Graystone Case Study

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“Several long running issues that the prior MSP could not resolve were resolved within a month of Cymax coming onboard, which removed multiple points of pressure that IT was not delivering early on and provided peace of mind that they were more than up to the task of providing support services to the business.”

Luke Irwin,
IT Manager, Graystone

Luke Irwin,
IT Manager, Graystone

The Client

The Graystone group of companies is vertically integrated construction (Graystone), property management (Milestone), investment service and management firm (Stronghold Investment). The Graystone group places a very high imperative on security as they manage their own internal data and also that of their investors. They have an ethical and legal obligation to protect and secure their clients’ information, which is required to maintain their Australian Financial Services Licence.
Graystone’s IT Manager, Luke Irwin says the company engages in a highly competitive space in the market, “and having reliable tools, systems and resources available to their specialists is critical”.

Luke Irwin,
IT Manager, Graystone

The Need

Prior to Luke’s role being created and him coming on board, and then engaging Cymax, the number of issues with Graystone’s IT infrastructure were broad and complex.
“It was poorly secured, managed and configured. There was a lack of control around device specifications, application upgrade, and security management. VMWARE had not been patched in three years, the SAN in nearly four years and the host, not since commissioning,” Luke explains.
A terminal server was exposed to the internet, the MFA was sporadically applied, and conditional access was non-existent. It unfortunately did not end there. Luke says geo-blocking was not factored in by the prior vendor, the Antivirus was woeful, and backups not correctly established.
“Lack of skill and capability, and even care from the prior MSP were of great concern and risk to the business. There appeared to be an approach of minimal effort with no significant concern for processes that aligned with security best practice, which is critical in the modern IT landscape and even more so in the financial services space.”

The Outcome

A career spanning two decades in IT professional services, Luke knew what was required and didn’t want to waste time or money on another subpar provider. “We needed a quality, repeatable, secure outcome for the business; not a budget corner cutting one.
“I reached out to Cymax for an urgent meeting to discuss issues and determine if they had an interest in coming onboard to replace the incumbent.
“Having worked with Cymax previously, I was aware of their capabilities as I knew they would be highly competent partners to help lift the organisation’s ICT capabilities. We arranged scoping and discovery by their techs on site and worked through a post onboarding program of work to secure, update and modernise the tech stack,” Luke explains.
This included the retirement of many devices that did not align with the planned security posture or were no longer in manufacturer support (some units went end of life around eight years prior).
“My role is one focused on service delivery with a high prioritisation on cyber security. With the work that I have delivered to the business through Cymax’s support, and their specialists have massively reduced our risk, reduced attack surface, and overall security posture through the supply and management of a defence in defence in depth approach to security.
“The IT security landscape is always moving rapidly and engaging with Cymax as our MSP to support us in taking a defence in depth, layered approach is an essential part of our approach to aligning with Graystone’s Boards requirements.”
Luke says Cymax’s ethical billing policy is a great approach to engagement.
“I need a partner that I can turn to with a list of requirements or perhaps a design for a system (collaboratively designed or solo) and trust them to deliver on that with honest representations of timelines and costs and if issue occur along the way that there is transparency – and I get that from Cymax,” Luke adds.

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