Background

Ace Industrial Supply is the leading telemarketing company in the tool industry with offices in California, Arizona and Idaho. The 36-year-old company distributes tools and supplies in the United States and Canada. Ace needs to have a strong IT infrastructure in place to easily communicate with clients and collaborate between the company’s offices and warehouses.

Before working with DiamondIT, Ace operated its technology environment with a small internal IT staff and an outside service provider. Ace believes in old-fashioned customer service and values but does not extend this point of view to technology. Unfortunately, their former IT provider lead them down a path to outdated software and hardware.

The Challenge

In 18 months, Ace fell prey to 6 crypto virus attacks. Equipped with servers and firewalls that were approaching end-of-life and were inadequately configured, their technology was unable to handle Ace’s core business function as a telemarketing company.

Cybercriminals easily entered Ace’s network through unmanaged workstations. Once they were in, the attackers went straight to the most vulnerable servers, changing file name extensions and holding the company’s most important data at ransom.

“Just the introduction of the virus itself brought our company to a standstill,” says Larry Lawrence, Ace General Manager, who spent many nights worrying about how to recover their data.

With Ace’s backups having failed, the company was forced to pay the ransom and fortunately received the key to recover their data. Throughout this nightmare, Ace asked what their MSP was doing to protect them. The answer was silence.

Just as Ace suffered its sixth ransomware attack, they also were chosen to undergo a Microsoft Licensing audit and faced potential fines if they were not using the correct license. They knew it was time to find a company that could protect their business and provide expert guidance at each step.

The Solution

Ace vetted a few different MSP companies in their search to advance their IT infrastructure and security. They ultimately chose DiamondIT, due to their relationship with DiamondIT’s COO David Rice, a trusted colleague and business consultant.

DiamondIT started with a technology gap assessment of Ace’s network which revealed problematic processes, dated anti-virus software, and an unmonitored network that was known to be prone to attacks. DiamondIT recommended a complete managed solution designed to vastly improve Ace’s security and backup stance and got to work.

Ace’s IT Roadmap

Within the first 60 days, DiamondIT began rolling out the framework for Ace’s new layered security solution, giving Ace far superior security and stability within 4 weeks of entrusting DiamondIT with their network.

Major hardware and security upgrades were first in order to get Ace on the road to stability. Working closely with Mr. Lawrence and Ace’s internal IT team, DiamondIT consolidated and replaced several servers that were old and no longer effective for Ace’s business processes.

Additionally, DiamondIT completed Ace’s migration to Microsoft Office 365 to further enhance security and decrease company downtime. DiamondIT’s implementation of Office 365 included shifting their email server to the cloud and the implementation of email encryption to protect outbound email, while leveraging a spam filter to help prevent the arrival of dangerous phishing attempts.

Advanced Security Solutions

DiamondIT came in with its managed cybersecurity offering, SecureCentric, which includes the essential security solutions that both small and large businesses need to truly protect their organization. Armed with breach detection and intrusion tools, like NextGen firewalls and a managed anti-virus platform, DNS filtering to help prevent employees from clicking through to known malicious websites, Ace was better positioned to detect and thwart unauthorized access to their systems. Their security suite was rounded out with Dark Web monitoring, to quickly identify any leaked credentials or sensitive information, email encryption to securely transmit data and email filtering that scanned incoming emails and filtered out spam messages.

Thanks to DiamondIT’s SecureCentric managed security solution, Ace Industrial Tools is secure and much more difficult to compromise. Because 91% of attacks are launched with a phishing email, DiamondIT conducted regular phishing test and employee cybersecurity awareness training, teaching Ace employees to recognize phishing attempts.

Backup and data recovery solutions

Even the most secure companies need to ensure that they have properly configured, secure off-site cloud backups, as well as on premise backups, to ensure data can be recovered in the event of a disaster – whether that incident comes from a cybercriminal or from a natural disaster such as an earthquake or wildfire. With proper backups in place, companies who are struck with ransomware are not in the vulnerable position of paying criminals to release their data – they can tell the criminals to take a hike.

In the unlikely scenario that Ace is successfully targeted again, the company has the best insurance policy with DiamondIT’s BackupCentric managed backup solution.

The Results

Prior to working with DiamondIT, Ace had suffered 6 ransomware attacks in 18 months. In the 18 months that their technology has been managed by Diamond IT, they’ve had zero.

In addition, Ace no longer experiences frequent phone outages and downtime caused by dated servers, which had been very detrimental to their telemarketing efforts and sales. In fact, according to Mr. Lawrence, they do not experience downtime or phone outages at all unless their internet service goes down.

As DiamondIT worked with Ace to implement security and service improvements, the Microsoft partner advised Ace with specific recommendations that allowed them to address the Microsoft licensing audit and pass without penalty.

Thanks to consistent communications with DiamondIT, Ace has looked towards a successful future, making strategic decisions about their technology instead of the reactionary decisions they had become accustomed to with their previous service provider. Now they are poised to upgrade line-of-business applications without worrying about the apps being incompatible with their platform and will be able to upgrade equipment as it reaches end-of-life or when new, more desirable technology becomes available.  

Today, the company is positioned to advance into the next 30 years with confidence and reliable, secure technology.

DiamondIT treated me like gold. If I needed anything done, they jumped on it right away.”
– Holden Stearns, Ace Vice President

Diamond hires great personalities along with the technical side of it. From the engineers to the receptionist and help desk, I haven’t worked with anybody who hasn’t been absolutely friendly and competent.” – Larry Lawrence, Ace General Manager