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First things first in security

Paradyn COO – Paul Casey

Cyber crime as a service is the new reality, and businesses need to fight back with better defences. They can start by getting back to basics.

Remote working. Previously unknown exploits. Phishing. Smishing. Ransomware. Compliance. It’s a cliché to call the internet the Wild West, perhaps even an insult to the denizens of the old West, but the reality is that businesses today are under extreme pressure to ward off cyber attacks.

Businesses know this, but the question is: do they know how to respond to it?

“There is, I think, a recognition that the threat landscape has changed,” Paul Casey, chief operations officer at network IT and service management solutions company Paradyn, said. Legislation has had an impact, of course, notably the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), which has lit a fire under companies that hold or process customers’ personal data.

“Following on from the likes of GDPR there is a lot more compliance among medium and small enterprises. Of course, large pharma, banking and governments were already used to a level of compliance,” he said.

Casey said that one of the important aspects of GDPR was that companies had to not only do the right thing, but demonstrate good faith. Insurers, too, want to see the right policies in place, otherwise they may adjust rates or even remove cover. “Even from an insurance perspective, businesses are looking to demonstrate that they’ve done the right thing,” he said.

Clearly, then, the pressure is on. There are methodologies out there, though, that can help, notably from the Centre for Internet Security (CIS) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), adherence to which can give businesses confidence that they are doing things right.

“Were doing a lot with CIS controls. There’s another one, NIST, and there’s also ISO 27001. They all work in similar ways: what they do is allow an organisation to examine and understand everything they do.” Casey said that adherence to these standards led to what he called ‘security hygiene’. “Cyber security hygiene is like personal hygiene: you will be more prone to infection if you are not looking after hygiene,” he said.

Despite the whirlwind of change, businesses have a responsibility to themselves and to their customers, one that is increasingly present in law. “The boundaries have all moved, but the fact is you still have to control things. You need to find out where you’re doing well and where you’re not and work from there,” he said. “That’s where the frameworks come in.”

The goal is a different way of thinking about security, one that means stepping back from saying ‘right, I need another box with lights on it’ and instead looking at the data, systems and network that run a business. ‘It’s really not about putting another box in,” he said.

In fact, businesses often trip up on basic measures including things such as patching and updates. The threat from this seemingly trivial fault is very real indeed and businesses may find they are entirely exposed as a result, especially as so-called ‘zero day’, or novel, exploits are on the rise. “The Chrome browser has had 12 zero day exploits this year alone,” said Casey.

In any case, businesses need to get the basics right before they can move on to more complex measures. As a result, auditing processes is at the top of Paradyn’s list of crucial steps to take in the fight to protect its clients from online criminals.

“If your processes aren’t right, if your users aren’t being trained, and your users on-boarded and off-boarded correctly, then there is a problem. These are things that organisations need to think about and it requires a formalised approach,” he said.

Casey said he is not arguing there is no requirement for new technology, however.

“There are next generation tools with the capability to mitigate against new threats, but if those tools are not implemented in the right way you’re not going to get maximum benefits or, if it’s particularly badly done, you’re leaving yourself open,” he said.

Paradyn also helps to produce reports for internal teams or for businesses own cyber security teams, helping to ease the burden on often already stretched IT staff. “Keeping on top of everything that is changing – the Windows 11 rollout, all of your ongoing projects – is a difficult job as it stands,” Casey said.

But keeping on top of things is essential. A recent report in trade newspaper Computing indicated that it is not only legitimate businesses that are leaning on service providers: strange as it sounds, hackers are now offering criminal gangs ‘exploit as a service’. As a result, the only possible response is to seek external help to fight off the growing threat.

“There’s a massive demand for security services,” Casey said. Little wonder.

Click here to discuss your cybersecurity requirements in more detail.

