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Law firm required resilient, cloud-first SASE approach that would securely connect their users to applications and devices, anywhere. Cisco Secure Connect gave them a powerful SASE infrastructure, which they deployed with minimal effort.
Customer Name: George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers
Industry: Legal Services
Location: North Charleston, South Carolina
Number of employees: Over 200 lawyers
● Securely migrate VPN from on-premises to a virtual endpoint in the cloud
● Provide remote employees a clean way to access the applications from anywhere
● Migration to the cloud without the complexity of manually configuring the network
● SASE deployed within 2 hours without complicated engineering
● Improved security posture with continuous visibility to threats
● Increased employee productivity
● 10x faster onboarding of remote workers by IT staff
● Ability to securely access all applications across multiple locations
For more than 40 years, the law firm of George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers has helped thousands of injured and disabled people— it’s what they do. With thirteen offices across South Carolina and Georgia, over 200 employees, and thousands of clients depending on them, their network must be secure and connected, always. As CIO, Timothy Mullen had a technology vision that prioritized a highly secure and reliable IT environment that would be agile enough to withstand the threat of natural disasters and growing cybercrime in this new era of hybrid work. He was looking to build a resilient and safe IT infrastructure that would keep the firm securely connected to their clients, no matter what.
“Cisco Secure Connect took away the manual provision of VPN resources, reducing the burden on my IT team and making our remote user onboarding 10X faster.”
- Timothy Mullen
CIO, George Sink, P.A.
Even if you don’t live in hurricane territory, you’ve seen the devastation caused by these natural disasters. If you have your business in this part of the country, where George Sink Law does, then you have to be prepared for whatever and whenever disaster strikes, or you can be shut down for weeks or even months. Timothy Mullen, CIO, decided that the best approach was a cloud-first strategy that didn’t rely on physical infrastructure. He wanted to stay resilient in the face of a natural disaster—whether that was a hurricane or a pandemic. Sink Law’s goal is making sure their lawyers can serve their clients at any time, from anywhere. One of the key challenges of ensuring this secure connectivity was migrating Virtual Private Network (VPN) termination from their campus to a virtual endpoint in the cloud. Mullen notes, “I wanted to give our employees the cleanest way to access applications, no matter if they were onsite or at home. Because our legal staff is distributed across thirteen dispersed offices or works remotely, everyone needs to be seamlessly connected directly to each other with the ability to access and print any legal document from any office, at any time. And, with our headquarters located in a hurricane-prone geographical area on the coast of South Carolina, disaster resiliency is another top priority because we never take our business offline. We’ve built secure connectivity into everything we do so that our clients can count on us no matter what. Given our business parameters, Sink Law has moved away from much of its on-premises dependency, putting areas such as compute and production resources into the cloud. As a result, we moved our network foundation using Cisco Meraki devices for direct connectivity throughout our infrastructure, as well as exclusively using Webex—all of which is in the cloud. However, we still had complex manual provisioning of our VPN resources.”
In searching for resolution, Mullen was looking for an easy-to-deploy solution that was incredibly secure due to the strict privacy requirements of the legal business. He could not have his users being compromised in any way and wanted to enable easy, secure access to important applications from anywhere. He also needed the ability to go directly to the cloud, which is where most of the firm’s applications are located, and have connection back to their physical branch offices. Mullen emphasized that he wanted seamless secure connectivity, while enforcing different connection policy requirements based on user location.
“Since I was installing a robust SASE platform, I thought it would be more difficult. However, the technology sophistication made it so simple that I literally just deployed the access points and configured the network using the unified dashboard. It only took 2 hours – yet the result was powerful.”
- Timothy Mullen
CIO, George Sink, P.A.
For Sink Law the answer was simple, Cisco Secure Connect. As a cloud-managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution, it combined Cisco’s best-in-class networking and security with unified visibility, taking away on-premises hardware dependencies. Cisco Secure Connect also integrated with the platforms they already had running, such as Cisco AnyConnect SEC VPN client, and allowed for seamless workflow where employees could connect to VPN in the cloud. For Mullen, Cisco Secure Connect met all his security and infrastructure requirements—while entirely managing applications from Amazon Web Services (AWS). “When we decided to implement Cisco Secure Connect, it allowed us to administer VPN-based connectivity through Meraki with the Cisco Umbrella deployment model. Cisco Secure Connect took away the manual provisioning of VPN resources, making our remote user onboarding 10X faster. The result is that availability and redundancy have been offloaded to Cisco’s as-a-service cloud model. The next step for Sink Law is to build a global infrastructure on an SD-WAN and remote access framework,” says Mullen.
One of the benefits of Cisco Secure Connect is its easy setup. For example, Mullen envisioned having employees connect to cloud-based applications, such as printing in any branch office, but assumed that he’d have to employ split tunneling, which is exceedingly difficult to implement when managing VPN. When he found a way to give users a rich experience without requiring physical on-premises gear that required complex traffic engineering—he was excited. Mullen noted, “Since I was installing a robust SASE platform, I thought it would be more difficult. However, the technology sophistication made it so simple that I literally just deployed the access points and configured the network using the unified dashboard. It only took 2 hours – yet the result was powerful.” He also acknowledged that before installing Cisco Secure Connect, he thought he would have to manually configure all his network routes one-by-one. Instead, setup was simultaneous and easy.
“The ability to re-establish connectivity in another region almost immediately, with my small IT team, is unheard of and a game-changing experience.”
- Timothy Mullen
CIO, George Sink, P.A.
Overall, the result for the firm is an unparalleled employee experience that has optimized employee productivity and performance in their hybrid work environment. Mullen concludes, “With Cisco Secure Connect, I no longer have to worry about security breaches, geographical events, the power infrastructure, core telecommunications, and connectivity because now I can seamlessly move my entire infrastructure to another location in less than 30 minutes. I can even move my VPN infrastructure, taking encrypted images of my instances through tagging, and those images are automatically copied to another region where I can establish connectivity instantly. The ability to be able to re-establish connectivity in another region almost immediately, with my small IT team, is unheard of and a game-changing experience.”
For Sink Law Firm, the demands of supporting a hybrid workforce have accelerated their move to the cloud. Cisco Secure Connect provides a unified, as-a-service tailored solution that fits their business requirements, enabling simplified VPN cloud migration and a holistic view of their employees’ risks and vulnerabilities—no matter where they work—and keeping the firm up and running no matter what happens next.
For more information about Cisco Secure Connect, go to https://www.cisco.com/go/secureconnect