Leading UK law firm migrates to the cloud while guaranteeing cyber-security and GDPR compliance
iboss delivers cloud security to the legal sector shielding Cripps Pemberton Greenish from online threats and helping the firm fulfil its data protection requirements
Quick Facts About Cripps Pemberton Greenish
Number of Employees
Corporate, Real Estate, and Private Client Law
Seeking security in the highly regulated legal sector
Founded in 1852, Cripps Pemberton Greenish is a broad service legal practice, excluding criminal law. Based in the south-east of England, it employs over 450 people in its Kent and London offices, and has one of the largest real estate teams in the country. Its corporate team works with businesses of every size across many sectors, including a special focus on technology law.
In recent years, the business has established a reputation for technology expertise, including GDPR, the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) and wider software law. In such areas, it brings not just legal knowledge but subject matter expertise that benefits the wider operations of its clients.
Mike Burton, CrippsPG, CTO, manages an in-house team of four full-time employees, plus an extended group of more than 50 staff from five technology vendors, which reflects the firm’s decision to migrate to the cloud and outsource much of its IT operations to external partners.
It also represents an advanced approach to technology that places CrippsPG at the vanguard of the legal sector in the UK. This also manifests itself in the make-up of its board, where CrippsPG appoints non-lawyers and draws on the domain expertise of those within finance, marketing, HR and technology to help shape business strategy.
Burton and his team are also responsible for the overall cyber security of employees, shielding the business from external online threats. “We have 450 staff all browsing the internet and that’s a huge amount of data to report on and manage from a risk perspective.” he says.
Non-stop security, continuous improvement
Dissatisfied with their existing security solution, CrippsPG deployed iboss as part of its on-premise virtualised environment in 2013.
“We chose iboss because they offered a more proactive solution that protects the browsing experience of employees from malicious software.” says Burton. “Other products are somewhat reactive and work by closing the connection, which is not always reliable. iboss offers a bridge–relay configuration so that when a connection needs to be closed, it is closed.”
With the assistance of a team from its new security partner, the deployment went smoothly, with a trouble-free exit from the incumbent to go-live with iboss. The strategic benefits were clear from day one. “We are very demanding with our vendors. The advantage of working with an external supplier, such as iboss, is that you can communicate your needs clearly to the vendor. Not just via the rear-view mirror, but through continuous improvement that addresses future requirements.”
The next important step occurred in 2016 when CrippsPG lifted its entire operation into the cloud. Burton adds: “This gave us the opportunity to focus internal resources on front-line business rather than the day-to-day maintenance of hardware and software. It renders us more agile when developing legal services that we offer to clients.”
The decision also enabled the firm to deploy a complete cloud-hosted virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) so that employees can work flexibly with clients, at home or on the move. They also benefit from full and secure access to documents, data and web-based productivity tools, including Microsoft Office 365.
By bringing our boundary defences inward, we also delivered a secure environment that matches international ISO standards. This includes our datacentre and anything we do with our cloud-hosted virtual desktop.”
Security: Complete control, no compromises
One of the advantages of iboss was that CrippsPG could migrate to the new cloud deployment with minimal disruption. “We now route traffic from our off-premise datacentre through iboss and get the very same benefits as when we were hosting our own hardware,” says Burton.
CrippsPG employees can continue using the internet and use web-based business tools with peace of mind. They are well protected from online threats, including viruses and malware, with no compromise in internet access speeds.
“We are now a 100 percent ‘bring your own device’ employer with flexible working arrangements,” says Burton. “iboss has eroded our concerns about the endpoint, whether that’s one of our offices, someone’s home or Wi-Fi on the train. By bringing our boundary defences inward, we also delivered a secure environment that matches international ISO standards. This includes our datacentre and everything we do with our cloud-hosted virtual desktop.”
Another iboss advantage is that it enables the firm to throttle internet access selectively if it threatens to overload the connection. “At times of high traffic, we can throttle video without limiting wider access to the internet or applications such as Microsoft Office 365. This ensures that the speed of connection and cloud applications is always optimised for the business,” he adds.
Key improvements after switching to iboss cloud
Here are some of the areas where the iboss platform matched CrippsPG business goals and helped it to comply with regulations:
Greater transparency of costs
Although financial savings weren’t a priority, outsourcing IT, including security to iboss, exposed every penny spent on technology. Burton says: “You’re often unaware of hidden costs when the infrastructure is on-premise. Moving into the cloud makes that spend transparent and enables you to ring-fence budgets and pursue further efficiencies.”
One of the advantages of working with iboss is that its team brings substantial expertise acquired from working with many other clients in the legal sector. “iboss came ready equipped with the answers to our challenges – often vendors don’t have the same understanding of our business,” says Burton.
Secure, flexible working
CrippsPG employees can now use laptops and mobile devices to access the internet, safe in the knowledge that they are well protected at home, on the move or visiting a client’s office. iboss is also a Microsoft Trusted Security Partner which ensures network security for the Microsoft Office 365 suite deployed across the firm.
When moving to the cloud, regional compliance with regulation, such as GDPR, is critical for law firms who advise clients on this very topic. iboss enables administrators to create zones to ensure data is scanned within the GDPR regulated region when users enter those regions. In addition, the log event data that is generated by the cloud can be sent to reporting databases that reside within admin-controlled zones. This ensures regulatory requirements are met while taking advantage of a cloud-based gateway platform.
The detailed reporting function that comes with iboss is highly useful for any people-oriented business that seeks to retain its employees and their expertise. “With iboss, it is very clear that employee reporting is fair and neutral. It considers only the activities that protect the individual and their clients. This sends a positive message internally and helps them to work confidently and advance their career in a secure environment,” says Burton.