Serving state, local governments, and global Fortune 100 companies in the energy, mining, manufacturing, and chemicals industries, Management Controls, Inc. (MCi) needed to transform its cybersecurity to the world-class level expected by its long list of prestigious customers. As a software technology and services provider, MCi provides critical Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions and its TRACK platform for tracking and managing contract labor, equipment rental and material spending. MCi counts many of the world’s largest companies as loyal customers, some of whom it has served for over twenty-five years.
Privately owned, the Houston-headquartered business has ambitions to grow in the U.S. healthcare, automotive, aerospace, chemical and upstream energy sectors and extend its footprint across North America, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa. Safeguarding its customers’ data is essential to achieving its international expansion plans.
Customers demand world-class security
“Our customers are increasingly asking us detailed questions about our security, including disaster recovery and how we’ll respond to severe incidents. We must confidently reassure them that we have enterprise-grade protection in place,” explains Daniel Iturbe, VP of infrastructure, security & compliance at MCi.
“To achieve this, we have implemented rigorous security protocols and business continuity and recovery plans that ensure the safety and confidentiality of our customer’s data. Our team of experts is continuously monitoring and updating these measures to stay ahead of potential threats, Iturbe says.
“We understand that our customers trust us with their sensitive information, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Rest assured, our commitment to providing top-notch security measures is unwavering, and we are always ready to respond swiftly and effectively in any security incident,” he says.
After completing a comprehensive program of preparation internally, MCi was ready to find a cyber security partner to provide a security operations center (SOC) that would match their business needs and meet the high standards of cybersecurity demanded by their customers worldwide.
MCi searched Quorum Cyber online, and a local Microsoft representative assured them they were worth talking to. Founded in 1989, MCi is predominantly in the cloud, and its cloud hosting is 100% provided by Azure. Hence, being a Microsoft-only house and a Microsoft Solutions Partner for Security, Quorum Cyber seemed like a good candidate. However, there were many other companies to assess as well.
Five essential criteria for a long-term partner
MCi took a diligent approach in selecting a long-term cybersecurity partner. They conducted an exhaustive Request for Proposal (RFP) discovery and execution phase over five months. During this time, they carefully evaluated over ten cybersecurity companies and thoroughly assessed their service offerings. Price was not the only determining factor, and the companies were assessed based on several essential criteria:
- Vendor qualifications: Experience, expertise and financial stability.
- Technology and tools: A vital matrix component consisted of selecting a SOC company focusing only on Microsoft Azure Security Stack and Azure toolsets.
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Response times, escalation procedures, and reporting capabilities needed to comply with MCi contractual and compliance requirements.
- Flexibility and customization: The ability to tailor and customize services to meet MCi annual reports and audits for MCi customers.
- Security and compliance: SOC requirements to have Microsoft and industry-accepted certifications and accreditations.
- Cost and value: SOC’s pricing structure, schedule, add-on services, and overall were collectively categorized and analyzed independently.
- Reputation and references: The SOC’s reputation in the industry and references from current and past customers were scored using an internal MCi review process.
After evaluating all proposals, MCi trusted Quorum Cyber as their long-term cybersecurity partner. This decision was made after considering the added complexity of working with multiple vendors and that Quorum Cyber met all their requirements, including their need for an experienced and reputable Microsoft partner with a complete set of security competencies, certifications, advanced SIEM services, and strong customer support.
A true partner that lives and breathes cybersecurity
“I strongly believed that we needed a partner dedicated solely to the Microsoft ecosystem, who deeply understood cybersecurity and could fully support our Security Operation Center’s needs. We wanted a partner who would invest the time to comprehend our cloud infrastructure, unique business model, and even our customers and be part of our growth journey and continued success,” says Iturbe.
Moreover, MCi needed an expert in Microsoft Sentinel, Azure, and cloud computing that can proactively detect and defend against zero-day attacks and possess strong automation skills to improve efficiency and reduce the risk associated with cyber incidents. The ideal partner should also have experience working within a single, integrated security ecosystem.
After onboarding MCi onto their SOC in early 2022, MCi is confident that Quorum Cyber, whose SOC team runs the Microsoft Sentinel Managed Detection & Response (MDR) service, has already helped to improve its cybersecurity posture and security scores significantly.
“I am thoroughly impressed by the exceptional customer service provided by Quorum Cyber. Their attention to detail, quick response time, and efficient triaging of information by their SOC is outstanding,” says Iturbe.
Iturbe continues, “The single-pane-of-glass view offered by their customer portal, Clarity, has been an invaluable asset to my team. This enables us to access all the necessary information from one dashboard easily. Quorum Cyber’s technical expertise and account management skills are second to none, and their professionalism is truly commendable. They maintain continuous communication with their customers and offer top-notch customer support, a rare quality in today’s business world.”
Iturbe says, “Overall, Quorum Cyber is a fantastic extension of our organization and a true partner. Their unwavering commitment to excellence is reflected in every aspect of their services, making them a top-class provider in the cyber security industry.”
Peace of mind around the clock
“We couldn’t get the security and visibility of the SOC by recruiting more people to cover the same things in-house,” concludes Iturbe. “In a nutshell, MCi has been able to catapult our cybersecurity posture to an enterprise-grade level, thanks to the mutual partnership in working towards the same goals.”
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