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Expert Electrical is Ireland’s largest electrical retailer. The company has undergone rapid expansion and now boasts a network of 63 stores nationwide. Expert Electrical works directly with leading global technology brands to bring them to Irish consumers.
Expert had not upgraded its IT infrastructure in several years and relied on old infrastructure in its Mullingar headquarters for its business applications, ﬁle storage and backup needs. However, as the retailer continued to expand, its older infrastructure came under increased strain.download case study
Every Expert Electrical store houses many hundreds of Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as smart TVs, games consoles, and other connected appliances. For these devices to receive updates it is important that they can connect to the internet to download the latest software.
However, this presents many security concerns, as cybercriminals could potentially access one of these smart devices as a means of accessing Expert’s network. The continued growth of cybercrime meant that this presented a real risk, which the company was eager to address.
Expert regards its customers’ privacy as paramount. The company wanted systems that ensured the security of customers’ ﬁnancial and personal data, particularly with General Data Protection Regulation legislation coming into force. It also wanted to make sure data was safely backed up and could easily be recovered in the event of a breach.
Novi’s initial assessment established that Expert’s infrastructure was based on a legacy architecture consisting of standalone systems. These systems needed to be combined and moved to a virtualised environment. Novi also opted to migrate some services to the cloud.
Expert also needed a fast and reliable wired and wireless network. Novi opted to install separate networks, meaning that in-store IoT-enabled smart devices can remain connected to one, while Expert’s employees and point of sale (POS) systems use their own distinct networks. The provision of separate networks makes it much more difficult for cybercriminals to access Expert’s systems.
Novi introduced email security measures and a high-performance Fortinet Firewall cluster to facilitate network segmentation, meaning that in the event of a cyber-attack or data breach, Expert can ensure that the business’ core systems remain isolated from any affected devices. Novi also implemented its off-site data backup service AirGap alongside a customised disaster recovery service for Expert.
“From the very start of this project, our goal was to ﬁnd a service provider that was capable of providing effective monitoring services, but who would also prevent downtime by identifying any potential issues before they escalated. Novi’s proactive approach got our attention.” Kate Tierney, Financial Controller
The upgraded infrastructure provides Expert with increased performance and reliability. At the same time, the introduction of virtualised servers has signiﬁcantly reduced the amount of maintenance required and has driven down the total cost of ownership. As well as this, the introduction of a virtualised environment enables Expert to avail of Novi’s advanced cloud-based disaster recovery service, meaning that the business can continue to operate with minimal impact in the event of an unplanned outage.
Expert’s new Wi-Fi network coupled with the Fortinet Firewall solution contributes to greatly reducing the organisation’s risk proﬁle.