NWN Eases Audit Process with Managed IT Services NCare provides transparency for bank audits.


Solution:

  • InfraMax R server and router monitoring
  • 24×7 2nd and 3rd level network phone support and vendor escalation services
  • Monthly on-site network health and preventative maintenance visits
  • Emergency on-site support
  • Break/Fix support for server hardware

Benefits:

  • Improved infrastructure visibility
  • Problem-free IT audits
  • Greater staff flexibility

NWN Eases Audit Process with Managed IT Services

  • Industry: Financial Services
  • |
  • Location: Middletown, RI

Client Snapshot: BankNewport, founded in 1819 is one of the oldest community banks in the United States. With twelve branches throughout Rhode Island, BankNewport currently holds $1 billion in assets and maintains the status of an FDIC-insured savings bank. BankNewport provides a full complement of personal and business banking products to serve the financial needs of their customers.


Challenge

In the wake of the recent Recession, compliance and regulatory rules have increased dramatically for financial service providers. As a result, banks and savings institutions are now asked to assure auditors that their organization is properly managing IT processes in addition to all the other audit categories. These assurances must cover all IT operations, including what is outsourced. If auditors find irregularities, the penalties are severe.

To comply with these regulations, BankNewport wanted a simple, reliable and cost-effective way to certify its IT environment. The bank needed complete transparency for its network and a proactive system to address repairs and improvements. Colleen Medeiros, CIO and SVP for BankNewport, took responsibility for finding a solution.


Approach

BankNewport’s active vendor management program required Medeiros to look at multiple vendors before any significant contract could be awarded. Through a combination of Internet search and word-of-mouth recommendations, she identified three Managed IT Services providers. NWN was one of them.

NWN brought a team of experts to Medeiros’s stringent evaluation process. To assess the bank’s requirements, the NWN team conducted interviews focused on the bank’s current situation, business model and vision. NWN then proposed a plan it believed would address BankNewport’s current and future needs.

NWN’s plan for managing BankNewport’s network for effectiveness and audit-readiness included:

  • InfraMax R server and router monitoring
  • 24×7 2nd and 3rd level network phone support and vendor escalation services
  • Monthly on-site network health and preventative maintenance visits
  • Emergency on-site support
  • Break/Fix support for server hardware

NWN explained that this managed services plan would provide BankNewport with the audit assurance it needed and improve day-to-day operations as well.

Medeiros chose NWN over the competitors because, as she said, “NWN brought experts to the table from the beginning. We were talking to people who were knowledgeable, who understood our networking environment, as well as what we do and how we do it. We were comfortable with NWN’s knowledge and expertise, and we knew they would be there to support us.”


A Smooth Transition

“Even when my team was fully on board, NWN didn’t disappear. Each month, an NWN expert reviews the network report with our Vice President to make sure he knows we are not missing anything. NWN also checks in on us to make sure we are addressing any network repair issues while also providing proactive suggestions for our environment.”

To make sure BankNewport’s IT team was comfortable handing off network support, NWN stayed close through the transition. NWN provided end user training that included how to use the network monitoring system, how to access reports, and how to interpret the information there. Medeiros said, “Even when my team was fully on board, NWN didn’t disappear. Each month, an NWN expert reviews the network report with our Vice President to make sure he knows we are not missing anything. NWN also checks in on us to make sure we are addressing any network repair issues while also providing proactive suggestions for our environment.”


Building on a Strong Foundation

After network management was fully transitioned to NWN and working smoothly, Medeiros faced a new challenge. The FDIC required that banks log all administrative changes to the network to ensure traceability and accountability. Medeiros reasoned that this function should be part of the NWN managed service plan. She said, “By separating the functions – my team making the administrative changes to the network and the NWN team logging them – I could get the checks and balances I wanted.”

For the logging, Medeiros and her team chose the Logrhythym security platform, a tool with which was not in NWN’s portfolio. To make sure BankNewport got exactly what it wanted, NWN brought the tool in, trained its staff and developed the skills needed to use it on all three shifts. Medeiros said, “We appreciated NWN’s commitment to implementing the service environment we felt we needed.”


Results

Overall I have peace of mind knowing we have the talent to back us up. I am confident that, together, we have the abilities to run my entire network effectively.

Over the past few years, BankNewport has enjoyed greater network visibility and its audits have been problem-free. With NWN managing the environment, the BankNewport network infrastructure runs smoothly. Medeiros said, “We pride ourselves on 99.9% network uptime. My team doesn’t spend a lot of time on our network environment because it runs so well.” Now her IT staff has the freedom to work on increasing efficiencies for the bank. In addition, NWN’s suggestions for improving the network have allowed BankNewport to avoid the fire drills it once had, decreasing total IT costs.

“Overall I have peace of mind knowing we have the talent to back us up. I am confident that, together, we have the abilities to run my entire network effectively,” said Medeiros.

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