Cybersecurity and Vulnerability Management at Norwin Technologies

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of robust cybersecurity measures and the significance of effective vulnerability management in our ongoing commitment to secure our digital assets. We will also talk about the critical role that cybersecurity and vulnerability management play in safeguarding our organization against an evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Understanding the Cybersecurity Landscape

The digital realm is fraught with evolving cyber threats that can compromise the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of our data. As of the latest statistics, cyberattacks are on the rise globally, with a 2022 report indicating a 125% increase in ransomware attacks alone compared to the previous year. These attacks are not only more frequent but also more sophisticated, emphasizing the need for a proactive and comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

The Role of Cybersecurity

As a leading IT company, Norwin handles vast amounts of sensitive data daily. This data not only includes proprietary information critical to our success but also client data entrusted to us. Any compromise in the security of this data could have severe consequences, including financial losses, damage to our reputation, and legal ramifications. Therefore, cybersecurity is not merely a checkbox but a strategic imperative.

The cybersecurity framework at Norwin Technologies encompasses a multi-layered approach, integrating advanced threat detection systems, robust firewalls, and stringent access controls. Regular security audits and penetration testing help identify and address vulnerabilities before malicious actors can exploit them. Additionally, we prioritize employee training programs to ensure that our staff is well-informed and equipped to recognize and mitigate potential security risks.
A key component of our cybersecurity strategy is vulnerability management—a proactive approach to identifying, prioritizing, and remedying potential weaknesses in our IT systems before they can be exploited. Regular vulnerability assessments are conducted to scan our network, applications, and systems for weaknesses that could be exploited by cyber adversaries.

Data from our recent vulnerability assessments have shown that a significant number of vulnerabilities arise from outdated software, misconfigurations, and unpatched systems. This information is crucial in shaping our patch management strategy, ensuring that critical patches are applied promptly to close potential entry points for cyber threats.

At Norwin Technologies, we are committed to continuous improvement and adaptation to stay one step ahead of cyber threats. We actively monitor emerging threat landscapes and invest in cutting-edge technologies to enhance our security posture.
Collaboration with industry experts, participation in threat intelligence sharing forums, and staying abreast of the latest cybersecurity trends are integral to our approach. By doing so, Norwin Technologies not only strengthens its defenses against known threats but also prepares for the challenges presented by emerging ones.

The data-driven approach we adopt allows us to make informed decisions, stay ahead of cyber threats, and protect the interests of our organization and clients. Our commitment to vigilance, adaptation, and continuous improvement is the cornerstone of our success in securing the digital future of Norwin Technologies.

Use of AI in Service Desk Operations

AI promises to be one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies during the next 10 years. Based on the 2019 Gartner CIO Survey, 14% of organizations employ AI and nearly 50% intend to do so in 2020. Face of the traditional service desk is changing with advent of AI.

According to Gartner, by 2020, 25% of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant technology across engagement channels, up from less than 2% in 2015.

Gartner uses the umbrella term “intelligent automation” to cover a variety of strategies and technologies. These range from rapid-automation technologies (i.e., robotic process automation [RPA] software or scripting) to artificial intelligence (AI) approaches such as deep learning, machine learning, natural-language processing, speech recognition and synthesis, machine vision and machine reasoning.

IT self-service has been a key feature in any service desk operations. Self-service has been around for a while in the form of basic searches to the knowledge base. But these days it’s becoming much more sophisticated. With chatbots and intelligent search recommendations users are able to arrive at the right solution. AI is expected to increasingly help IT support teams in predictive analytics for incident management.

AI could be leveraged for service desk operations in three key areas:

Chatbots, knowledge management, and incident/request auto routing. Basic chatbots use NLP [natural language processing] through a conversational platform.

Action could be to carry out a targeted search of the knowledge base or answering faq type queries. The capability is also extended to take further actions based on user inputs using RPA technology. The actions could be from simple password resets to creation of VMs in private or public cloud. The auto-resolution feature helps overall IT support function in removing the manual overhead associated with high-volume, low-value service desk activities.