Paradyn and Cisco DUO deliver highest levels of protection

Paul Casey, chief operations officer and Cillian McCarthy, chief executive officer, Paradyn

Paul Casey, chief operations officer and Cillian McCarthy, chief executive officer, Paradyn

Best-in-class Multi-Factor Authentication protects businesses against 99 per cent of automated cyberattacks

A data breach will turn your entire organisation’s online life upside down. Even with reasonable password policies in place, people are still the weakest link in the security chain. Social engineering can convince even the most intelligent people to enter their credentials on a phishing site or give them up over the phone. The solution is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). Paradyn has collaborated with Cisco to provide Cisco DUO, which verifies user identity and device health at every login attempt, providing trusted access to your applications and proactively reducing the risk of a data breach.

Here are four key ways in which Cisco DUO can keep your organisation secure:

Establish user trust: verify the identity of all users before granting access to corporate applications and resources
Gain visibility into devices: get detailed insight into every type of device accessing your applications, across every platform
Establish device trust: check the security posture and verify trust of all devices, corporate and personally owned, accessing your
Enable secure access to all apps: give your users a secure and consistent login experience to on-premises and cloud applications

MFA will provide your business with over 99 per cent protection against automated cyber-attacks. Cisco DUO is not only an MFA authentication solution, but will begin your journey to a complete zero trust security model that starts with a secure workforce.

“Multi-factor authentication enables IT administrators to rest much easier, knowing that they have deployed a security strategy that protects the company’s platforms and users alike, thus reducing complexity while ensuring access and boosting the flexibility of remote workers”, Cillian McCarthy, chief executive of Paradyn, said.

Paradyn is a leading provider of IT security and consultancy services in Ireland, offering a comprehensive, best-in-class suite of security services to monitor, protect and defend customers against today’s cyber security threats. Through its partnership with Cisco DUO, it provides businesses with a secure remote working environment.


Click here to discuss in more detail.

Paradyn and Veeam keep National Concert Hall’s show on the road

National Concert Hall Dublin

Cybersecurity experts implement watertight system for the high-profile venue

Paradyn is one of Ireland’s leading cybersecurity service providers, with a security-first approach to implementation, monitoring and ongoing support. Its team of highly trained network and security consultants deliver best-in-class advice and support, enabling customers to reduce their cyber risk and focus on delivering their core business activities.

As the trusted technology partner of the National Concert Hall, Paradyn has delivered a secure Veeam data backup, storage, and
disaster recovery solution to protect the venue’s Microsoft365 data.

Robust backup and recovery solution

Having recently rolled out Microsoft365 (including Office365) to its entire IT user base, the National Concert Hall required robust backup and recovery for this new deployment. Paradyn designed and implemented a tailored Veeam 365 Backup solution which backs up data for Mail, SharePoint, and Exchange Online.

All National Concert Hall’s M365 data is securely hosted at Paradyn’s data centres through Veeam’s technology, meaning no downtime in the event of an incident, enabling speedy disaster recover and eliminating data loss. Furthermore, the venue has access to a self-service portal where it can carry out information recovery and restores, in cases of accidental or malicious

“Having previously worked with Paradyn, we knew we could trust them to deliver on a resilient M365 backup solution”, said Philip Deacon, IT manager at the National Concert Hall. “Hosting a busy programme of events each year with multiple clients, we are confident that company and customer information is secure with backup and disaster recovery in one, so that our business can continue uninterrupted.”

“Veeam is like having an internal backup team and this solution enables us to provide proactive, real-time monitoring to the National Concert Hall,” said Cillian McCarthy, chief executive officer of Paradyn. “It’s not widely known that M365 doesn’t come with backup, which is why a solution such as this is essential for businesses. We have created a secure environment which
enables business continuity and protects against ransomware in a challenging IT landscape.”

Click here to discuss your backup and DR requirements in more detail.

Proactively Managing Security Risks in an Evolving IT Landscape

The last year has changed the way we see and understand the world. It has proven that technology can be a game changer for economies, governments, enterprises, and people.

In today’s IT landscape, it has never been more important to stay ahead of the curve, and organisations are increasingly looking for support from managed IT service providers (MSP). An MSP can proactively monitor your IT infrastructure for updates or potential threats, seamlessly fill in-house skills gaps, and provide support to remote workers.

