Sand Tech relies on Nira for fast, thorough security investigations and more

The team at Sand Technologies aims to stay a step ahead of security threats. Here’s how they use Nira to analyze the root causes of incidents, protect company intellectual property from public exposure, and automate security processes. 

  • Location: United States
  • Industry: IT and Consulting
  • Company Size: Enterprise (>200 employees)

Sand Technologies is a global information technology services and consulting company. Clients rely on Sand to build end-to-end technology solutions and augment their technology teams.

Ifechi Okobi, IT Lead at Sand Technologies, wanted to keep data from the various branches of his company secure. Sand Tech has different arms of the organization, including one that works with external clients. A large mix of information was shared externally and throughout the company, all operating under one Google Workspace environment. 

From a security standpoint, Okobi and the team needed a better idea of what data was shared externally. They wanted to avoid costly data breaches which could damage the company and dissolve customer trust. 

“Secure document sharing is vital to protect personal data and company IP while keeping bad actors out of company infrastructure,” Okobi explained. 

But, Okobi and the team did not have a “one-stop cloud solution” to get visibility into their Google Drive environment. They could use Google’s audit logs, but the process was chaotic and didn’t give granular insight into the document life cycle or who still had access to the files.

So, Okobi and the team turned to Nira. 

Nira’s solution was completely different, Okobi said. The tool had a friendly interface that he could log into and get a clear view of what was happening in the organization. Before Nira, an incident might occur before the team could actively check what was happening—a manual process that took time. 

“In the past, if something happened, we had to go check, as opposed to the proactiveness of Nira, where you don’t need to bother about it anymore,” Okobi explained. 

The team chose Nira due to Sand Tech’s mindfulness around security. They started researching tools to reduce the administrative overhead of looking through and auditing log data. The team also wanted to add automation to the process. 

Ifechi Okobi
There wasn’t a major incident, but it was more this gut feeling that something could go wrong, and our tools don't give us a clear idea of how to investigate or stop this from happening. With Nira, we no longer face that risk.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

Analyze the root cause of an incident, instantly

Nira’s Item History feature enables investigations from the day a document is made

For IT and Security teams, root cause analysis is essential. They want to understand why incidents occur and how to prevent them from happening in the future. Using Nira’s Item History feature, Okobi and the team can investigate an incident: who was involved, what was shared, and what’s still being shared, in record time.

Ifechi Okobi
With Nira, you can trace an incident from the second a document is created. You can see who took an action and when it happened. You have it all in the palm of your hand with a click of a button.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

Root cause analysis can take days with other SaaS applications, and the data may be incomplete, Okobi explained. Other tools only go back so far, usually hitting their limit at 180 days. Meanwhile, Nira gives accurate results, instantly, and as far back as possible. 

“With Nira, what happened to a file is not guesswork. It’s been tracked and logged, and you have its entire history in front of you,” Okobi said.

Item History can be utilized for numerous use cases, including data retention and compliance, which Okobi and the team are still discovering. 

Ifechi Okobi
Every day, I find another thing I could use Nira’s Item History to uncover. The capabilities keep expanding and growing.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

Automate security processes with ease

Through automation, Sand Tech uses Nira to save time and reduce human error

With Nira, Okobi and the team instantly get a snapshot of what’s happened in their Google Drive. They’re not concerned about whether security policies are being taken care of; Nira handles everything for them automatically.

Ifechi Okobi
If I didn’t look at Nira for two weeks, I would be sure all the automations are running and the policies are in place. I wouldn't be worried about someone sharing sensitive information outside of the company.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

By default, Nira offers security automations that Okobi and the team can expand on. They currently have a dozen automations running in Nira, which Okobi says has saved them a massive amount of time and effort.

Ifechi Okobi
A typical day for an IT person requires a variety of tasks. If you can save even one hour to do something productive, you jump on that. Nira’s automation makes it simple for us.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

Automation also aids with compliance. Okobi and the team can use Nira to strengthen their security environment to support SOC, NIST, and ISO frameworks. What’s more, automation reduces issues that come with manual work. 

“We’re all humans, we get fatigued. When you’re doing things manually, you might make a mistake,” Okobi said. “With automation, you can eliminate that human error.”

Protect intellectual property from public access

Nira reduces public exposure to internal files and removes personal email accounts

Sand Tech relies on Nira to protect its intellectual property from public exposure. Using Nira, Okobi can ensure the security around access permissions is tightened while securing documents that may have been made public. 

Peter Swaniker
Restricting public access is not just a precaution, it's a commitment to safeguarding our customers. Nira protects our data from getting into the wrong hands.
Peter Swaniker,
CTO of Sand Tech

Public link exposure is an issue that most companies face, without even realizing it, said Okobi. Organizations may have tens of thousands—even hundreds of thousands—of public links.

“Imagine I want to share a document with 100 people, and I make the document public. In my head, public means only the people with the link can view it,” Okobi said. 

However, Okobi explained, files with public links aren’t so simple. They can be accessed by anyone with the link, allowing someone who should not see them to gain access. The issue can compound when external clients receive access permissions that allow them to change the file’s permissions, sometimes without the company realizing it. Understanding and restricting access to these files was nearly impossible without Nira, Okobi explained. 

“Before Nira, we couldn’t tell you how many of our documents were shared publicly. I couldn’t even say this person has shared this file publicly with this person, without doing a granular investigation that would take hours,” Okobi said. 

With the tool, Okobi and the team instantly know how many public links they have in their Drive environment. What’s more, they can see how many external clients have access, including those with personal email accounts, rather than their corporate work accounts. 

“Sometimes, when we do business with another company, we need to share documents that should be internal and confidential with an external email account like Yahoo or Hotmail,” Okobi explained.

This is a concern because IT administrators have limited insight into personal email accounts which usually do not have as strong protections as corporate accounts.

Ifechi Okobi
Nira reduces the risk associated with sharing information with third-party clients who are not necessarily working for a company.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies

Using Nira, Sand Tech can take bulk action to secure these types of files or set up automation so that it’s continually being taken care of, without manual effort from Okobi and the team. 

Faster, more thorough investigations

With Nira, Sand Tech performs root cause analysis with ease. Investigations are faster and more thorough, and they can get to the heart of an incident, within seconds. Using the tool, the team automates security processes to save time and reduce human error. They’re able to automatically restrict public access to protect their valuable IP and keep personal email accounts from accessing company information. 

“When it comes to data security, Nira ensures files are not being shared with the wrong people. Its automation and security policies make life much easier,” Okobi said. 

Nira’s user-friendly interface lets companies of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprise companies, incorporate the solution into their security process. Okobi and the team save time and strengthen their existing environment using Nira. 

Ifechi Okobi
Every Google administrator will love Nira because it saves them hours of work in a year. It’s value for money and a true sense of security.
Ifechi Okobi,
IT Lead at Sand Technologies
Every company that uses Google Workspace should be using Nira.
Bryan Wise
Bryan Wise,
Former VP of IT at GitLab

Incredible companies use Nira