Walls Construction Protects Critical Data From Ransomware Attack With AvePoint Cloud Backup

Critical Needs

  • Permissions and access reporting
  • Automated, scalable SaaS backup solution that requires minimum attention
  • Simple permission management for a mobile user base

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Success Highlights

  • Reduced time spent managing cloud backup by 90 percent
  • Reduced time spent on permission management by 70 percent
  • Increased insight into permission rights for Mobile users
I’ve looked at multiple products and none compare to AvePoint when you consider price, functionality, and user friendliness.
Robbie Armstrong Walls Construction IT Manager, Walls Construction

Customer Profile

Walls Construction Limited is an Irish owned building contractor operating nationally with offices in Dublin and Cork. The business was established by PJ Walls in 1950 and is today recognised as one of Ireland’s leading construction companies.

The Challenge

Following their roll out of Office 365 and SharePoint Online, Walls experienced an incident with one of their members of staff being hit with a malicious ransomware attack.

The staff member’s OneDrive was replicated and then deleted, resulting in the complete loss of that user’s data. Walls Construction IT Manager, Robbie Armstrong, realized that despite the robust security features provided by Office 365 and strong security awareness of his user base, company data had to be protected through a third-party backup solution.

“With the amount of control that Office 365 brings to end users, it is not realistic for a company to completely monitor every deletion. So we had to have a way to very quickly and easily recover from something like this, and began evaluating Office 365 backup products,” said Armstrong.

Additionally, his team wanted to become more efficient in managing Office 365 so they could focus on higher value tasks.

“We were looking for a third-party solution to make our administrative work less tedious. Some of the steps in Office 365 are too laborious, especially as Microsoft gives SharePoint a cleaner user interface which by doing so sometimes hides functionality that we need,” said Armstrong.

Part of this administrative worked involved constant permission and access management modifications. Due to the nature of its industry, a number of Walls Constructions’ employees are hired on a project basis resulting in a highly mobile workforce.

The AvePoint Solution

After Walls Construction’s experience of being hit by ransomware, they evaluated multiple leading backup solutions.

The ability to scale across many applications, customize the settings, and automate backups were the primary features that ultimately lead to the decision of AvePoint’s Cloud Backup.

“The amount of work that had to be done has completely changed. AvePoint Cloud Backup being automatic makes it so simple. We don’t have to worry about anything and a recovery takes only about four clicks. From a backup management perspective, Cloud Backup has removed 90% of our time costs,” said Armstrong.

While they have only had to make about four to five recoveries over the last six months, Armstrong says those recoveries, “would have been a nightmare without the solution, it couldn’t be any easier the way it is now.”

Walls Construction also decided to leverage AvePoint’s Cloud Management solution to address the mobile user base and the need for batch permission changes, cloning permission levels, and pulling access reports.

The Administrator module in particular has cut down their permission management effort by 70 percent.

“We have been using the Administrator module in Cloud Management primarily for removing dead and dormant accounts,” said Armstrong. “But we also leveraged the tool to discover a junior member had full admin rights to every single project and every library within our document management system. This was discovered by the Administrator solution before we issued that user’s credentials. Therefore allowing us to make the required changes preventing access to sensitive areas.”

Walls also uses Cloud Management’s reporting functionality through Report Center and Administrator. The presets most frequently accessed are the permission and compliance reports. These reports show who has access to what and last accessed time.

“I will run reports based on who has access to what, dead accounts, and when something was last accessed. We understand that far more reports can be pulled with Report Center and will soon be leveraging the solution more when we have the time,” says Armstrong.

The Bottom Line

Walls Construction is very satisfied with both the solutions and the service from AvePoint.

In Armstrong’s words; “The best service you will ever receive, is one that you don’t have to interact with. I think I have only had to reach out to AvePoint once or twice over the years. We have never had a problem.”

Walls Construction is now not only more confident in their permission and backup, but they have also been able to free up a majority of their time to focus on adding value to the business and taking full advantage of their Microsoft investment.

About AvePoint

AvePoint accelerates your digital transformation success. Over 16,000 companies and 6 million SharePoint and Office 365 users worldwide trust AvePoint software and services for their data migration, management, and protection needs in the cloud, on-premises and hybrid environments. A four-time Microsoft Partner of the Year, AvePoint is a Microsoft Global ISV Partner and has been named to the Inc. 500|5000 six times and the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ five times. Founded in 2001, AvePoint is privately held and headquartered in Jersey City, NJ.