As remote and hybrid working is being implemented widely, it is important to understand how these new work practices could dramatically increase organisations’ exposure to cyberthreats. In the wake of numerous high-profile breaches and rapid digital transformation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations across industries are looking to increase investments in security measures. According to a 2020 PwC survey, more than half (55%) of technology and security executives plan to increase security budgets in 2021. Now is the time to create a resilient cyber security programme that can help your business stay safe and protect your confidential data.

Given the rapidly changing technology landscape and increasing number of cyber threats, hiring an MSP can help businesses remain agile, control costs, quickly respond to competitive opportunities, get ahead of potential threats, and align IT with evolving business objectives.

In this blog we highlight the top five benefits of working with a MSP:

1. Increased transparency while working remotely

Due to the reduced accessibility and visibility that comes with remote working, more often than not, internal IT teams do not have the capacity to keep up with the latest cybersecurity concerns, such as firewall management, endpoint protection, malware updates, and advanced threat prevention. This is where an MSP specialising in security comes in. They can proactively monitor advanced threats and offer incident response and event investigation services to easily manage security and IT risks while working from home. This provides more transparency and prevents enterprise-wide intrusions.

They can also enhance endpoint security by enabling server security, patch updates, firewalls, and installing software against viruses. If data is compromised, it can lead to irreparable losses and damage brand reputation. Therefore, it is vital to have a secure connection and end-to-end transparency of all the devices being used for work purposes.

2. Improved cybersecurity

An MSP can take a lot of work off your hands when it comes to detecting and addressing vulnerabilities by using a more proactive approach and anticipating potential threats, especially for targeted cyberattacks.
Another added benefit – they are available (up to 24 hours a day in some cases) to take calls and resolve issues on the go, no matter where you are located.
Some MSPs, including Paradyn, can provide advanced cybersecurity offerings such as CIS Controls, to provide highly integrated approaches to security there. CIS Critical Security Controls are a globally recognised recommended set of actions for cyber defence that provide specific and actionable ways to stop today’s most pervasive and dangerous attacks.

3. Helps with compliance

Most industries are becoming increasingly regulated, particularly in terms of safeguarding customer data. It can be difficult to implement cyber security plans that also ensure compliance. If your cybersecurity infrastructure does not adhere to new and updated compliance terms, you might find yourself in breach of those regulations. Again, your MSP can come to the rescue as they stay on top of such changes in the industry, providing expertise and systems to help your company meet the various regulations, such as GDPR compliance,.

4. Access to the latest developments in the IT industry

MSPs are equipped with the latest knowledge and skills required to solve IT issues. They are highly trained and accredited, are aware of evolving trends and closely monitor the cybersecurity landscape. As a result, they can provide your business with the proactive support and systems your business needs. Additionally, as subject matter experts, they are capable of providing the best advice relating to your IT needs and safeguarding your data.

5. Peace of mind for businesses
Using a managed IT service provider can give businesses the time to focus on what they do best – running their business – and in turn, free up staff to focus on their core roles. Internal IT teams can use their time to extend services and innovate, rather than having to deal with added strain.

Additionally, as more organisations choose to stay remote or adopt hybrid models, business owners have the reassurance that their data and devices are protected by a dedicated team.

While the past year has posed a number of challenges, it also gave rise to new business opportunities and expedited developments in cybersecurity. In 2020, Paradyn launched its TotalView Operations Centre in response to the significant increase in malicious threats being faced by businesses during COVID-19.

This new facility has increased Paradyn’s managed service capability and is helping Irish private and public sector organisations to remain secure against an increasing volume of cyber threats. It also enables proactive monitoring of the potential cyber threats associated with remote working. This includes the overview of mobile device management solutions, which ensures that staff working from home can only access company networks through authorised and secure devices.

