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The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Improves Audit Environment and Reduces Security Costs with Fastpath

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Improves Audit Environment and Reduces Security Costs with Fastpath



Non-profit organizations who participate in programs funded by federal, state and local units of government are frequently subject to compliance audit requirements. Audit compliance and security can be a big of concern for small and large non-profits alike including The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, (Packard Foundation) a private family foundation and non-profit organization. The Packard Foundation was looking for a new audit and security solution that would integrate with their existing Microsoft Dynamics GP financial management software and provide improved user security and provisioning while simplifying the audit preparation process.


The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, and his wife Lucile Salter Packard. The foundation has a grant-making annual budget of approximately $300 million and focuses on improving the lives of children, enabling the creative pursuit of science, advancing reproductive health, and conserving and restoring the earth's natural systems.


From an internal and external auditing perspective, the Packard Foundation needed a more comprehensive reporting solution that would track changes and system access to Microsoft Dynamics GP. But with a relatively small staff, they needed a solution that was user-friendly and provided the information quickly and easily. The organization also found that they were fielding as many as 30 support calls per week for lost passwords from users and needed to improve the user security provisioning and support processes.


"Audit and Compliance"


The Packard Foundation needed a best practice security and audit solution that would work seamlessly with their current team and processes. From an audit and compliance standpoint, the foundation needed a better way to understand who was accessing Microsoft Dynamics GP, what actions were being performed and what changes had been made. In a matter of days, Fastpath Audit Trail was configured for the foundation to track the changes to their Microsoft Dynamics GP databases. In addition, with Fastpath Assure, the foundation was able to do a security assessment analysis including analyzing Microsoft Dynamics GP for potential segregation of duties (SOD) conflicts. The Fastpath products offered the auditors at the foundation an external platform to do the analysis they needed quickly and easily.


“Fastpath had the solutions we needed to achieve our goals on audit compliance. The tools are great for us as they are designed to allow even smaller organizations like ours to have a comprehensive controls solution in place. We actually replaced another audit trail solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP because of Fastpath’s superior functionality,”added Anna Uy, IT Director for The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.


"The Security Challenge"


The foundation also faced some of the same security challenges as many Microsoft Dynamics GP users do. The user provisioning process required significant knowledge of the system and knowledge of the “administrator”password which usually resided with senior staff members. Additionally, the lack of synchronization between Windows and Microsoft Dynamics GP passwords led to login issues and required a significant amount of password reset requests for both casual and more frequent users.


To help improve user provisioning and better focus staff resources on serving the foundation’s needs, they looked to Fastpath for help.


"Integration with Active Directory and Single Sign-On"


With the implementation of Fastpath Config AD, a single sign-on and enterprise class security management solution, the foundation achieved their goal of improving user provisioning in Microsoft Dynamics GP. By allowing administrators to maintain Microsoft Dynamics GP users from Active Directory, new hire and termination processes were simplified and the basic task of resetting a password can now be completed with a standard password reset in Active Directory.


The combination of Fastpath and Active Directory provides administrators a single interface for managing network, ERP and CRM users. This allows the organization to consolidate the maintenance responsibilities with a “Help Desk” or IT support user which is typically a more cost effective solution.


Fastpath Config AD makes it possible to synchronize security credentials across Windows and Microsoft Dynamics applications so users only have to remember one user ID and password. Security costs are reduced due to fewer password reset responsibilities and general support calls on user names and passwords. “With Fastpath Config AD, we now have a more secure environment and spend less time and resources in managing Microsoft Dynamics GP security. From an auditing perspective, we also like the fact that the administrators do not need the System Administrator password which closes a large security hole,” said Uy.




"Comprehensive Audit Reporting, Better Security and Improved End-user Experience."


Fastpath allowed the auditors at the Packard Foundation to quickly and easily prepare the reports they needed and made it possible for them to adequately secure their Microsoft Dynamics GP environment. Within a week, the foundation eliminated 100 percent of the password support calls and achieved a positive return on investment in less than a month. “Fastpath took the time to understand our environment both in terms of the size of our organization and our audit needs. We relied on Fastpath for their audit and product knowledge and our implementation was very successful,” added Uy.