Cutting Edge Tech Often Requires BYO Instructions

FEB 12, 2018

by Justin Ryall, Trace3 Engineering

‘Out-of-the-Box’ – What’s the Ideal?

Though the convenience of an out-of-the-box solution sounds ideal, most often, it’s the exception, not the rule. In fact, based on our experience, out-of-the-box products/software can probably meet about 70% of the customer needs – then, the business needs to find a solution to fill the remaining 30%.

As a Transformative IT Authority, Trace3 is the premier provider of IT solutions. We integrate IT products and services with insightful consultation to provide total transformation for both executives and organizations. Our elite engineers implement tomorrow’s systems and hardware to solve today’s most pressing IT problems, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients to protect and serve their interests

‘Out-of-the-Box’ – Here’s the Reality

May 2017.

‘Microsoft Ignite’ announcements dominate the blogsphere with shouts of better functionality, integration, and innovation for SharePoint, Azure and OneDrive.  Interest is high and adoption begins.  In fact, many of our private-sector customers are excited to use these solutions to enable a much broader range of capabilities from communications to business intelligence, enterprise search, even process integration and workflow automation (albeit with some level of customization).

Gartner noted:

“These innovations, along with customers’ transition to the cloud and the growing imperative for secure content collaboration and sharing, are driving growth across Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and OneDrive. More than 300,000 organizations now have SharePoint and OneDrive in Office 365, including 85 percent of the Fortune 500. Active users grew over 90 percent, and data stored in SharePoint Online grew over 250 percent in the last year alone.” Gartner

With consulting services in Cloud, Security, Enterprise Infrastructure and more as well as being a Microsoft Azure partner; the Trace3 engineering team has the experienced resources and required knowledge to support complex data security integration solutions.

A Real World Example

The public sector is not immune to the digital transformation imperative. There’s a growing need to modernize their systems and processes.  Yet this exercise must be done cost-effectively and efficiently.  Even more challenging is that government agencies have far more regulations and compliance requirements to meet.  Governments typically have unique information security requirements. How do Government agencies ensure that they can deter insider threats, prevent data loss, and secure their sensitive information? It comes down to balancing discretionary access controls (where information owners choose who should access their sensitive information) and mandatory access controls (implementing defined policies that cannot be overridden by discretionary access controls).  The bottom line – “off-the-shelf” is rarely off-the-shelf for a government agency.

For example, we recently consulted with a client to deliver an innovative, custom SharePoint solution to a US government contractor in need of a document protection solution to meet CUI requirements.

Our team designed and implemented a document protection solution within SharePoint on the Office365 platform with a requirement to leverage multiple tools under the “Azure” umbrella to meet requirements around protection of CUI. Review our recently published White Paper: Implementing Document Protection within a SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Environment to gain a complete understanding of the solution components and the technical details to orchestrate the solution.

So, What Happened Next?

The outcome of any critical implementation depends on a collective effort from multiple people. When joining forces, subject matter experts from different parts of an organization are more effective in defining the problem at hand, analyzing the root cause, evaluating potential improvements and implementing sustainable changes.

Tapping into Trace3’s collective knowledge was imperative to presenting the customer with a simple, comprehensive overview of their security requirements to determine the best way forward. Our unique blend of technical and business skills allowed us to take a project from idea through design and development to delivery. We leverage our in-house expertise to create and develop solutions with all the features and functionality your organization needs to be more efficient.

Our Advice

It’s not enough to follow a checklist or template. Especially when the landscape seemingly changes overnight.  Our job at Trace3 is to help our clients seize the opportunities available, provide multiple perspectives, analytical rigor, and deep industry knowledge.  Trace3 worked with the client to help achieve the following results:

 Controlled access to sensitive documents through automatic encryption

  • Increased confidence of who is accessing documents through enforced multi-factor authentication
  • Improved auditing of accesses and authorizations to sensitive documents

When addressing new and complex solutions, the challenges can be numerous. Focusing on the desired outcomes and managing each element of the solution (as well as the requirements) is key to success.  Early adopters of technology often climb a much steeper mountain than others, but the view from the top (i.e. the benefits and competitive advantage) is typically well worth the effort.

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