The TotalView Operations Centre gives organisations a 360-degree view of their network through Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) modules. Simply put, it helps with real-time visibility across the organisations information security systems. It also provides endpoint patching – a process of distributing and applying updates to software. These patches are often necessary to correct vulnerabilities in the software. To add to these features, the TotalView Operations Centre can also provide a broad set of integrated functionalities within a single platform with Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR). The end goal of using a SOAR platform is to improve the efficiency of physical and digital security operations. Ultimately, this level of integration and always-on monitoring system helps organisations get the most value of their cybersecurity investments.

Paradyn’s managed security services can provide a holistic view of your business environment, no matter how simple or complex it is. Why not contact us today to find out how we can improve your operational security while reducing costs.

Click here to contact us today to to discuss your security from Paradyn

The Security Process with Paul Casey – Paradyn COO

Paul Casey, chief operations officer, Paradyn: ‘A lot of cybersecurity is about getting the boring stuff right’

As anyone in the industry will tell you, there is more to cybersecurity than simply information technology: human factors are the main vector for attack, and, in the world today, the technology is the business.


Paul Casey, chief operations officer at Paradyn, said that with its security service practice, the goal is to help its clients with a holistic and best-practice framework to secure business assets and resources.

The bulk of Paradyn’s clients are in the government and enterprise sectors, both areas in which cybersecurity has shot up the agenda of management.

“From an IT or cybersecurity point of view, they tend to be more sophisticated than a mom-and-pop shop on the corner and would tend to have some level of internal IT, whether it’s focused on infrastructure or even has some focus on cybersecurity,” he said.

The company works with its clients to understand the business, where and how it is exposed to threats and then from there develop a strategy for keeping things secure.

Even organisations at this level where security has never been skimped on have had to learn lessons of late. And it is a tale that will be familiar to just about everyone.

“The last 18 months have put the focus on cybersecurity so much. Working practices have changed. Previously, most organisations had everyone inside the castle. Yes, you had some remote workers on the road, but generally you had a lot of control. Then a switch was flicked,” he said.

With the shift to remote work, new opportunities were created not only for businesses to move online and workers to consider relocating, but also for criminals seeking to profit from confusion and uncertainty.

The organised crime aspect of cyberattacks is what is truly different from the past, when hackers worked for bragging rights or simply to be a nuisance.

“Cybercrime is a business and a lot more money is involved [than before]. You can contract and hire ransomware organisations and split the profits. Frankly, it has been commodified,” Casey said.

The rational response to this world of professionalised crime is to accept the arms race is going on and to respond with equally professional countermeasures, he said. However, this requires more than throwing resources at the problem. Instead, the first step is to understand the risk.

“Obviously everybody is worried about ransomware, but it’s at the end of the process. It’s what happens after someone has given away credentials, clicked on something they shouldn’t have or something hasn’t been patched. We’re looking to take a step back and take a deep look at the business.

“It’s easy to get caught up in thinking ‘there’s a shiny firewall I need to buy’ or ‘I can get this software, but, ultimately, cybersecurity is a much wider thing. It’s about company culture, it’s about leadership, and it’s about business processes. A lot of cybersecurity is about getting the boring stuff right,” he said.

Casey recommends businesses look at the Center for Internet Security’s list of Controls, version eight of which is now available free online.

“CIS Controls is a set of best practices, and it forms part of what we use to identify, develop, validate, promote and sustain best practice solutions for cyber defence,” he said.

Paradyn uses a three-stage ‘gap analysis framework’ derived from the CIS Controls, during which it reviews clients’ IT infrastructure estate in order to chart the gaps in not only systems, but also processes and policies.

Casey said that the question of people and processes was too often ignored: “You do need the server guys, you do need the firewall people, but you also need to get the business processes right.”

Of course, with remote working the question of processes becomes even more urgent.

“If you look back ten years ago, what were you securing? You had on-premise users and an on-premise e-mail server, and possibly an on-premise database server. Now you have cloud to manage, possibly multiple ones, plus people all over the place, then the CEO comes down and says they want Outlook Anywhere or Office 365,” he said.

From inventory and control of hardware and software assets up to penetration testing, the right controls help protect organisations, and they also enable compliance with measures such as GDPR.

