Heron Financial Group Trusts Brainlink To Keep Them Secure
May 04, 2016 Published by Rajesh Goel
Heron Financial Group is an NY-based wealth management firm that helps clients to reach financial goals through financial advisement, portfolio management, financial planning, and other high-end consultation services. As a high-profile member of the financial sector, it’s vital for Heron to ensure that their IT security can deal with modern cybercrime threats.
“Starting a few years ago we learned that JP Morgan was hacked, Target was hacked, and Home Depot was hacked, and all of a sudden, it seemed like everybody was vulnerable,” says David Edwards, President and Wealth Advisor at Heron. “[If I was hacked] it would mean my firm would be out of business in 24 hours. It would be bad for my clients, and it would disastrous for me. Twenty years of work wiped out in 24 hours.”
Edwards knew that his IT systems contained everything a cybercriminal would need to steal a client’s identity, from names and birth dates to Social Security Numbers and Driver’s Licenses. That’s why he decided to get in touch with Raj Goel at Brainlink.
“A few years ago I sat down with Raj with a piece of paper and said, ‘OK Raj, here’s the deal: I no longer have the energy to keep up to speed on cyber security. I’ve been doing it for 15 years, I am no longer able to spare the time. Plus, my fear is the things that I don’t know that I don’t know,'” says Edwards. “We made an action plan, and started at the top, and worked our way to the bottom, and that was about a 10-15 bullet point action plan.”
Thanks to Raj and the Brainlink team, Edwards was able to identify weaknesses in his IT security that he wouldn’t have had the expertise to do so otherwise.
“We had been using consumer-grade network security; Cisco routers, and the Norton Internet security suite for antiviruses and antimalware,” says Edwards. “Raj said, ‘Here’s the problem: Those are the most popular brands and the bad guys spend the most time attacking those brands. We need to swap those out for industrial-grade routers and industrial-grade antimalware.'”
Furthermore, that action plan didn’t just help Edwards to shore up the cyber security at Heron; it became the basis for much of his public work in compliance.
“A lot of my peer firms have less experience than I do, and they didn’t know how to respond to all this. So, that 10-point action plan became a 10-point PowerPoint presentation that I took to compliance conferences up and down the eastern seaboard,” says Edwards.
Edwards has also witnessed how effective Brainlink’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Culture can be in documenting processes and keeping the client up to speed.
“We also follow a Standard Operating Procedure system for our monthly reporting cycle, our prospecting cycle, our client onboarding cycle, our new employee onboarding cycle, our annual compliance cycle, etc.,” says Edwards. “There’s a million little things that have to go right for the experience to be a good one.”
In one instance, Edwards requested support for a new IT purchase he had made and was impressed with how cost-effective SOPs made the process.
“Recently, for example, I bought a new laptop for the office, and I asked Brainlink to set it up,” explains Edwards. “The technician came in and set up the laptop, and then sent me a print out of the checklist they had executed, making sure that the laptop was completely configured for our environment. The printing drivers were set up, the antimalware was setup, the network connection was set up, so I don’t need to sweat about whether that computer will work when I sit down to use it some time, and that only cost $349. My time bills out at $500/hour, so if I spend two hours configuring a laptop instead of doing my job, I’m out $1000. So, it’s not the $349 that I’m focused on, it’s the $641 that I saved by outsourcing it to Raj. I have no doubt that the computer will work, and I have no doubt that I saved money as well.”
As a fully managed client, Heron receives a range of IT services from Brainlink to this day, including:
- Managed Desktop Support
- Managed Firewall
- Managed Security
- Compliance Policy Development Guidance
“We’re paying a flat maintenance fee, and that covers all of our licenses for the antimalware, it covers a nightly sweep of our computers looking for malware, and I get a report every morning, just confirming that they swept both of the offices and that there’s nothing out of the ordinary, so I don’t need to worry about that,” says Edwards.
In the end, that’s the real value that Edwards and Heron Financial Group gets from Brainlink’s service; Edwards doesn’t have to worry about technology anymore.
“We’re a six-person firm with two offices, and I have peers with firms that have 20 or 30 people, and so they have their own in-house IT guys, and they’re always frustrated because everything’s so slow,” says Edwards. “The reason why you should outsource your IT, as opposed to keeping it in-house, is because the outsourced team will be looking at 50 firms a year, and any kind of weird situation that could come up, they will have seen it before and will know how to solve it. So that’s what you’re paying for; you’re paying to have this vast inventory of knowledge available to you so that you don’t worry about technology.”
Are you putting up with similar IT issues at your business? Contact Brainlink at (347) 460-2238 or email@example.com today to receive the same unbeatable IT support services enjoyed by Heron Financial Group.