A leading independent investment bank and financial advisory firm was at a crossroads. While they had built a reputation for exceptional service and strategic counsel in the global middle market, they experienced significant IT security and productivity challenges. Their existing Managed Service Provider (MSP) could not provide the reliable service and strategic consulting the investment bank required, with slow response times and misaligned support hours causing staff downtime and unnecessary frustration.
This case study outlines how the investment bank, in partnership with Framework IT, overcame these challenges to enhance security and productivity, ultimately transforming their business and securing trust amongst their clients.
For a decade, the investment bank relied on the services of a Cleveland MSP, supplemented with an internal IT leader and several IT support interns. However, the MSP's slow response times and limited support hours did not align with the needs of the investment bank's exceptionally busy staff, who operated across many time zones, often working after hours. Despite the Managed Services Provider's mandate to provide vCIO-level consulting, their approach primarily reacted to issues instead of preventing future problems and driving improvements. Additionally, while the investment bank had commendable security measures driven by the knowledge of their internal IT leader, they strongly desired an MSP to collaborate more proactively with them to enhance their security further with more advanced solutions, policies, and procedures.
In response to these challenges, the investment bank partnered with Framework IT to improve their cybersecurity and enhance productivity across the business. This partnership brought about a series of solutions, including:
Advanced Endpoint Security
Framework IT replaced the investment bank's Webroot AV/AM, a more traditional, signature-based anti-virus/anti-malware (AV/AM), with a Next-Generation AV/AM that uses machine learning to catch threats in real-time and more reliably than the previous Webroot tool.
Framework further enhanced security by introducing an Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) solution. Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) solutions provide comprehensive visibility into all activities on endpoints, serving as an essential tool for detecting and investigating suspicious activities that may signify a cyber-attack. They allow for rapid response to potential threats, minimizing the impact of any breach by quickly isolating affected systems, thus preventing the spread of malware or loss of sensitive data. Moreover, with the ability to gather and analyze historical data, EDR solutions help in understanding the full context and scope of a security incident, making them invaluable for post-incident investigations and continuous improvement measures.
Both the Next-Generation AV/AM and the EDR solutions continue to be monitored and managed by Framework IT's partnership with a 24x7x365 Security Operations Center, ensuring all users' peace of mind.
Comprehensive Security Oversight and Compliance Management
Framework implemented a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system to provide unparalleled visibility into the network, allowing for real-time detection of potential threats and breaches. SIEM solutions streamline incident response times by consolidating log data and automating alerts, thus ensuring rapid identification and neutralization of security issues. By keeping compliance-related information centralized and easily accessible, SIEM tools simplify regulatory compliance reporting and significantly reduce the costs associated with audits, all of which were top priorities for this investment bank.
Framework further secured access to the investment bank's applications, which hold sensitive data, by implementing a Zero-Trust solution. A Zero-Trust solution can significantly enhance the security of an investment bank by enforcing strict identity verification for attempted access to system resources, reducing the risk of data breaches and financial fraud. Moreover, it provides granular control over data access, accomplishing the goal of this investment bank to ensure that sensitive financial information is only accessible to authorized personnel. Consequently, this builds trust amongst the investment bank's clients, further protects their assets and information, and enhances regulatory compliance.
Web Filtering & Content Security
Also, Framework implemented web filtering & content security measures at the investment bank to protect against online threats and data breaches by blocking access to malicious websites and suspicious content, thereby ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive financial information. Furthermore, these solutions help maintain regulatory compliance by controlling what content can be accessed and transmitted, helping this investment bank save time by providing reports for audit requirements.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Framework also instituted Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), which significantly enhances the security of an Investment Bank by requiring users to provide multiple forms of identity verification, minimizing the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive financial data and systems. This was especially important to the investment bank that wanted to balance ease of access and security protections for the growing number of their remote staff.
Security Awareness Training & Mock Phishing
Framework IT further enhanced the client's security with Security Awareness Training and Mock Phishing initiatives to empower employees at the investment bank with the knowledge to identify and respond to cyber threats effectively. As a result, the investment bank both improved staff cybersecurity awareness and held them accountable to end risky habits and strengthen their human defense line against potential breaches and fraudulent activities.
Advanced Email Security
Framework IT successfully set up an advanced email security solution for the investment bank, leveraging cutting-edge technologies to protect against phishing, spam, and malware attacks. This setup offers the bank enhanced protection against email-based threats and safeguards sensitive financial data with identify-based encryption while maintaining client trust and ensuring regulatory compliance. This fortifies the bank's overall cybersecurity posture to match its growth strategy.
By standardizing the use of Microsoft Teams for chat and voice communication, the investment bank eliminated the need for staff to switch between multiple internal and external communication platforms. This integration was a cost-effective way to improve productivity and efficiency across the board, empowering staff to focus more on mission-critical initiatives.
Framework IT introduced Azure Virtual Desktop for the investment bank's interns, finally eliminating a major pain for the organization. This provided a safe, secure, scalable, and cost-effective solution for managing and deploying desktops without the need for hardware and software purchases that were bogging down the internal IT staff.
Post-implementation, the investment bank saw significant improvements in security and productivity. Framework IT's robust security strategy eliminated risks that were no longer identified in vulnerability scans. The bank also became more compliant with their insurance and banking partners' security requirements and enjoyed peace of mind regarding their reputation and risk management. They also experienced lowered managed services pricing due to Framework IT's unique pricing model. Furthermore, there was a significant improvement in IT support performance metrics, with a reduction in tickets per employee per month from 1.79 to 0.96, a decrease in Mean Time to Resolution from 9 hours to 4 hours, and a reduction in support hours per user per month from 1.36 to 0.58.
This case study demonstrates how a strategic partnership with a best-in-class Managed Services Provider like Framework IT drives significant improvements in security, productivity, and, most importantly, trust. With its global operations and complex IT needs, the investment bank partnered with Framework IT to enhance their cybersecurity measures, streamline their communication platforms, and optimize their IT support. The results were transformative, leading to improved security, increased compliance, reduced costs, and a more optimized business overall. By focusing on proactive strategic consulting rather than maintaining the status quo, the investment bank has set a new IT management standard built to last.
Interested in improving your organization's security and productivity? Speak with an expert at Framework IT about investment banking managed services and learn how, together, we can better secure and optimize your IT infrastructure.