Case Study StepChange Debt Charity


StepChange Debt Charity is UK’s largest provider of free independent debt advice and managed solutions, helping over 600,000 people a year resolve problems, repay debts and rebuild lives.

The charity was set up 25 years ago with the vision to create a society free from problem debt. Their telephone and online advice service is available to anyone in the UK, however big or small their debt problem, from their seven centres based across the UK.

Industry: Charity


  • 5000 endpoints
  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • 802.1X authentication

Solution: macmon Network Bundle

Key Facts about Case Study StepChange


  • Heterogeneous infrastructure
  • Complex administration

Reasons for macmon NAC:

  • Graphical topology
  • Integration of macmon NAC with existing infrastructure
  • Usability

Successes with macmon NAC:

  • Complete monitoring of the network
  • Tool for enforcing security policies
  • Reduction of the workload for admins


On a large network such as the one at StepChange Debt Charity you need to be able to:

  1. see what is happening in the network.
  2. shut out unknown devices

This task is a real challenge when it comes to heterogeneous infrastructures. It becomes a huge workload to the personnel and is a very tedious job that requires knowledge of all vendor type network devices. On top of that the administrator has to manually fight off threats by isolating infected devices. An overwhelming task that could not possibly be done by a single person.



Infrastructure Engineer Nick

“A lot more secure, great visibility, a definite asset to have in preparation for the GDPR directive. We now feel more at ease.”


Solution: Network Access Control

In the first instance, to get full visibility of the network, StepChange Debt Charity moved to the macmon Network Bundle. The speed at which macmon analyses the network assures Infrastructure Engineer Nick is in complete control. macmon gathers all relevant network information to paint a rich picture. 

This lets Nick dive into the graphical topology and get a much better understanding of his own environment. 34 switches are being continuously monitored. DHCP information is collected every 15 minutes. Several layer 3 devices provide macmon NAC with ARP information. The seamless integration of macmon and Windows Active Directory allows Nick to appoint users of macmon to access the GUI with different permission levels.


Infrastructure Engineer Nick

It was such an easy process to migrate to macmon, integrating with our existing environment and setup in under a day.


It was important to Infrastructure Engenieer Nick the solution would work with his existing environment. macmon detected the network devices and listed all discoverable endpoints right from the start. The most significant feature enabled Nick to quickly be able to identify unauthorised devices and quarantine or deny access whilst they were investigated. Instead of relying on a very time-consuming manual process via the Service Desk, alerts are automated freeing up valuable IT resource. macmon handles the entire process in the background. A device is identified within the organisation, authorised or quarantined!

Nick now receives frequent status updates on email to stay aware of the health of his network, whether an unauthorised device was seen or an attempt to poison the ARP cache has been detected, Nick is going to know about it.

Key Benefits

  • Easier network management: helps the Service Desk to control authorised and unauthorised
    devices with instantaneous blocking of rogue devices maintaining a secure network 24x7.
  • Auto-generated interactive topology: gives an overview of the entire network and facilitates troubleshooting.
  • Comprehensive network polling: instant updates alert the administrator of anomalies the minute they occur.
  • Scheduled backups: happen every night to cater for every circumstance.
  • Minimal impact on the network: smartly simple requiring next to no intervention.
  • Setup in under one day: out of the box configuration simple to deploy.

Leave Nothing up to a Chance

At StepChange Debt Charity monitoring and securing the network was the biggest challenge. macmon NAC enforces strict guidelines that are deeply rooted. Unauthorised endpoints are being instantly isolated by switching the VLAN. Suspicious behaviour of the endpoint is being flagged as a potential threat and notifies the administrators right away.

In order to keep macmon fully operational if a hardware issue was to arise, Nick setup the scheduled backup planner. A backup of the entire system is being generated and uploaded to a remote server every night. Nick is assured a failure can do him no harm.


Infrastructure Engineer Nick

“Such a relief to have an automatic system that takes care of our Network Security.”


macmon opened a whole new world to StepChange Debt Charity. Aside from the massive reduction of the workload to the administrative team, it brought new ways to monitor and interact with network activity that simply were not feasible before. macmon NAC puts ease-of-use at the core of everything Nick does to manage his network. With a few simple clicks, he rearranges whole network segments or adds new ones. The pre-defined policies make it a breeze to enforce corporate guidelines.

© macmon secure GmbH