GDPR, though, is not the be all and end all of data, and issues such as intellectual property should be in the frame.

“GDPR is good, as it brought great emphasis on data, [however], the thing that I talk to companies about is that GDPR is concerned about PII [personally identifying information], but there’s more to data than PII. A lot of organisations put a lot of work into GDPR compliance, but it stops there,” Casey said.

“Cybersecurity is not just three things, it’s a thousand small things,” he said.

Click here to discuss your security requirements in more detail.

Paradyn secures €2.8 million in managed IT security deals with local authorities across Ireland

Paul Casey, Chief Operations Officer, Paradyn, and Cillian McCarthy, CEO, Paradyn

Paul Casey, Chief Operations Officer, Paradyn, and Cillian McCarthy, CEO, Paradyn


Paradyn has completed 14 security deals with local authorities worth €2.8 million in the past year

Paradyn, Ireland’s only end-to-end IT and communications service provider, today announces that it has won €2.8 million in new IT security contracts with local authorities across Ireland over the past year. With an increased need for comprehensive cybersecurity protection for local authority staff and citizens accessing online public services, Paradyn has secured new and enhanced contracts with 14 local authorities across Ireland.

The provider has seen a significant increase in demand for services such as managed firewall, security event monitoring and alerting, integrated network and endpoint security, and security operation centre (SOC) as-a-service.

Paradyn has also launched a new service based on CIS Critical Security Controls, which allows them to deliver a recommended set of actions for improved cyber defence for local authorities that are based on global best practice guidelines. Five local authorities have signed up for this service with combined deal values of over €150K.

The new and enhanced security offerings from Paradyn has helped to allow secure remote working for local authority staff, vastly improved email and web defence, provided proactive and reactive support for IT problems, reduced cyber-attacks, and enhanced protection of citizen data.

By leveraging Paradyn’s expertise in the area of managed IT services, local authorities have also been able to free up their time to focus on key administration and governance tasks, thus allowing them to provide better and more efficient services to citizens. It also mitigates security risks and reduces network downtime, meaning employees and citizens availing of public IT services, such as library or council office Wi-Fi hotspots, can enjoy a safe and secure user experience.

Last year, Paradyn designed and built a Security Operations Centre in Cork to actively monitor, alert and remediate security threats for customers in real-time. Additionally, it also established a TotalView Centre as a response to the significant increase in malicious threats being faced by Irish organisations during the pandemic, particularly with the shift to remote working.

Cillian McCarthy, CEO, Paradyn, said: “It’s reassuring to see that so many local authorities across Ireland are investing in proactive and integrated security defences to protect their systems, data and people. With remote working and online self-service options for the public becoming so important over the past 12 months, local authorities understood that they needed to considerably improve the security protection they offer both staff and citizens.

“We’re delighted that so many local authorities have turned to Paradyn to gain a more proactive and holistic approach to cybersecurity., particularly for CIS Controls which allows them to benchmark their security capabilities against global best practices.

“Over the years we have worked with many local authorities across Ireland, we value their partnerships and always deliver services that match their evolving needs. Our specialist expertise allows us to deliver high-quality managed security services, especially as we face increased security challenges due to changing ways of working and the move to online public services.”

Click here to discuss this project or any other Paradyn projects in more detail.

Simplify GDPR compliance with CIS Controls

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was first introduced in Europe on 25th May 2018. Since then, every organisation that handles E.U. citizen data has been responsible for implementing appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure that data processing is performed in accordance with the regulation.

The nature of the internet is fragile thus making cybersecurity and compliance a very important function of business strategy for any organisation in 2021. GDPR is considered to be the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years as it helps protect personal information of all E.U. citizens and notifies them of any data breaches.

In our previous blog we discussed the many ways in which CIS Controls can help with securing the IT infrastructure. In this blog, we highlight the range of resources CIS Controls can offer organisations to comply with GDPR. The controls outline the best practices in cybersecurity solutions that not only make your organisation compliant but can also help in dealing with cyber-threats that could emerge in the future.


