Groundwork East is an organisation working closely with local communities to improve their lives and their local areas. As a local hub for the East of England, the organisation has a head office in Hertfordshire alongside offices in Henley, Luton, Huntingdon, and Norwich. With more than 94 users across many different locations, Groundwork East has required a resilient and collaborative IT infrastructure that has allowed them to work seamlessly.

We have been their preferred IT supplier for many years, helping to ensure that they have the right systems in place to enable their work to flourish.

Summary

Services Used

The Challenge

  • Data security

  • Software upgrades

  • Rapid timeframe

The Results

  • Cyber Essentials certification

  • New business wins

The Challenge

As part of our regular work with Groundwork East, we take a proactive approach to ensuring that their IT systems are fully supported. We noted that the client could benefit from having Cyber Essentials certification to verify their resilience and protection against cyber security. We presented a business case to the client and explained what the benefits would be. Once Groundwork East signed off the agreement, we began to prepare the assessment.

At this point, we were able to establish what needed to be done to ensure that Groundwork East would pass the Cyber Essentials certification. We knew that many machines needed upgrading, and this was an ideal opportunity to ensure that each user had the opportunity to work from the latest software updates.

As a result, we upgraded a significant number of machines from Windows 7 to the newest Windows 10 inclination.

We also assessed the machines that were held in storage to ensure that they were also updated. Any machines that were no longer suitable for use were removed from the network and replaced with alternatives.

An Added Pressure…

Our initial assessment was about preparing Groundwork East in advance of applying for Cyber Essentials certification. By creating a roadmap for new systems and upgrades, we were laying the foundations for the application.

Coincidently, whilst we were in the midst of upgrading the systems, Groundwork East received details of a new tender that required Cyber Essentials certification as a requirement for application. However, for Groundwork East to apply for this tender in advance of their deadline, we needed to apply for, and secure, the Cyber Essentials certification within just a few days.

Our Approach

As we had already begun preparing the foundations for the Cyber Essentials certification, we felt that it was achievable to gain this certification within the client’s fast timescales.

We had already met with key members of the Groundwork East team to set out the expectations and requirements and create a suitable plan of action.

Thanks to our remote working software, we were able to update the majority of the machines to the latest Windows 10 technology as a priority. This meant that we were able to eliminate the need for any unnecessary travel where possible. However, some site visits were required to assess the machines that were in storage.

Once we felt confident that each user was working from an upgraded machine with access to the latest software, we were able to collate the paperwork required for the Cyber Essentials application.

The certification process is predominantly admin-based. It required us to have evidence of how resilient the Groundwork East team was to online threats. Once we had everything in place, we were able to complete and submit the application promptly.

The Timescales