Routing incident and request tickets to proper support group takes substantial amount of time of a help desk agent. AI is leveraged in auto-classifying, prioritizing and routing incidents or service requests to appropriate support groups.

Another new capability evolving in AI driven service desks is AI-assisted knowledge management. This includes an intelligent search function that doesn’t just rely on specific keywords but understands context and meaning. The further advance capability is to display results of only the portion of knowledge article relevant to the search and not the entire article.

AI can also deliver intelligent autoresponders that reply to end-user emails with the most likely solutions. The AI capabilities not only help the end users but support functions as well. It can suggest relevant action to be performed based on prior and current incidents, changes, problems, known errors. The self-healing is achieved through Incidents getting automatically resolved based on prior knowledge.

The support level responsibilities are evolving as well. Gartner depicts spectrum of support levels as follows:

As we have seen earlier, AI is playing a key role in self-service, self-diagnostics and self-healing as well.
Gartner research shows that 75% of issues on average (service requests, common software issues, password resets, “how to” questions and outage notifications) have the potential to be resolved without requiring Level 1 or higher support (i.e., “Level 0 solvable”)
Thus, AI would help service desk operation to shift left as seen in the figure above. This shift helps in leveraging current support staff to do more complex operations at L3 levels by freeing them from performing low level, mundane tasks.

Summarizing, AI can assist in reducing overall costs, improving user experience, increasing agent productivity, helping forecast IT issues, identifying problems, managing changes better, and improving key metrics including resolution times and SLA compliance level.

Norwin Managed services serve unique benefits consisting of creative combination of virtual and human agents. Besides the advantages given above, the goal is to reduce overall service desk operations cost by 30-40% in the first year and 5-15% YoY leveraging technologies such as AI and RPA.

We can also analyze your service desk ticket data in identifying “automation candidates” and guide you in transforming your service desk operations.

Future Trends in Managed Services

The future of Managed Services is on the horizon, and it’s shaping up to be nothing short of revolutionary. Let’s take a closer look at three key trends that will redefine the landscape of Managed Services in the coming years:

1. AI-Driven Automation:

Imagine a world where routine IT tasks are handled seamlessly by artificial intelligence. The future of Managed Services will be marked by AI-driven automation, streamlining everything from network management to security updates. With AI’s ability to predict issues and automate resolution, you can say goodbye to unplanned downtime and IT bottlenecks.

2. Cloud-Centric Solutions:

The cloud isn’t just the future; it’s the present and the future of Managed Services. Companies are increasingly embracing cloud-centric solutions to leverage scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Managed Service providers are evolving to offer comprehensive cloud management, from provisioning to optimization, enabling businesses to focus on growth, not infrastructure.

3. Cybersecurity Evolution:

As cyber threats become more sophisticated, Managed Services will place an even greater emphasis on cybersecurity. Managed Service providers will adopt proactive strategies, leveraging AI for real-time threat detection and mitigation. With constant vigilance, your data and operations will be fortified against the ever-evolving world of cyberattacks.

4. Sustainability in IT:

The green wave is hitting IT, and Managed Services are no exception. Sustainability will be a significant trend in Managed Services, with providers increasingly focusing on energy-efficient data centers, eco-friendly solutions, and reduced carbon footprints. This trend isn’t just about saving the environment; it’s about saving costs and creating a more responsible and ethical IT ecosystem.

The future of Managed Services is undeniably exciting. From AI-powered automation to cloud-centric strategies, cybersecurity evolution, and a commitment to sustainability, businesses have a lot to look forward to. These trends will not only enhance efficiency but also transform how we perceive IT support. The future is now, and it’s bringing innovation to your doorstep!

