Every year, Lansweeper celebrates the work of rockstar system administrators around the world as we lead up to System Administrator Appreciation Day. The goal is to celebrate IT heroes who exhibit agility and ingenuity every day and especially in times of crisis, as they work to ensure business continuity and operational efficiency within their organization.
The theme for this year's IT Hero Awards is Cybersecurity. The combination of global political unrest and the acceleration of the remote working trend that has led to many organizations adopting a hybrid workplace presents unique challenges related to cybersecurity. Lansweeper is dedicated to helping organizations reduce the risk of cybercrime by improving technology asset management - and our IT heroes are people who have contributed substantially or demonstrated achievements in the effort to combat cybercrime.
Let's take a moment to congratulate and learn more about our 2022 IT Heroes!
3rd Place: The IT Team at Har-co Credit Union
Based in Bel Air, Maryland, Har-co Credit Union aims to solve the financial needs of individuals living, working and attending school in Harford County. Sherry Wilson, Senior Vice President and CTO at Har-co, submitted the IT Hero Award entry with her team, who have helped to heightened security awareness and culture in the credit union over the past several years.
"We have partnered with organizations that we feel are the best in breed to help in our cybersecurity efforts," Wilson said, adding that the team earned a 2020 and 2021 Excellence in Network Security award from a partner. "Our efforts were recently recognized by our external IT auditors when they concluded our information security program was strong," she said.
According to Wilson, Lansweeper helped them manage their technology assets efficiently, alerting them to issues so they could be proactive. Additionally, in 2021, the team added the Lansweeper IT Helpdesk module, which enables Har-co's end users to report issues, so the team can address them in a timely manner. "We use Lansweeper for vulnerability management, asset management, training, awareness and communication," she said. "These are all vital tools for cybersecurity."
Har-co selected the Humane Society of Harford County as recipient of a $500 charity voucher from Lansweeper. Har-co will also receive a 1-year premium licenses to Fing, Lansweeper merchandise and an IT Hero 2022 digital certificate.
2nd Place: Dee Dee Dunlap, IT Network Security Admin at Perkins County Health Services
Perkins County Health Services provides general medical and surgical care for more than 100,000 residents in a 10-county area in southwestern Nebraska. IT Network Security Admin, Dee Dee Dunlap was chosen as an IT Hero for building the hospital's security program, which included implementing security tools and creating an employee security training program.
"I started six years ago, with a whole new network, subnets, servers and people, and it was a little overwhelming," Dunlap said, who turned to Lansweeper for help. "Much to my surprise, Lansweeper had all of the details I needed within one application, and I spent a lot of time in the tool, learning my new environment."
Upon completing a free phishing assessment, Dunlap discovered that the organization had a 33% failure rate when it came to preventing phishing attacks, which meant for every three phishing attempts, one was successful. With a mixture of training and alerts from the Lansweeper tool, it wasn't long before that number went to zero.
"Today, Lansweeper is my go-to tool for vulnerability management," Dunlap said. "I use Lansweeper reporting a lot, as well, and I love that I can export the device list to a text file through CSV or Excel, then use it to push out security patches. I'm a Lansweeper lover! I can't wait to see where this application is headed in the future and I'm along for the ride.
Dunlap chose the Perkins County Health Services Foundation as the recipient of her $1,000 charity voucher, courtesy of Lansweeper. She was also awarded a 1-year premium license to Fing, Lansweeper Merchandise and an IT Hero 2022 digital certificate.
1st Place: The Team at Muntons, PLC
Muntons, PLC is a family-owned malt and mated ingredients producer that has been supplying the food and beverage industry for over 100 years and today. The company's manufacturing sites operate 24x7, 365 days a year, which means it faces various IT and engineering challenges, especially concerning downtime. "We often hear of cyber attacks in the news, but always hoped and assumed it would never happen to us," said David Richards, Senior IT Engineer at Muntons. However, in February this year, they were hit with a ransomware attack early one Friday. "I am proud of the team's response. Everyone pulled together with most working 60 to 70 hours a week to rebuild the infrastructure as quickly as possible."
According to David, the company experienced just four hours of downtime for the production lines, and in less than a week before, the Internet and critical systems were back online. "Lansweeper was phenomenal for us as part of our recovery," he said.
Once operations were restored, the team began to use Lansweeper to determine what systems and services needed repairing or replacing. "We can update those areas and keep the team and key stakeholders informed with an excellent overview of recovery operations," he said. "We use Lansweeper to quickly gauge if endpoints or processes are worth restoring, or if we have an opportunity to expedite or replace them entirely and overhaul workflows to improve efficiency. Finally, having access to our documentation within the Lansweeper knowledge base has been instrumental in recovering the legacy systems and processes that we typically don't interact with regularly."
According to David, recovery wouldn't have been possible if the head of the IT department hadn't prioritized and pushed for overhauling the company's security disaster recovery processes. "It's an honour for the team's hard work to be recognized by Lansweeper, and I'm proud to work alongside such a passionate and dedicated team."
Muntons chose Suffolk Community Foundation - Food and Drink Fund, as the recipient of a $1500 charity donation in their name, from Lansweeper, and a $1000 voucher to a security training program of their choice. Like the other winners, Munton also received a 1-year Fing premium license, Lansweeper Merchandise and an IT Hero 2022 digital certificate.
Learn more about our SysAdmin Day Award Contest, and consider submitting an entry next year!