In sales and marketing, I am often asked what we do at Indian River Networks. The quick answer is always, “We do managed services – you know, take care of your networks, devices, security, etc.” Invariably, the people I talk with politely nod and smile at my response, and I think have at least a conceptual idea of what we do. So, I thought I would share with you a “behind the scenes” glance at what managed services looks like, from the human side, at least, from my perspective, here at Indian River Networks.
Here is one recent dispatch from a “day in the life” of my husband, Eric, and the IRN team:
It’s 10 p.m., I’m at the sink, brushing my teeth. Eric is lying in bed perusing technical threads and newsfeeds he subscribes to. While brushing my teeth, and getting ready for bed I’m also talking to Eric about news and events of the day.
Suddenly, Eric says, “Oh, sorry, I have to alert the team about something. It’s a “Zero Day” exploit that is set to take effect tonight and (one of our clients) runs this program on their servers.” (I panic, Eric is calm.) He sends a chat to Robert, the on-call engineer, and Al, our team 3 member who is working his overnight shift. Amanda, Manager of IT Operations, also receives the alert (her phone is set to receive notifications.) Robert checks in with Amanda and Eric for steps to take. They agree to alert the head of IT for the client. The client gives the OK to re-route data going to the server that is running the software that is vulnerable to the attack. Robert and Amanda continue to work with Al to reroute the data and install the patch on the server that will thwart the attack.
Eric and I go to sleep, understanding the team members or the client can call Eric if necessary. Eric gets up at 1 a.m. for a status check in with the team and the client. All going as planned, so he comes back to bed.
At 6 a.m. Eric and I get up. Eric checks in with the team again and all is still running smoothly. The data on the server is safe while the patch is executing. The drama is far from over but the team works diligently throughout the day to manage and secure the client’s data until everything is moved to safety, the patch is installed and any potential attack from this particular exploit has been thwarted.
At day’s end, everything returns to normal, and the client’s server is back up and running normally. I ask Eric how everything went and he says everything went really well. He’s extremely grateful for the team and we both ruminate on how awesome it is to have such a talented and dedicated group working so well together in the service of our clients.
To be clear, had any intrusion occurred, it would have been picked up and managed. We have a 24x7x365 live monitoring system in place to alert us to any attacks on clients’ managed systems; however, in this case, the attack was entirely preempted.
Later, at dinner, I ask Eric whether the owner was aware of the issue and he says, yeah, eventually, the head of IT brought him up to speed on everything that happened through the night.
As for me, I’m amazed at the thought that what could have been an attack requiring significant defensive maneuvering, was instead “headed off” through vigilance, and a swift and deftly dispatched response by the team, all without any fanfare or panic. It was just fixed, done, handled. So, while definitely not resting on our laurels, as there are plenty of cyber-attacks out there every day to contend with, I thought this was a good story to illustrate what managed services looks like from an insider’s perspective.
I’ve become familiar with several Marine Corps expressions over the years, thanks to Eric, and one of my favorites has always been about “having someone’s 6” or literally, having someone’s back, as in two Marine’s headed into a potentially dangerous situation, one watching the forward area and one following, watching the area behind.
As a client of Indian River Networks, you can rest assured that we’ve always got your 6!