Are maintenance and support contracts for a company’s IT infrastructure really necessary? Here are two scenarios involving us and I’ll let you be the judge.

In 2016 a dental office contacted us about a server replacement. We went through the process of replacing the server and updating the workstations to work with the server. Once completed, I saved all the BitLocker recovery keys onto a USB drive and gave that to the dentist for his safe keeping(Generally, we don’t store this type of sensitive data unless the client hires us to provide regular support and maintenance.) I explained to the dentist the ongoing value of our support and maintenance plan but he deemed the cost too high, so we went our separate ways.

In 2018, we got a call from the dentist saying that their server rebooted and they needed the BitLocker recovery key. I reminded this gentleman that we hadn’t stored that information since he wasn’t under our management and that he should look for the thumb drive I gave him at the time of installation. He started to panic because he didn’t know where to find the thumb drive. Then, he asked if we could restore from backup and I had to tell him “No” because the USB backup drive was also encrypted.   Furthermore, we didn’t know if his backups were even running successfully since the install.

After numerous calls to us, the dentist was finally able to locate the BitLocker recovery keys and was able to login to the server. I took this opportunity to remind him again of the benefits of regular maintenance and support. If we’d been managing his server under our support plan, there’d have been no need for panic because we have all that information properly documented.

Fast forward to late 2019. We got a call from the dentist saying his server didn’t boot up correctly and he needed his recovery keys, again. Unfortunately, he hadn’t learned from his mistake of the prior year. Even if we wanted to help, we couldn’t because we don’t store recovery keys for unmanaged clients. We haven’t heard from him since but one of two things have likely happened:

  • He found his recovery keys and regained access to his data
  • He can’t find his recovery keys and has lost his entire database of patient records (ouch!).

Had this good dentist been under our regular support and maintenance, he wouldn’t have to worry about such a calamity.  His mind would be at ease knowing that his infrastructure was updated, secure, and protected at all times.

We had another client who was under our support but not our full Level Up service plan. They were victimized by ransomware because they didn’t have the proper security auditing in place. Luckily, we were managing their backups and were able to restore their entire server within a few hours. If this client was “Leveled Up”, we would have identified the security flaw during our routine audit and rectified the issue immediately. Since the cyber attack, the client saw the value in our services and upgraded to our Level Up service plan.

When it comes to your IT, don’t adopt a “set it and forget it” mindset.  Your infrastructure needs constant maintenance, updating, and protection to give you the ironclad sense of security that you deserve.  Maintenance and security services are exactly what we do at Level Up MSP. Just give me a call and I’ll be happy to help you plan the strategy that works best for your needs.