Regulated businesses need a lot of extra hand-holding.
ProviDyn has a new financial services client with thirty people who specialize in tax, accounting, and wealth management.
Our goal is to give you an inside look at eight examples of IT support. Each scenario is organized into four separate ticket categories, representing submissions and automatic system alerts over the last three months.
Select ticket highlights are sourced from Connectwise, our Professional Services Automation (PSA), and NCentral, its companion remote, monitoring, and management tool (RMM).
Each ticket type in their IT plan is prioritized according to severity: Emergency Response, Quick Response, Elevated, and Normal.
#1 - P1 (Emergency Response) Tickets
When a virtual machine (VM) failed in the middle of the night, our PSA automatically created a ticket called “PC-ATL-FILESHARE.”
At 3 AM, the service transitioned from a warning state to a failed state. This change automatically alerted one of our engineers on pager duty to connect remotely, launch Hyper-V Manager, restore the VM, observe its activity for an hour, and close the ticket.
Our Network Operating Center (NOC) received the following alert on Sunday, July 4th at 7:10 AM: “Agent Status on PC-ATL-DC01 is Failed.”
Client assets are continuously monitored and all system abnormalities create a ticketed response. This incident was prompted by a server that was still being partially managed by their previous MSP.
The service handoff was not complete because support from ProviDyn and the incumbent MSP overlapped for two weeks to effectuate a smoother transition. We contacted their outgoing IT provider and quickly remediated the disconnect.
(Now that this server is 100% under ProviDyn control, there is zero chance we’ll see a repeat of this problem.)
#2 - P2 (Quick Response) Tickets
The client sent us a request on a Thursday to configure a desktop for a temp who was starting the following Monday: “New Setup for First Name, Last Name.”
The client apologized for the late notice and mentioned the previous provider had not configured the new user profile to access the following:
- Terminal Server
- SmartVault (Secure online document storage)
- ACS (Accounting software)
- Thomson Reuters Practice CS (Tax and accounting software)
This request was easy to complete and the client was grateful for the quick turnaround.
We received a ticket labelled “ACS Update.”
Software updates typically require the assistance of your MSP to oversee server reboots. In this instance, we worked directly with one of the executives in charge of managing the application.
He granted us permanent access to a connection feature of the program to better facilitate future updates. These permissions enabled automatic version upgrades and eliminated the need to reboot the terminal server every time.
#3 - P3 (Elevated) Tickets
We received a ticket request for a “SonicWall SSLVPN Licensing Quote.”
Insurance companies are getting stricter and more sophisticated in their IT system evaluations every year. A cyber security insurance policy renewal was contingent upon “closing two ports and putting a gateway behind a web proxy.”
The insurance company discovered these gaps during an audit. We addressed both concerns (and more) by renewing seventeen licenses and applying the updates.
This request was logged at the beginning of the relationship. Twelve months from now, we’ll prompt them about their SSL/VPN licensing well in advance of their next renewal audit.
Learn More: Cybersecurity Insurance Risks
The client asked us to “Update ShareFile (Citrix) on Desktop.”
Support contacted the user and got their permission to connect to complete the updates. A reminder of the update had been popping up for a while, but they were not permitted to proceed without administrator privileges.
I would like to say updates like this are always immediate. However, support sometimes has to track down users who don’t always respond right away or are not available for our staff to log into their machines.
#4 - P4 (Normal) Tickets
A ticket was opened for a “Summary of Security Changes.”
After assisting the client with a questionnaire for their cyber insurance application, we provided a detailed recap for the client and their provider.
This document also included plot points from our most recent cyber security assessment. Evaluations are continuous because critical IT system settings need to be adjusted to thwart continuous and constantly permutating cyber threats.
Learn More: Microsoft Exchange Cyber Attack
Sometimes you just need a simple assist “Looking for a backup file.”
The client needed help locating a few backup files related to UltraTax 2019. Two of their client’s files were accidentally overwritten and the data was missing.
We rapidly identified the culprit (an SQL hiccup on the file server) and recovered and restored the files.
Ticket types typically change over time. New clients with a large and aging server footprint tend to generate a lot more server P1s than clients who are using the cloud for a majority of their apps and file shares.
When I revisit this client and provide updated examples a year from now, you can expect to see more plot points around strategy, regulation, and compliance. The financial services industry is under increased scrutiny from the SEC and their environment will be upgraded to reduce risk and potential fines.
Learn More: Investment Firms Pay Huge SEC Fines
Are you operating in an industry with new and complicated regulations? If so, you’ll need a full-service MSP with a strategy-first mindset. And if they’re SOC2 certified, even better.
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