MSP 501 Vanguard Award: Platte River Networks
Three years ago, Platte River Networks decided to develop its own managed security platform after offering some security services to its customers, but not nearly enough to meet today’s business requirements.
The arduous process resulted in its Intuition Security+ platform, which includes: single sign-on and multifactor authentication; internet monitoring, filtering and protection; security awareness training; enhanced network monitoring and management; corporate and user policy provisioning; and security operations center (SOC).
This effort has earned Platte River this year’s Channel Futures MSP 501 Vanguard Award, which is bestowed on a company that demonstrates thought leadership in terms of digital transformation.
“We’re always looking for new technology, not only to improve our service delivery and the customer experience, but also in helping our customers improve their technology to help grow their business,” said David DeCamillis, Platte River’s vice president of sales and marketing. “So digital transformation is definitely front of mind. In fact, we actually have five of our 35 engineers on a task force and they’re constantly looking at new technology.”
Horizons North Credit Union has been a Platte River customer for more than 15 years, and the MSP has always assisted with its security audits. With the help of Platte River’s managed security platform, Horizon North’s Coalfire audit score this year moved from “less than satisfactory” to “strong.”
Diane Arthur, Horizon North’s senior vice president and CFO, had just one thing to say in response: “Yippee!”
Now in its 17th year of business, Platte River has always managed business IT, and 11 years ago it launched its Intuitive managed services platform, which included the best-practices security of the time.
“About five years ago, we started to see the need to up our game on security and it started at the customer level, DeCamillis said. “We work in the credit union industry and our customers were going through state and federal audits annually, and we noticed that the requirements from a security perspective at the audit level were increasing and increasing. We also noticed it with our asset-management firm clients from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and our legal clients who started to require cybersecurity insurance from some of their large clients.”
|Go here for access to the 2019 MSP 501, the world’s most comprehensive ranking of managed service providers.|
Platte River began vetting new products and services, and came to the conclusion that it needed five key critical products and services, he said. And rather than introduce them individually, it wanted to ensure they all worked together well and integrated with its existing managed services platform so that “we were in a better position to not only manage our clients, but also secure them,” he said.
“It was difficult because for every new service and new product, you had multiple vendors and they all tend to do it slightly differently,” DeCamillis said. “So for some of the products and services, we vetted five to 10 vendors, and it took months, it took a good year to actually confirm which of the vendors, and the products and services we were going to go with.”
One of the items that did not require a vendor was policy creation management, he said. That includes acceptable use policies for a customer’s staff, like internet usage, remote access policies, BYOD policies, incident response and passwords, he said.
“There are a ton of policies that you have to put into place not only to protect your staff, but also to protect your company, and that’s something that a vendor doesn’t provide,” DeCamillis said. “We actually built those and wrote those ourselves. We created roughly 20 that we thought covered the whole gamut. And our customers don’t necessarily use all 20 policies; they probably use anywhere from five to 10 unless they’re in a very regulated industry. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) requirements are insane and those customers are using probably 15-20 of the policies.”
Customers’ security audits were useful in determining …