If you manage network services for a financial institution, you have intimate knowledge of the level of complexity and responsibility that goes with it. You are responsible for creating and retaining stacks of complicated compliance paperwork, delivery of secure, high availability services, maintaining control of numerous vendor relationships, and much more.
Although that sounds like a pretty full plate, you are also tasked with assisting in strategic planning, maintaining expenses on budget and managing personnel under somewhat stressful situations. . To take the complexity out of IT, IT managers are increasingly turning to managed services providers (MSP) for help.
However, it’s important to choose an MSP carefully as managing these business-critical processes demands vast internal and external resources. For example, managing regulatory compliance alone costs the banking industry 10% of their operating cost or $270 billion annually.
So when a bank decides to partner with an external network management services provider, what criteria should you consider before outsourcing this function? Let’s take a look.
1. Established Reputation Serving the Financial Services Industry
In the highly regulated financial services industry, it’s always better to go with an MSP that has a successful track record of providing management services. MSPs that have provided the services you are seeking to similar entities are likely to be aware of your needs and have the tools and personnel to achieve your goals.
2. Compliance Expertise
If the MSP understands your business and risks associated with it, they will anticipate your needs and understand upcoming challenges.
If you have to explain the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) to a potential MSP, you’re probably not engaging the right vendor. Confirming that they have industry experience and knowledge with audits, compliance, and regulations will save you a lot of trouble going forward.
3. Familiarity with Internal Networks and Software
Whether your financial institution is big or small, it’s important to avoid any significant downtime during the transition. This makes it important for the network management services provider to be highly familiar with internal banking networks and the software deployed in banking infrastructure.
An MSP with considerable banking industry experience will already have a team dedicated to financial institutions. These individuals will have extensive industry experience.
The MSP should also have an understanding of how to manage data loss. Data loss doesn’t always equal a security breach, it can happen when sensitive or critical information is inadvertently shared outside your network. In this scenario, it will be important for the MSP to provide a robust data loss prevention solution.
4. Network Security
Banks have increasingly become targets for hackers, so it’s critical to maintain enhanced security in real-time. The last thing any bank wants is an incident like the one that took place in Italy last year when hackers stole biographical and loan data from 400,000 UniCredit SpA customers.
This makes it imperative for network services providers to have an exceptional track record when it comes to maintaining network security and enhanced ransomware defenses. Customers expect a bank’s IT infrastructure to be impenetrable, so your MSP needs to have the necessary expertise to consistently maintain a highly secure network.
The MSP’s should also be taking a proactive approach to security. This is because cyber security threats evolve on a daily basis, so you have to prepare to take effective countermeasures against emerging threats.
5. Real-Time Monitoring (24/7)
Keeping your technology and network secure requires 24/7 live and system-driven monitoring. It demands a team of experts to ensure that potential problems are identified and resolved efficiently any time of the day or night.
As the speed of reaction is key in financial services, the MSP should provide real-time monitoring of the network and event log monitoring. This includes skilled personnel to identify events occurring on critical network devices and respond appropriately.
DataComm has over three decades of experience providing network management services for financial institutions.
To find out about how we can help you, call 1-800-544-4627 to get in touch with one of our in-house banking technology experts.