How DQS automated IT operations, saved time and increased productivity

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The Customer

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Industry: Information

Products: DatAdvantage for Windows

As an independent and competent management partner for companies of all sizes, the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Zertifizierung von Managementsystemen (DQS GmbH) offers objective assessments on the basis of more than 100 officially recognised standards in accordance with technical and industrial guidelines or in compliance with industry-specific standards. Headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany, the company is part of the worldwide DQS-UL Group and focuses completely on assessments and certifications of management systems and processes. With more than 80 offices in over 60 countries and 47,000 certified locations, DQS belongs to the top group of international management certification bodies. Its 20,000 customers, from more than 100 countries, cover all sectors – including automotive, electrical, engineering, metal, chemical, services, food, health and social care, aerospace and telecommunications.

The cost and time savings allow us to focus our energies on other tasks, safe in the knowledge that the transparency and precision of the system offers us a confidence and overview that we would never be able to achieve manually.

– Patrick Schöpke, Network Operations Specialist, DQS

The Challenge

For a management partner, data protection is pivotal to safeguard an organization’s customers, employees, business partners and investors. According to IDC, unstructured data accounts for more than 80% of data in organisations – this includes documents, spreadsheets, images and emails. Managing permissions for these types of files can be particularly complex and resource intensive, making it expensive and time-consuming. As a result of the complexity, increased collaboration pace, gaps in native controls and auditing functionality, most users have access to far more data than they actually need to complete their daily tasks.

Today documents form the basis of many, often critical, business processes. Data protection is therefore fundamental in securing an organization’s intellectual property and its competitive edge. To guarantee this, DQS needed a data governance solution to manage its data and permissions.

Particularly important was a clear structure, with high visibility for data analysis and management to reduce the time and effort the IT department spent on administrative tasks, and ensure a clear overview of access. DQS also needed a solution that could be easily implemented and integrated without affecting the workflow and wanted a competent partner who was easily accessible.

The Implementation

It didn’t take long for Varonis to stand out as the firm favourite for its Varonis DatAdvantage for Windows. The product was particularly convincing due to its central, bi-directional overview of the entire file permissions structure which enables IT staff to easily recognize where permissions have been granted and where they have been wrongly applied. In addition, the software allows staff to identify errors in the permissions structure such as recursions or dead SIDs. At the push of a button, reports can be generated that give IT supervisors an overview of all user permissions within a directory and to determine data usage. This makes it possible to manage data and permissions and generate a complete audit trail from a single platform. The system therefore serves as the basis to check, alter and clean up permissions and migrate file systems.

Varonis initially set up a 30-day trial, in a complete test environment, that allowed Varonis to help the DQS IT team learn how to handle and optimize the system. After this smooth test period the system went live in July 2010 and DQS has since used DatAdvantage for Windows to manage all its data.

The Solution

The most tangible difference for DQS following the introduction of the new system is the amount of time now saved. Previously, each subfolder within a large structure had its permissions managed manually. With the new system, permissions can easily and quickly be assigned and grouped. “With Varonis DatAdvantage, we have gained a level of control that we would not have been able to achieve with standard Microsoft software,” said Patrick Schöpke, Network Operations Specialist at DQS. “The system, with its underlying processes, has not only made our daily tasks noticeably easier but also saves us time that we can use for other tasks”.

Constant Monitoring of Data Usage

Sophisticated evaluation functions offer another key advantage: the audit trail allows IT staff to easily locate lost data. In addition, the system allows a simple overview of who has access to which data and how often they access it. This means that files and folders that lie idle, monopolizing expensive storage space, are identified and moved to optimize space and save costs.

“The cost and time savings allow us to focus our energies on other tasks, safe in the knowledge that the transparency and precision of the system offers us a confidence and overview that we would never be able to achieve manually. The comprehensive features, and quick implementation, has allowed us to offset the investment costs after just three months,” adds Schöpke.

A System for the Future

With a workflow that significantly reduces effort and errors in data governance, without interrupting processes and collaboration across different platforms, the Varonis Data Governance Suite provides DQS with a future proof solution.

“Our current success with Varonis DatAdvantage is a clear indicator that, with Varonis, we will be well prepared for our future endeavours” said Schöpke. “That is why we are planning a test with Varonis DataPrivilege next year which should enable us to involve staff directly and meet even higher monitoring and authorization standards with less effort.”