Case Studies

Learn how we’re helping legal practices like yours.

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Modernizing Infrastructure

How we modernized and migrated a Los Angeles law firm to the cloud to improve their workflow, increase productivity, and enable remote work capabilities.

Situation

This law firm was in the process of moving to a new office. During this transition, they needed help in reviewing and improving their current IT infrastructure and communications network to ensure they were meeting current work and client requirements. They reached out to us to help.

 

How We Did It

We began with a complete review of their current IT infrastructure and communications network. Our findings revealed that they needed a large-scale upgrade as it was close to end-of-life. In addition, their on-premises VMware and Citrix products were not only out of date, but they were also out of capacity. The costs of managing their IT infrastructure were becoming increasingly prohibitive, which was negatively impacting their bottom line.

After our IT assessment and findings review with the law firm, our team put together a comprehensive strategic roadmap (or plan) to modernize their IT hardware and network as well as implement a customized cloud solution. The roadmap was instrumental in ensuring that our solutions were off premise, cloud-first, cybersecure, and at a more manageable cost level.

Once the roadmap was in place, our team worked tirelessly to put the plan into action. We made sure that all the recommended IT improvements were installed in their new office. Once the upgrade was completed and they were migrated to the cloud, we tested all their systems at all levels of their business to ensure a seamless workflow and comprehensive cybersecurity.

 

Results

As a result of modernizing their IT infrastructure and network and migrating to the cloud, this law firm’s technology is more reliable and secure than ever. In addition, their streamlined workflows increased their productivity. Also, their attorneys can access data and work from anywhere they want because their email and voicemail are running on a protected, up-to-date cloud system. Even in the event of a complete building power outage, their lawyers can still work thereby protecting their billable hours. Lastly, due to the way that STS strategically designed their IT, the firm will be able to scale their technology, without fear of failure, for many years to come.

From slow to Hyper-productive

How we transitioned a law firm from a poorly configured, slow IT system and AWS cloud to a hyper-productive and secure IT infrastructure, workflow, and cloud in 3 months.

Situation

This law firm was struggling with issues that spanned the entirety of their IT systems, from misconfigurations to serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities to a poorly performing cloud environment to recurring iManage integration and printing issues. Instead of working for them, their technology was working against them and worse, their IT vendor at the time was grossly negligent in resolving these problems. Out of frustration, they engaged STS to run an assessment and then transitioned to our fully managed IT services plan.

 

How We Did It

We started off with an assessment to identify all chronic issues and cybersecurity vulnerabilities. As we investigated their IT systems, three major IT issues emerged. These difficulties were negatively impacting their productivity and billable hours. The largest of these problems was the lack of a single log-in. At the time, they were juggling multiple log-in points with MFA, which was causing a lot of confusion. They regularly needed support in changing their passwords to gain access to their systems. We rapidly set up the single log-in to remove one of their biggest frustrations. Next, it was clear that their iManage integration with Microsoft Product Suites was incorrect. This made it difficult to save documents and files directly in iManage. We fixed the integration. The third major pain point was their inability to reliably print. We replaced and streamlined their printers and upgraded the drivers to solve this.

As we dug deeper, more issues revealed themselves. We uncovered and addressed all their IT system’s misconfigurations. Almost all their infrastructure and hardware were at the end of their life cycle and running on outdated or no longer supported software versions. Rather than replacing all their equipment, which would have been costly, we minimized the amount of on-premises hardware required and migrated the rest to the cloud. Then we switched out all their unsupported software with supported versions. Another important improvement was transitioning them to a cloud-based networking infrastructure.

Next, we assessed their cybersecurity posture and uncovered alarming vulnerabilities and gaps that left them exposed to possible breaches. We discovered not only that their firewall was under provisioned but we were able to access it externally. It was also apparent that their software didn’t have the latest patches and still contained known security issues. We neutralized these threats immediately.

During this time, we also reviewed their IT spend and questioned the necessity of some of their high costs. We were able to reduce their phone costs by close to 50% by transitioning them from a traditional IP phone solution to a cloud-based version. Then, we implemented faster speed internet.

Our last IT improvement at the time was to migrate them from AWS to the STS cloud. We built them a new cloud environment that addressed all their AWS pain points. We documented their operational and workflow needs and used this information to further customize their new cloud environment. Next, we trained their staff to use technology to further improve their workflow and productivity. Before we transitioned their entire team, we ran a two-week pilot with a small group to iron out any remaining issues. After the successful completion of this phase, we migrated everyone to their new STS cloud.

Throughout our assessment and IT improvements process, we continued to support the law firm’s team on their old IT system. Our goal was to get them as functional as possible until we could implement all the foundational changes. Once their new IT systems and cloud were in place, they transitioned to our fully managed IT services plan and remain a client to this day.

Results

The pilot phase of the new STS cloud was so successful that the rest of their team was requesting to be transitioned immediately. The staff experience greater ease of use and a faster, more efficient workflow. Their iManage integration and printers were now reliable and effective. They save time with their single log-in. Overall, they were able to get more done in one day. Also, they transitioned to the STS cloud pre-COVID. Once the pandemic hit there quickly and seamlessly transitioned to remote work. They experienced no change between working in the office vs working remotely.

Implementing Cybersecurity

How we helped a Los Angeles Law Firm recover 100% from a ransomware attack and implementing a cybersecurity maturity program to reduce their risk of future threats.

Situation

A mutual acquaintance’s law firm experienced a ransomware attack after their Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) failed to secure their environment. Their MSP had not been performing regular monitoring and review of their environment, which is why they missed a port that was exposed to the internet. A hacker leveraged the open port to gain access to the acquaintance’s IT systems. Once inside, the threat actor disabled all backups and launched a ransomware attack. As a result of this attack, the acquaintance lost all confidence in their MSP and instead, reached out to us for guidance and remediation. Since the attack took out their email, document management and accounting systems and impacted their client data across all platforms, all critical business operations, they needed immediate assistance. They called us and we were at their office in less than an hour.

 

How We Did It

Our approach was to immediately contain the threat and investigate the seriousness and spread of the breach within their IT systems and then remediate it. We assessed what the breach was and found where the hole was and plugged it. Then, we reviewed how we could remediate quickly.

Fortunately, the backups showed up as passed. However, we validated their success through exhaustive testing. (All backups need yearly validation to ensure they are indeed functional.) They found out what they needed to recover and then shut down the entire office.

Then, by examining the breach and ransomware launch dates, they worked to pinpoint the last available, reliable backup before the hacker gained entry. We were able to recover 100% their IT systems, environment, and data within 24 hours of the attack.

Results

The acquaintance avoided permanent damage to their firm’s data, finances, and reputation. Additional IT upgrades, improvements, and the implementation of cybersecurity maturity program reduces their overall security risk. Also, after our remediation, the acquaintance became our client. They had a new MSP that they trusted and knew would manage their IT responsibly and proactively.

Our Clients

“Since we began working with STS my work life has been made a lot easier. If there is any problem, big or small, James and his team addresses the issues quickly and always with great results.” 

Christa Haggai Ramey  - Attorney at Law | Ramey Law, P.C.

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