The unprecedented ransomware attack on the HSE demonstrates just how devastating cybercrime can actually be. According to PwC’s 2020 Irish Economic Crime Survey, 51% of more than 70 organisations surveyed in Ireland said they had experienced some type of cyber fraud in the past two years.

Cybercriminals just need one chance to enter IT systems, whereas defenders must be constantly vigilant against any potential intruders. By implementing best practice CIS Controls, organisations can enhance compliance with existing security requirements and build-in a more holistic control framework within the organisation.

With the GDPR governing every piece of data from an E.U. citizen, companies worldwide have the opportunity to approach data with a more ethical, customer-first attitude, and build trust during the process.


The 20 CIS critical security controls (CSC) ensure the application of cybersecurity practices to the most vulnerable areas in the organisation. The controls are grouped into three tiers: Basic Controls, Foundational Controls and Organisational Controls. Once the Basic Controls are implemented, you’ve met the minimum standards needed for cyber security. By using a layered approach, IT leaders can be more proactive and future-proof their organisations against increasingly powerful and complex threats.

The same protocols can also guide organisations in building a robust compliance framework that can help with GDPR regulations and data privacy. They also increase visibility across the IT infrastructure of the organisation.

By implementing CIS Controls, organisations can take control of their cybersecurity landscape, while ensuring they meet increasingly stringent compliance regulations.


So three years in, we can confidently say that GDPR has changed the way organisations look at privacy now. However, as we all know too well, threats keep escalating and it’s increasingly difficult to remain fully secure. Given the scale of remote working since the pandemic and the additional risks this can also bring the need to address cyber threats remains top priority.

That’s why CIS Controls are so effective in adding much needed layers of protection. Cyber criminality is only going to increase as hackers use increasingly sophisticated methods to make their attacks. However, they typically target areas of weakness and that’s why it’s so important to ensure your service provider implements an integrated security approach across your entire infrastructure.
With increasing volumes of online data to be securely managed in a hybrid working world, we highly recommend CIS Controls. They provide a holistic and best-practice framework to securing your business assets and resources, no matter how complex.

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CIS Controls: The Guide to Safeguarding Your Organisation

The last year and all that came with it caught everyone off guard. No matter the size, every organisation had to accelerate the pace at which they adopt digital technologies, making it a very interesting time for IT companies managing this change.

As cyberthreats become more sophisticated in a remote working world, organisations cannot afford to be complacent about their cybersecurity plans. One such offering that promises to optimise the cybersecurity landscape of your organisation is CIS Controls. The CIS Critical Security Controls are the recommended set of actions for cyber defense that provide specific and actionable ways to stop today’s most pervasive and dangerous attacks.

These set of controls are globally accepted best practices that help in achieving compliance and gives you more control over your organisations systems. They are also regularly monitored and updated to keep up with the ever-changing cyber security ecosystem.

The are many challenges associated with getting the right cyber-security program for your organisation particularly if you have moved to a fully remote or hybrid work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIS Controls can help identify, develop, validate, promote, and sustain best practice solutions for cyber defence.

By implementing CIS Controls one can get a 360-degree assessment of the gaps in the organisation and take the right steps to address those issues. Typically, the provider would carry out a comprehensive assessment of your organisation’s IT and security infrastructure to judge the resilience towards cyber threats.

Drawing from a practical implementation, one of Paradyn’s customers needed a solution that would provide them with the right framework and set of controls that they could apply across the entire organisation to take a more holistic and proactive approach to managing its complex security and compliance.

Paradyn conducted an online workshop to understand the customer’s current ICT controls, systems, and processes. As a next step. they presented a Business Risk Report that identified specific areas that needed improvement and areas in which where they were performing well. Finally, Paradyn’s security team carefully analysed the gaps in their IT infrastructure and recommended a phased implementation and remediation plan, highlighting areas that needed immediate attention and rectification. To ensure complete accuracy of the results, Paradyn reviewed their customer’s IT infrastructure estate against the 170+ CIS Controls.