As businesses adapt to these evolving trends, they can embrace a more efficient, secure, and sustainable approach to managing their IT infrastructure. With Managed Services at the forefront of these shifts, organizations are better equipped than ever to thrive in the dynamic world of technology.

Intelligent Managed Service Desk

Service Desk is the face of the entire IT in any organization. Customer satisfaction depends on how good your service desk operation is. Many a times, running an efficient service desk is a challenge especially when IT is not your core business.

Business Challenges

There are many compelling reasons why one should look at state of the current service desk operation. Increased cost, business demand for round-the-clock IT support, increased complexity in managing infrastructure operations, overworked L1 support staff from day-to-day mundane tasks are some of the reasons to relook.

End-users also demand a better consumer-like experience they are used in their personal lives with omni-channel support such as web, chat, email and voice. Users normally get lost in navigating through cumbersome service catalog and frustrated when they cannot log their issues quickly. On IT support side, L1 support staff is busy solving day-to-day mundane tasks such as password resets, share folder access, account creations etc.

Besides this, considerable time is consumed in classifying end-user requests and redirecting to appropriate IT support group. IT support staff gets overwhelmed with many tickets and complying SLAs becomes a challenge. The result is slipped SLA’s, increased MTTR (mean time to resolve), poor customer experience and ultimately lower customer satisfaction.

Need for Transformation

Hence, there is a definite need to transform the traditional service desk operation with new innovative ways. Traditional Service Desks are evolving with advent of AI technologies such as machine learning, NLP (natural language processing) and RPA. According to Gartner, by 2020, 80% of outsourced service desks for global enterprises will no longer require human service desk agents for the first contact.

Service Offering

With these challenges in mind, we have designed a unique service offering of Intelligent Managed Service Desk. We do a complete transformation of your traditional service desk leveraging new AI technologies such as NLP (Natural Language Processing), machine learning etc. The focus is on using intuitive, natural user interface with chat bots in front and auto resolution engine at the back resulting in a better customer experience. Our platform comes with a rich library of about 200+ common IT tasks such as: password resets, share folder access, user on-boarding, account creation, service restarts, software installations etc.

It eliminates manual intervention or the need for writing automation scripts which are hard to maintain.
The service is integrated with human agents as well. Whenever the AI-bot or automation-bot cannot resolve any ticket, the control is handed over to human agents for ticket resolution.

Business Benefits

Some of the business benefits from the “Intelligent Service Desk” are enhanced user interface, reduction of MTTR, elimination of human errors. Auto-classification saves considerable time of support staff to route tickets to appropriate support groups.

The service also provides scalability to increase service desk virtual agents (bots) depending on the business demand.

We can reduce the service desk operational cost by 40% in the first year followed by at least a 10-15% reduction for YoY. The ultimate result is improved service quality at reduced cost.

Top Candidates for Service Desk Automation

Automation is not new to anyone. It is the foundation for any enterprise digitization. However, companies fail to establish a clear strategy for automation. They cannot define areas of automation and set priorities. They end up with islands of automation, automation using home-grown scripts or various automation point solutions taking are of respective automation tasks. The automation knowledge is with chosen few SME’s and the dependency on them increases due to their subject matter expertise. Service desks struggle to cope with day-to-day administrative tasks and have not a clear idea of where to start automating these day-to-day tasks.

Here are few top candidates for service desk automation which would help you to jump-start your automation journey.

Password resets and account unlocks

Typically, password resets and account unlock requests comprise 30-40% of service desk tickets and are good candidates to start with. Moreover, laws and regulations such as PCI DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA have reviewed password requirements and now encourage or demand greater complexity such as multi-factor authentication. Resetting passwords manually wastes an enormous amount of time and money resulting in end-user frustration, customer dissatisfaction and compliance vulnerabilities. With wrong guessing of passwords, the user account gets locked which further adds to the ticket volume. Therefore, password resets and account unlocks become the top priority candidates for automation.

