. All these credentials were tested and validated against the discovered services and recorded in an encrypted documentation system. This validation procedure ensured that the documented credentials were correct and confirmed to the client that we had regained access.

This audit process enabled Cambridge Support to detect areas that were well thought out and configured with good design standards, as well as to identify areas that needed improvement or additional care.

At the end of the discovery and documentation process, we provided the client with an overview of our findings. We identified the work carried out and presented actions we would recommend to support a long-term strategy of IT infrastructure for the future.

Cambridge Support were able to discover and access the following:

  • Microsoft 365 tenants
  • Active Directory Domain Service environment
  • VMWare hypervisors
  • Amazon Web Services
  • virtual machines
  • Cisco Meraki firewall
  • a full understanding of the internal networking and IP schema
  • endpoint security and encryption
  • plus, much more.

The outcome

Having completed the discovery and documentation phases, we are now working with the client on the first phase of implementing our recommendations.

We were able to show them that their on-premises infrastructure is approaching end-of-life, and they would be a good candidate for a cloud-first strategy. Our team is now planning to migrate their on-premises file structure to SharePoint Online, followed closely by enrolling their endpoint devices in Microsoft Intune. Once completed, the on-premises Windows infrastructure will be retired, causing a lower power demand and by proxy, a reduced carbon footprint.

Cambridge Support also identified that the backup configuration had previously worked and therefore stored data on a secondary on-premises server. However, this was no longer performing backups of the server infrastructure. This was a big challenge, and our client was not aware of this before our audit. We implemented a cloud backup solution to guarantee that their data is recoverable from an offsite location with the option of having a locally cached copy.

Overall, our client was thrilled with the work Cambridge Support carried out. For them to regain access to their IT infrastructure was their top priority and Cambridge Support delivered above and beyond.

For help with your IT infrastructure and more, contact us today.