24/7 Network Monitoring
Our network monitoring services provide private and public sector agencies with reliable and cost-effective solutions to manage their network. Our services give them the ability to reallocate their limited technical staff to focus on operational network maintenance and troubleshooting, helping to improve network integrity.
Today, most businesses depend in some way on their IT infrastructure to deliver the products and services on which their revenue depends. This dependency means that the availability and performance of IT infrastructure is vital to modern enterprises. Mitigating the risk of even minor disruptions to IT infrastructure which can lead to an impact on a business’s bottom line is now essential. To maintain a high availability and top performance, we encourage the businesses we support to subscribe to a network monitoring service. This service acts as an early-warning system for faults on the client’s network, and as an insurance policy helping the client mitigate the risk of network outages. Northpoint Consulting’s 24×7 Network Operations Centre (NOC) service helps ensure the stability, security and functionality of our client’s IT infrastructure across the Caribbean and further afield.
Technical Support (Tier I & II)
Hardware or software failures are inevitable, but prolonged service interruptions are unacceptable and detrimental to customer service and business operations. Therefore, let us establish a working relationship based on Tier I technical support, offering fast, competent and reliable troubleshooting by our trusted team of ICT professionals.
Customers can also choose Northpoint Consulting’s Tier II service, which includes field resources providing hands-on support to manage corrective maintenance by resolving outages and restoring network services.
Common network and infrastructure failure points
- Hardware failure: Any piece of equipment or component in your IT infrastructure can fail at just about any time. Hardware failures are more likely to happen if the hardware is old/obsolete and not well maintained; if it is unstable due to traffic load; or inadequately sized to support the demands of the operating system/applications running on the device. You can drastically reduce the chances of unexpected hardware failure by staying up to date with all required patches and maintenance. You can also build redundancy into your system to prevent a single failing piece of equipment from causing your entire network to collapse. Network monitoring and performance reporting capability can also provide early warning of equipment failure trends and facilitate a proactive response.
- Power failures: If no source of backup power is available, a failure of the commercial power supply will cause network outages. The risk of this varies from low for companies that are self-sufficient to high for those who are generally dependent on the overall reliability of the commercial power supply. Redundancy can mitigate the risk of an outage on a single power circuit shutting down your entire network service and affecting your business.
- Human error: One of the leading causes of network outages is attributed to human error. People make mistakes that can result in the complete disruption of a network, and this happens more often than you might think. This might result from something as simple as disconnecting the wrong plug, clicking the wrong link or failing to follow the proper procedures when working with company equipment. This risk can be mitigated by ensuring only properly trained professionals handle network equipment, that they follow documented, clear and accurate procedures, or even just by making sure all devices and cables are properly labelled.
- Security flaws: Vulnerabilities in a network may create the opportunity for hackers to encroach your local area network (LAN) or the wide area network (WAN), resulting in downtime. To reduce the risk posed by security vulnerabilities, we recommend enterprises develop and employ a proactive security strategy to deal with emerging threats, including security operations monitoring, ransomware mitigation, and security awareness training for staff. If you don’t have the personnel on staff to secure your network, then investing in services from a partner like Northpoint Consulting that can accomplish this for you is a necessity so that you do not put your users and customers at risk — on top of risking unnecessary downtime
- Understaffed/Overworked IT teams: There are many distinct tasks required to keep an enterprise’s network, applications and servers running as close as possible to 100 percent of the time. If the enterprise does not have enough staff to monitor or manage updates, or to plan the deployment of new configurations properly, then IT downtime can result. A way this risk can be mitigated is to pass the burden of managing the network to an outsourced managed service provider like Northpoint Consulting to monitor the IT infrastructure, and thus allow the internal IT team to focus on keeping abreast of preventative maintenance tasks.
