“We are dealing with a growing number of mobile devices, and that results in a higher expectation of how work can be completed remotely in a secure manner. Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is critical to enabling our employees to be mobile while protecting our core business.”
Matt Lyons, Chief Financial Officer, LinQuest Corporation
For over 10 years, LinQuest Corporation has provided state-of-the-art technical solutions to government and commercial clients. LinQuest offers engineering and operational services related to space and terrestrial systems.
As a leader in the highly competitive aerospace industry, LinQuest has been increasingly challenged to meet the needs of mobile workers. Matt Lyons, Chief Financial Officer at LinQuest, explained, “We are dealing with a growing number of mobile devices, and that results in a higher expectation of how work can be completed remotely in a secure manner. This was a challenge for us because much of our IT infrastructure has been built with the assumption of everyone working inside the LinQuest firewall.”
This challenge is compounded by the sensitive nature of the information LinQuest employees handle. It is vital to enforce the highest level of security measures, including complex passwords that are changed on a regular basis, in order to maintain airtight protection. While complex passwords that are changed on a regular basis are good for security, they can also lead to a lot of helpdesk tickets.
“Looking through our own helpdesk stats, we realized that one of the challenges that took up a lot of our time was resetting user passwords,” said David Finlay, IT Administrator at LinQuest. “The thought was if we could automate some of these processes through the cloud and enable self-service password reset, it would drive efficiencies in the IT department.”
LinQuest was also looking for a way to have more control over the mobile devices accessing its network. “We want to know what mobile devices are accessing corporate resources like e-mail, and we want to be able to enforce some minimum level of protections before we allow a device access,” said Lyons.
LinQuest had an ongoing relationship with SADA Systems, a Microsoft National Solutions Provider, which had previously completed LinQuest’s transition to Microsoft Office 365. Lyons shared, “We found SADA to be very responsive, efficient and knowledgeable. That experience gave us complete confidence to leverage their expertise for this Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) project.”
SADA worked with LinQuest to deploy the following capabilities enabled by EMS:
- Custom App Portal
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
- Mobile Device Management (Intune)
- Self Service Password Reset
SADA designed a custom app portal which provided LinQuest employees with one-click access to the applications they use every day – from any device. It serves as a pre-authentication portal, linking back to Active Directory using Directory Synchronization (DirSync) in Microsoft Azure. This enables LinQuest’s IT team to securely deliver on-premises applications to its mobile workforce without using a VPN. “The app portal makes work easier for our users by allowing them to access all their applications from any device in one central location, without the need to log in multiple times,” added Finlay.
SADA also configured Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for the app portal to ensure the highest level of security for the sensitive information its employees manage on a daily basis. “Implementing MFA across the organization was not something we had experience with” said Lyons. “SADA Systems provided the technical guidance and product expertise we needed to bridge the gap between our business challenges and the Enterprise Mobility Suite solution.”
Finally, SADA helped LinQuest deploy Microsoft Intune which is used for Mobile Device Management. “Intune is a complex product that gives a company a lot of control over the mobile devices accessing the corporate network. The IT department can set a minimum set of requirements such as encryption, password complexity, and device locking that a device must meet before being granted access to corporate resources like e-mail,” said Finlay.
Results and Benefits
“Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite is critical to enabling our employees to be mobile while protecting our core business,” said Lyons. LinQuest will have greater visibility and control over mobile applications and sensitive company information, regardless of how it is being accessed. Through EMS LinQuest is able to ensure that all corporate information stored on a mobile device is encrypted. If a device is lost or stolen, IT can send a remote wipe command to the device and remove all of the corporate data.
“Including contractors, we have over 500 people that will be regularly logging into these applications,” added Finlay. “The Self Service Password Reset capability will save our IT team a massive amount of time and effort.” The app portal will also serve a major role in making secure mobile access a reality without the hassle of users signing into multiple applications.
“Ten years ago there was no expectation that employees should be able to access corporate resources if they were outside the office,” said Lyons. “Now there is an expectation that employees should be able to not only access information, but also share, collaborate and communicate remotely with other employee while outside the office at any time. With EMS, we can do all that and more without compromising security.”