From malware, email, and web security to employee awareness training and penetration testing, the controls help to protect organisations against the most widespread cyber-attacks while aiding regulatory compliance with measures such as GDPR.

Paradyn’s deployment helped the customer build a robust framework for cybersecurity and take a more proactive approach towards cyber threats.

The solution has benefits even beyond securing your devices. It helps in informing management objectives, prioritising areas that need help and overall enables better ways of working and efficiency for your employees and stakeholders.

As security challenges evolve, so do the best practices to meet them. CIS Controls is equipped to make recommendations along the way to deal with newer challenges and acts as a guide to benchmark against peers. It can also provide a holistic and best-practice framework to secure existing and planned business assets and resources, no matter how complex.

By using a highly proactive and collaborative approach, Paradyn is helping organisations protect their customers and the way they interact with stakeholders, to successfully implement CIS Controls. If you would like to know more about how we can help you with CIS Controls, click below!

Click here to contact us today to to discuss CIS Controls from Paradyn

Paradyn Boosts Connectivity and Security for Donegal County Council

L-R: Fergal Meehan, Head of Sales and Support – Public Sector at Paradyn, pictured at Lough Eske, Co Donegal, with Sean Dunnion, Project Leader Information Systems at Donegal County Council, at the announcement that Paradyn has delivered a new connectivity and cybersecurity solution for Donegal County Council in a deal worth €80,000.


Paradyn Boosts Connectivity and Security for Donegal County Council

Ireland’s only end-to-end IT and communications service provider, today announces that it has delivered a new connectivity and cybersecurity solution for Donegal County Council in a €80,000 deal over 3 years.

Following a competitive tender win, Paradyn designed and implemented a robust and high-speed Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), for the Council to deliver greater connectivity across more than 25 office locations, including Lifford, Letterkenny, Donegal Town, Carndonagh and Dungloe. This will enable improved communication and collaboration for the Council′s 900+ employees.

The next-generation technology will also increase productivity, availability and accessibility of vital applications and services for remote workers. In turn, this will enhance the service that the Council provides to 160,000 citizens in Donegal and create a much better user experience for members of the public.

Furthermore, this project has connected Arranmore Island to the Council’s corporate network for the first time ever, establishing a virtual private network (VPN) from the island’s library access point in the Community Centre to the Council’s corporate network. As a result, this connection will deliver greater accessibility to Council services to the island and its inhabitants.

The new network leverages Cisco Meraki enterprise technology and is delivered via a cloud platform. It will strengthen the Council’s security, mitigating the risk of cyber-attacks and delivering more visibility across the network and devices. The solution does not require configuration backups by third parties and gives more control to the IT team who will be able implement changes to the network remotely. Paradyn is also providing proactive support from its Security Operations Centre.

Donegal County Council will reduce its connectivity costs through the unified solution with an expectation to get a full return on its investment over the next two years.

Sean Dunnion, Project Leader Information Systems, Donegal County Council said: “We wanted to ensure that our staff and the public have high quality and secure access to our services across the entire county. This investment helps us to deliver the highest levels of service to our citizens and allows our staff to be more connected, secure and productive – whether they are working from home or in the office.

“By choosing Paradyn as our IT partners, we are futureproofing our services and reinforcing our alignment with the Donegal Digital Action Plan. We are also ensuring that our systems are both accessible and protected in this age of remote working and communication.”
Fergal Meehan, Head of Sales and Support – Public Sector, Paradyn, said: “We are delighted to have won this tender with Donegal County Council. It is already starting to deliver very positive results and is benefitting the Council, its staff and the wider public.

“As well as enabling greater accessibility and productivity, this unified solution delivers extensive insights across all connected devices and seriously strengthens security. With this implementation, Donegal County Council can now enjoy the benefits of a highly connected communications infrastructure which delivers greater capabilities and a higher return on investment.”

Click here to discuss this project or any other Paradyn projects in more detail.

What are managed services and what can they do for your business?