- Natural Disasters: There is nothing you can do to prevent natural disasters (for example, tropical storms and hurricanes that threaten the Caribbean region seasonably) but you can mitigate their impact. Modern telecommunications service provider networks are resilient and it takes a major disaster to disrupt services on a network-wide scale (e.g. a hurricane) for an extended period. To mitigate this our professional services team would advise building some resiliency into your network. For instance, consider using multiple service providers for voice and Internet service, if available. If you have multiple sites, design the network in such a way that if only one of your sites goes down, the rest can still communicate with each other. It’s also worth noting that you will want any hosted applications or servers — whether you host them in data centers or are using a third party such as a software as a service (SaaS) provider — are redundant and geographically diverse. If your sites depend on the information they get from a data center, you will want to make sure there is a backup data center that is far enough away from the primary network that the same natural disaster does not take both down. Or you can consider utilizing non-terrestrial communications (e.g. satellite broadband service provided across the Caribbean by our strategic partner Neptune Communications – Neptune Communications | To provide highly Resilient Mobile and Satellite Networks that are Always On! ) as a backup to the services provided by traditional network operators.
Five (5) main actions must be taken to minimize the risks related to the security of your network perimeter while allowing optimal data accessibility. They are:
- Use a firewall with unified threat management: this will stop threats at the perimeter, protect end-users, and reduce security liabilities and lost time.
- Implement a computer security charter: Without a charter or similar policy documents and procedures in place to control and set clear objectives for computer security in the business, security governance initiatives will likely be undefined within the enterprise, preventing the security governance program from operating efficiently.
- Pay special attention to VPNs: VPNs, (virtual private networks) with encrypted data, serve as access doors for users when they are away, at home or on the road and want to communicate with their internal network via the Internet. Therefore, they require increased security.
- Isolate Web applications: Web applications should be isolated on their own network, rather than on the internal network. This is done by configuring a so-called demilitarized zone or DMZ managed by the firewall.
- Understanding the global security context: Information security must provide an appropriate level of protection for digital information and assets in order to guarantee their availability, integrity and confidentiality.
Let Northpoint Consulting make it easy for you to implement a customized, seamless help desk solution for your operations. Our 24-hour help desk is managed year-round, including major holidays. We operate according to ITIL best practices to ensure that your IT service management framework remains optimized and operates to a global standard.
A network monitoring system can help mitigate a wide range of problems, including slow web page downloads, lost emails, suspicious user activity, and file delivery caused by overloaded, down servers and network connection problems.
By investing in your network, you’ll get information quickly, you’ll also know the health of the network, systems, and performance. Investing in your network, allows us, your partner to supervise your network, to prevent faults or anticipate them.
Here are the main reasons why your company should invest in network monitoring.
- Visibility and control: Having complete visibility of all hardware and software assets ensures that the integrity of their network is monitored.
- Optimize network reliability: The most basic function of a network monitoring solution is to indicate whether a device (such as a router, switch, server, database, etc.) is operational.
- Improve the bottom line: Monitoring software increases productivity by saving time on network management and reducing operating costs due to faults and fault resolution.
- Understand capacity and boost performance: As network usage increases, you can plan for the optimum additional devices and bandwidth needed to meet demand.
- Be better informed: Network monitoring helps determine how IT is adding value.
- Corporate compliance: Monitoring software increases productivity by reducing unwanted user breaches and network downtime.
A helpdesk, allows you to take care of your users’ requests. It is, therefore, is an excellent tool for computer support. It can be external (for customers) or internal (for employees’ requests). Ultimately, having a helpdesk is an excellent way to build user satisfaction loyalty.
How do you do this?
The helpdesk is the complete technical and operational solution for tracking user requests, providing them with important information and satisfying their demands.
A helpdesk can be useful for many entities regardless of size. From large to small, from multinationals to governments to small and medium-sized businesses, Northpoint Consulting believes in developing solutions that fit your needs. Our expertise spans many industries important in the Caribbean, from hospitality to healthcare, from oil and gas to financial services and more.
Managing and resourcing a comprehensive 24x7x365 technical helpdesk service effectively can be costly and occupy resources that are better suited to handle the more critical, technical functions within an organization. Helpdesk Tools and applications (Ticketing and Inventory systems for example) are also costly to purchase, implement and maintain causing most organizations to typically implement an 8×5 Helpdesk Service while they really require the coverage that a 24x7x365 Helpdesk function can provide.
Northpoint Consulting provides customized 24x7x365 and after-hours Helpdesk functions are supported by ITIL best practices to ensure that your IT Framework remains standards-based.
- Accessibility: Our Managed Services Centre (MSC) is physically based in Barbados and can be accessed from anywhere in the world via email, a web-based portal and by phone.
