JDI Legal (to be referred to as JDI from here onwards) is an established recruitment company, primarily based in the North East of England, sourcing executive level candidates for the legal services arena. Wanwise Limited have provided IT consultancy, design, implementation and technical support to JDI for a number of years now, helping the company to adjust to the ever-changing economic climate within the recruitment industry and the wider world. The case study notes are presented with permission from the business owner of JDI Legal, and Zuzana Bubenikova, from whose background research study some of the key points have been reproduced.
Like many recruitment companies, the JDI core business activities revolve around a central client and candidate database, its website presence (www.jdilegal.com ) and email communication. The database is the most crucial element for storing all client and candidate information, including sensitive financial data, c.v.s and other associated attachment documents, and is also used to generate reporting analysis. Essentially this is a recruitment-sector focused version of a more generic CRM system.
When looking for a solution to providing a platform for their information management systems (e.g. for database, email, document sharing), JDI decided to take advantage of the features of the Small Business Server 2003 (SBS2003) solution provided by Microsoft. (Note: More detailed information about implementing a small business server solution can be found in the Wanwise Products & Services section).
The server and all workstations are protected via a server-controlled antivirus/spyware/spam protection application from Trend Micro called Worry-Free Security because it is important that all c.v.s are virus-free since they will be sent to clients for appraisal before interview selections.
All company information – i.e. email, database and shared documents, is securely backed-up in encrypted form via an automated offsite backup application, such as from Acronis, rather than the traditional tape method. This makes for safe storage of the business-critical company data, which can be restored easily in a disaster recovery situation.
Over the years, JDI has had to adapt how it manages its information systems according to the conditions in it’s environment.
Originally, JDI operated out of a single office, with workstations accessing a dedicated onsite file/print server within the LAN. As the company changed in response to the changes in their external environment, there was a strong case for dispensing with the need of a central office, with the organisation adapting it’s information systems to accommodate staff home/remote working instead. Migration to this fundamentally different ICT implementation was technically designed and managed by Wanwise.
The server was relocated to colocation rack space at a Newcastle data centre called Databanx, with a hardware firewall installed to control secure, encrypted VPN access to the server from over the Internet. All staff were equipped with home-based workstations, firewalls and a fast broadband Internet connection. Each staff member continued to access the central recruitment database and company email as before. The server and associated hardware firewall have since been moved to a more cost-effective location for JDI, but this had a minimal impact on the staff remote access to the existing information systems.
At the “Hub” of the network there is a Juniper network gateway firewall device installed to filter/protect the server from Internet-centric attacks, and to control the secure VPN connections from the remote staff locations. All network traffic to/from the server location can be logged and filtered for audit purposes, as well as configuring the firewall device so that only certain types of data or website can be accessed (e.g. access to social networking sites, such as Facebook, are blocked by default to prevent non-work activities being used on company-owned equipment and Internet access )