Daniel O’Neil, Head of Managed Service Provision, Paradyn, explains what managed services are and how managed IT services can benefit companies across a range of business areas.

The fast-moving world of IT has become incredibly complex. Be it new methods of cyber-attacks or evolving cloud technologies, it can be hard for organisations to keep up with the latest technology trends. Managed services have emerged as the most viable solution for the majority of organisations looking to keep their IT environment up-to-date with prevailing best-practices.

Managed services allow you to delegate IT operations to a third-party provider with a specialised IT skillset. The level of support from these managed service providers (MSPs) can vary and is usually agreed upon in a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the customer paying a monthly fee for receipt of these services.

When effectively executed, a managed service provides you with all the capability of a well-resourced IT department to ensure the smooth functioning of your daily IT operations. This enables you and your internal IT team to focus on strategic projects that can add value to your business and help achieve growth and long-term success.

As more and more business functions become reliant on technology, the pressure grows on IT managers to meet performance, reliability, user-experience and security requirements. Today, more people than ever are working from home or remotely, further adding to the IT teams workload. It’s wise to take stock of your IT assets and network, and critically assess what areas of your environment are underperforming or are at risk. Having assessed your needs, it may be worth exploring how an MSP could help you to resolve issues, address weaknesses or free up time for your IT team.

Here are three key pillars of IT operations that an MSP can assist with:

1. Infrastructure
A well-functioning IT system is built on solid infrastructure. Depending on size, location, customers, industry and objectives, a business’s IT infrastructure needs can vary greatly. The cloud holds many advantages for businesses; building the required infrastructure and managing a customer’s migration to cloud is becoming a common task for MSPs. Likewise, an MSP can help to optimise your on-site servers or build a hybrid environment.
Working with an MSP can help you to decide the best set-up for your needs while mapping out a roadmap to change; helping to get the most out of your existing systems while managing risk and assessing new technologies.

2. Connectivity
Data is the lifeblood of organisations today and it’s vital that businesses get the most out of their internet connection. In order to stay productive, employees require reliable, fast and scalable internet access. This can become especially complex for organisations with multiple office locations and many turn to an MSP’s specialist knowledge in this area for support. Managed wide area networks (WAN) and Software-Defined WANs enable your business to improve bandwidth use and performance for critical applications across multiple sites. Businesses can leverage an MSPs specialist knowledge in areas like this to gain access to a high capacity, secure and cost-effective connectivity solution.

3. Security
It can be difficult to stay abreast of the latest cybersecurity trends with cybercriminals continuing to develop new methods of attack and refine their ways of targeting and exploiting weaknesses. But it has never been more important to ensure you have a holistic view of your business environment with users, customers, devices and data all adequately protected. Apart from the financial damage, security breaches can have a huge impact of your organisation’s reputation.

While there are a huge number of security functions that can be delegated to an MSP, some key areas include managed firewall deployment and services, integrated network security, cloud security, compliance assistance and device management. The world of IT security is constantly changing and given the importance of staying protected, this is a very commonly outsourced function to a specialist cybersecurity services provider.

Tailored managed service
No two companies have the same IT requirements and the first step to engaging with an MSP should always be an in-depth consultation so they can evaluate your environment before determining how they can assist and present you with a proposed agreement tailored for your unique needs.
Paradyn is Ireland’s only end-to-end IT and communications service provider and offers one unified solution to all of your IT needs. Speak with a member of our team today to learn more about our high quality IT service offering and to discuss what we could do for you!

Daniel O’Neill
Head of MSP, Paradyn
Daniel provides the expertise in the development and management of LANs, WANs, corporate storage, Operating Systems, public/private cloud and security systems. Skilled in designing infrastructure and implementing technology to support businesses in core and edge site topography. Adept at translating business needs into technology requirements to enable the achievement of business objectives and in managing all phases of technical & business projects. Cluster and Storage expertise across numerous designs/technologies to enable business productivity achieving high grade SLA’s.

Click here to contact us today to to discuss Managed Services from Paradyn