Enabling and securing a collaborative culture
MacDonald Miller is disrupting the construction industry using proprietary technology that allows customers to explore and adjust projects in real time with their virtual reality MLab, in turn leading to faster project completion rates and higher customer satisfaction.
Along with their innovative industry approach, they have created a company culture where employees are encouraged to be creative, embrace technology and collaborate across departments to arrive at one common goal: to be the best in the industry no matter what challenges come their way.
This collaborative culture drives innovation, but also creates unique challenges for their security and IT teams. As MacDonald Miller has grown their security practice, they’ve recognized emerging risks and have explored solutions to increase visibility into those risks and respond proactively.
Eddie Anderson, Security and IT Operations Analyst at MacDonald-Miller explains, “we didn’t realize how much we needed a solution until I saw the evolution of Code42 and the Incydr product. When we tried it out, we immediately saw what was at stake and realized we had a huge opportunity to address that risk head on. When we showed our executive team, they agreed right away that we needed to grow our security program to protect our critical data and preserve our competitive advantage.”
Within the first month of using Incydr, it became clear to Eddie that there was risky data movement occurring. In one instance, they detected a long-time employee exfiltrating a large amount of data before departing for a competitor. Eddie’s team was then able to quickly respond to that incident, address the situation and avoid an even bigger problem down the road.
After that incident, Eddie realized, “we’ve only had this for a month, what else has been happening that we just haven’t been able to see?” Since then, their team has established a regular process using Incydr’s Departing Employee lens that gives them the much-needed visibility and speed they need to protect data from making its way out of the company when an employee moves on to their next role.
In addition to their work with the Departing Employee Lens, Eddie and his team have also found value in Incydr’s off-hours risk indicator. Now, the MacDonald Miller team has a better understanding of employee behavioral patterns and can surface file activity that takes place at atypical times.
“We recently noticed an employee attempting to move 14,000 files to a personal Dropbox account late one evening,” says Eddie. “My security team partnered with HR and legal to review the findings. After meeting with the individual, we discovered that they were frustrated with some business processes and considering leaving the company. As the discussion went on, we were able to uncover and address other issues within the business unit. Incydr not only helped us prevent the loss of important data but helped us understand some other concerns in the business and start a conversation we may not have had otherwise.”
Securing the remote work environment
Like many companies, MacDonald Miller made a rapid shift to a largely work-from-home environment in early 2020. Without a traditional network, their efforts to enable the collaboration that feeds their competitive advantage, while simultaneously securing valuable intellectual property became much more challenging.
“In this remote work world, mobility is huge,” explains Eddie. “Our employees need to be able to collaborate and easily share with vendors, other companies and with other employees. We can’t do our jobs alone. And blocking doesn’t make sense – it just throws up roadblocks for doing business. When I look at the speed of today’s business and the fact that many of our employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, there is no way to effectively block. Instead, we depend on Code42 to give us the right level of visibility to keep data safe in this new environment.”
Responding to evolving Insider Risks
By partnering with Code42 and using Incydr as an integral part of their insider risk strategy, Eddie and his team have been able to use their increased visibility to respond to threats they would have missed otherwise. “When we first started with Incydr, I thought we had a solid process in place, but as our program and the product has evolved, I’ve found new ways to better protect our IP and other sensitive data,” says Eddie.
The MacDonald-Miller team has used those findings to quantify the potential negative impact, educate internal teams and gain full support from company executives. Eddie explains, “Incydr is easy to use and enables us to respond to security risks quickly. Before using Incydr, we didn’t have the team members to dedicate to insider risk. Now we’ve prioritized it because the writing was on the wall – we couldn’t afford not to respond.”
As their work to secure their valuable IP continues, MacDonald-Miller is once again, positioned on the leading edge. “Insider risk has and will continue to evolve, but Code42 helps us stay ahead of that evolution by releasing features and capabilities that help us reshape our processes and respond more effectively to possible threats.”