Employee On-boarding and Off-Boarding

Series of tasks need to be carried out when an employee is on-boarded. These tasks could be creating several accounts such as AD, Unix, Databases, Applications. The notice needs to be sent to the HR orientation team as well as the admin team for assigning a new desk. The IT department needs to get informed for assigning a laptop and IP address if needed. These tasks could be time-consuming and if not done in proper time, the new employee or contractor simply has to wait which results in unproductive and waste of resources and money. Ideally, many companies have a policy of “Zero-day start” which means all formalities has to be done on the first day or before to make the employee productive to start with. In such a case, on-boarding turns out to be a good candidate for automation. Just as the process of on-boarding, there are certain steps that must take place whenever someone leaves a company or transitions to another position within. By integrating automation with the identity management system, the appropriate role/access changes or terminations can be handled from one central location. Employee off-boarding becomes equally important especially for security and compliance perspective. Not turning off/deleting accounts of resigned employees poses a security threat. Companies where there is a lot of turn-over of temporary workers, the task of off-boarding becomes over-whelming for the IT department and therefore, becomes a good candidate for automation.

Ad-hoc queries and Knowledge Management

A typical service desk supporting over 1000+ users handle over 1500 tickets a month. Many of these tickets are simple queries such as my printer is not working or what is my leave balance. With the new advent of technologies such chatbots, these queries could be handled by bots by integrating with back-end knowledge management systems, effectively relieving service desk team to focus on more value added tasks. With AI and machine learning, context based knowledge article searches become a powerful tool for introducing this self-service.

Common event handling

Service desk needs to handle a lot of common complaints such as my web-server is not working or my disk is full. The L1 support agents have to analyse and forward these queries to L2 engineers who further trouble-shoot by starting the web-service on the required machine. A typical ticket wait time for such requests is about 4-6 hours which frustrates end-users. Proper automation could reduce this turn-around-time to less than a minute and save the time of end-users as well as service desk technicians. In case of “disk-full”, the problem is a bit tricky as there are several alternatives to handle such a situation such as: deleting temporary files, moving older files (not used in last few months) to other locations or backing up or simply allocating more disk space. Automation in this case becomes important mainly for two reasons: One is obviously saving time of service desk agents to forward the call and L2 engineers to resolve. But more importantly, if it is done properly with right privileges embedded in automation workflows, even L1 engineers who do not have privileges are able to handle such requests. More with advanced automation, complete orchestration workflows could be developed using SOP’s. Even machine learning could be used to generate steps involved based on past event handling and these options could be given to L1 agents to execute.

Ticket classification

The routing of a problem ticket to the proper support team is a very critical step in any service desk system environment. Especially when the ticket volume is high, the manual method of analysing tickets, classifying to proper support buckets and forwarding them to appropriate teams become a very time-consuming exercise. Incorrect routing of tickets results in the reassignment of tickets, unnecessary resource utilization, user satisfaction deterioration and have adverse financial implications for both customers and the service provider. The tickets could be auto-routed to appropriate support teams using machine learning technology. By mining historical ticket descriptions and label, an ML model could be built to classify new tickets. Moreover, the priority of the ticket could also be assigned by the past historical data. A benefit of building such an automated service desk system includes improved productivity, end-user experience and reduced resolution time. llocating more disk space.

End-to-end automation Platform

Besides these top candidates for service desk automation, many other system administration tasks could be automated such as: virtual machine management, distribution list management, producing health-check reports, office-365 management, providing VPN and wifi access etc. End-to-end automation is possible starting with handling requests, queries or events to auto-fulfilment of these service desk tickets.

Norwin's Managed Services Platform

Our Managed Service is based on AI-driven automation platform having ITPA (IT process automation) as well as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) capabilities. Moreover, the platform comes bundled with over 300+ ready automation adapters which make it easier to start the service immediately. We have our own AI-based methodology to identify candidates for automation from the ticket data. We will be more than happy to assist you in your service desk automation journey.