- Focus on Core Competencies: Northpoint Consulting’s MSC operators are best positioned to add value to the customer’s Helpdesk services. They are all knowledgeable on common business environment issues and ITIL best practices.
- Service flexibility: Service support call volumes can vary greatly for seasonal and other reasons. Northpoint Consulting’s MSC has a flexible capacity for handling these transient changes in volume.
- Cost reduction and cost transparency: Capitalize on the cost-benefit of using the shared resources in our MSC specialized and trained in ICT monitoring, ticketing, triage, and escalation process.
- Continually Updated Training: Northpoint Consulting specializes in managed support services, so we work hard to keep our team’s training current.
The Northpoint Consulting MSC provides our customers with end-to-end services to answer calls, record service requests, track and monitor requests for information technology services, event notifications, and drive incident resolution to closure for internal and external service providers.
- Large, regional corporate entities who want to manage the cost of providing IT helpdesk services across the Caribbean to internal resources (e.g. staff/contractors)
- Rapidly growing service provider who want to match its expanding service delivery footprint across the network with a flexibly scalable helpdesk service.
- Service provider who wants to free-up resources currently bogged down dealing with handling customer calls to focus on more valuable/strategic tasks
Across the markets Northpoint Consulting serves in the Caribbean, new information and communication technologies (ICT) are shaking up old business habits. Not only do they change the way consumers perceive products, but also the way they consume them.
The management of daily tasks and a sense of urgency in doing so, is currently at the heart of employees’ discussions. It is indeed a stressor that requires solutions. Faced with this situation, managers believe that modern communication tools would allow employees to react as quickly as possible in a highly competitive environment.
New technologies are becoming more and more important to the enterprises and agencies that we support. Managers have to offer their customers new ways to access their data, their products and better target their customers’ expectations and desires. In this sense, gathering this type of vital information is enhanced with the use of ICT. We have found that ICT can boost innovations through a vast range of solutions from loyalty cards to enhanced call response times to fire and other safety systems.
Resources are essential and contribute to the implementation and ultimately the success of any project. Successful project management is dependent on the effective management of the various project resources. These resources must be identified as early as possible, ideally before the project is launched.
In the kitchen, for example, you can’t imagine preparing a meal without knowing the utensils and ingredients at your disposal. In project management, it’s a bit of the same: you must ensure you use the resources that are essential to the smooth running of the project and optimize their management.
What are these resources we manage?
A resource is a material or immaterial entity used to carry out a task. The resources that participate in the implementation of a project can be grouped as follows:
- Human resources,
- Material resources,
- Financial resources,
- Time resources.
Of course, the most important resources are human resources, the individuals, groups and entities who either plan and carry out the work or contribute to the smooth running and completion of the project. Exceptional project management will always include exceptional collaboration and people management.
24/7 Security Operations Centre
Data breaches are a major cybersecurity threat to corporate enterprises and governments in the Caribbean as much as they are in other parts of the world. A data breach can ruin an entity’s reputation, cost millions of dollars and cripple operations for days and weeks in severe cases.
While large companies and government agencies typically have several lines of defence to prevent a data breach, small and medium-sized businesses are a favourite target of cybercriminals because they are usually much more vulnerable. Small and medium-sized businesses account for 60% of targeted attacks. Data breaches can significantly damage a brand or company’s reputation. According to one study, 19% of customers would stop trusting retailers that have been breached, which also represents a significant impact on sales. Could your business afford to lose nearly a fifth of its customers? If you answered “no,” you need to be concerned about data breaches and your cybersecurity for the same reasons you would be concerned about a car insurance policy, for example. To help you avoid the worry of a data breach, Northpoint Consulting can help you protect your data effectively.
Cybercriminals are constantly trying to trick people (your team included) out of money and personal information and using malware to do so in an automated fashion. As such, Northpoint Consulting offers a cyber defence toolkit that includes Firewall/Security Appliance Incident Monitoring, Ransomware Mitigation/Recovery, Malware Detection, Continuous Cybersecurity Training for Staff and Vulnerability Assessments.
Let us help you improve your cybersecurity posture by using the ideal mix of tools and services for your business location, devices or environment. Our cybersecurity team can help whether data is generated by applications at your corporate headquarters, branch offices, or by mobile workers. We are based in Barbados and we operate regionally in the Caribbean.