Guest Column | July 16, 2019

Spotlight On MSP Client Success: Par3.IT

Audit Checklist

In this SPOTLIGHT ON CLIENT SUCCESS, Par3.IT Managing Partner Fred Alonzi shares how his company is driving the success of its clients.

Solutions Provider: Par3.IT

Client Name: Unable to disclose

Describe this client’s problem that precipitated the need for your solution(s). The client was under a federal compliance domain and was subjected to annual audits. Their audit report was so bad concerning their IT resources that the feds called a special meeting of the board and required the CEO to fly back from vacation. The board hired me to attend a meeting with the feds but asked me to leave since I was not a member of the board or an employee. After the meeting, we were given a contract to remediate the IT issues within 90 days.

What solution did you implement and how did it address the client’s challenge? We replaced all of their firewalls with Fortinet UTMs, and we replaced switches and routers (which were way old and no longer had firmware updates from the vendor) with HP gear. We installed SolarWinds Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) on all of their PCs and Servers so that we could assess the status of these devices and allow us to perform remote remediation.

How is the solution helping the client do business more efficiently? One of the first things we did was to assess the status of antivirus and patching using the SolarWinds RMM dashboard. We did find a few PCs without AV and fixed those up. But most importantly, we discovered that their domain controller had not been patched in two years, nor had it even been rebooted in two years (shout out to APC UPS, I’m sure there must have been a power outage sometime over that two-year period). The server needed 200+ patches and about two dozen reboots to come up to date.

With the Fortigates, we were able to upgrade their VPN tunnels to the required encryption level, implement 24x7 intrusion monitoring, and enable a web filter to make sure staff was accessing the internet safely and per their policy. With the HP equipment we were able to VLAN their intraoffice traffic as well as provide proactive SNMP monitoring.

How is that success being measured and attributed to your solution? Evidence is the feds did not shut them down! Even after remediation, the federal examiners will require more status information from our client to assure on-going compliance. We provide complete reporting to them each month which includes the status of all of their equipment as well as a journal of our activities.

Has this solution led to any new business opportunities or product/service offerings for your company? Yes, this client signed up for our OnGuardTM Managed Services which allowed us to continue to monitor and remediate issues in real time. We have had the opportunity to reference this client in several opportunities since then.