Network Specialty Group: Making Infrastructures Impenetrable

Prasen Vasavada

President and CEO

Today, CIOs of various industries are grappling with the complexities of technology infrastructure. The shift that has commenced with the Cloud advent has flipped the IT executives in to high gear. The biggest challenge that has evolved with the rise of Cloud is the security threats and the need to select the adequate Cloud service provider (CSP). The benefits of migrating to Cloud such as abbreviating the operational cost and globalizing the workspace are well acknowledged and admired across the industries. However, the need of the hour for CIOs is to leverage the expertise of prominent CSPs who are drenched with the whole knowledge of Cloud implementation and dynamics of cyber security. The search ends at the doors of Gaithersburg, MD, headquartered Network Specialty Group which is uniquely positioned to support its customers as they face the aforementioned challenges. NSG has over twenty years of successful real world experience with application development and Program Management for the both private and public sector, and industry credentials in providing Cyber Security solutions. "NSG is one of the few companies that have been evaluated and awarded the "Third Party Assessment Organizations (3PAO) accreditation by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)," delineates Prasen Vasavada, President and CEO, NSG. 3PAO's are the organizations that government agencies (Federal, State and Local) as well as CSPs bring in to evaluate and test the cyber security controls of cloud service migration projects.


"We at NSG feel that the move to cloud based services with access from almost anywhere and on almost anything (notebooks, netbooks and mobile devices) is the current and future next big trend," adds Prasen. NSG fathoms the fact comprehensively that as organizations move to adopt cloud services there is the need to ensure that cyber security is an integral component and not an afterthought. As a 3PAO, NSG is in

the forefront of ensuring the integrity of their client's data both on the cloud and within their intranet. The company has also partnered with industry leaders such as AlienVault, CS Solutions, and Symantec to provide its clients cost effective and robust cyber security solutions. "It is an engrained philosophy of each of our employees and consultants that above everything else, customer's success comes first. We become part of the customer team and become their trusted partner," exclaims Prasen. NSG treats each customer with an innovative approach, delivering unique, cutting-edge solutions using their proven and tested methodologies. Whether it is solving unique integration to government financial systems using POS (Point of Sale) solutions, or replacing outdated processes and old mainframe applications, NSG has enabled customers to save millions of dollars in operations and helpdesk costs.

The integral aspect behind the prominence of NSG is adopting and embracing the best practices and software. "We take immense pride standards of the industry. In managing programs and projects, NSG follows the guidelines of Project Management Institute (PMI), and employs PMI certified Project Management Professionals (PMP) to enhance its workforce. NSG's corporate commitment to excellence and industry best practices are reflected in their ISO certifications: 9001:2008 for Quality Management, 17020:2012 as an ISO/IEC accredited inspection body, 20000-1:2011 for IT Service Management., and CMMI Dev/3. The company has developed a comprehensive Information Security Management System (ISMS) that brings the best guidance to every project they undertake. It gives customers assurance that with NSG as their partner they are receiving quality services, accurate schedules, predictable results, and continuous improvement, which leads to maximized value and ROI. "Another integral part of our business success is the adoption, use and enhancement of industry based standards, like the ITIL IT Service Management (ITSM), Common Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), and National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) frameworks, says Prasen.

To give customers superlative services backed by reliable standards, NSG has invested profoundly in test labs where the company deploys latest cyber security tools and technologies, test and validate open source in providing cost effective solutions
to network assessments, and providing security architecture and engineering solutions that are fully tested in our labs," states Prasen. A myriad of customers have capitalized the solutions and experience of NSG to enhance their infrastructure. In an implementation highlight, a Federal Government customer had a need for a comprehensive Information Assurance program to implement cyber security controls pursuant to FIPS 200 and NIST Special Publication 800-53. The core set of objectives of this client was to build a PMI based program management structure, procure dedicated "Tiger Team" (staff and contractors), and setup an internal controls process compliant with FIPS and NIST. NSG developed and maintained a proactive methodology for cyber security policies, procedures, and controls meeting all Federal, and department regulations and guidelines. NSG's program management system provided them with the needed structure, controls and adaptability that ensured successful completion of agenda. The NSG Program Manager was responsible for planning and control of the project, managing the budget and project resources, and conducted the deliverables and communications with stakeholders, team members and system owners. NSG implemented and managed a SharePoint based Information Assurance collaboration and data repository portal. Moreover, NSG staff was an essential part of the "Tiger Team" in the management and implementation of the FIPS 200 and NIST SP 800-53 security controls. As part of the "Tiger Team", the company reviewed, assessed and updated cyber security control policies and procedures. NSG's Cyber Security Specialists also performed security control assessments on all systems and sub-systems. With the aide and support of NSG, the customer was able to bring all of their systems, policies, processes and procedures into compliance with FIPS and NIST requirements and guidelines.

Moving forward, NSG plans to market their cyber security services and solutions to small and medium size businesses. "We see a tremendous growth in this SMB market," says Prasen. "As doing business with the government will require SMBs to have a sound cyber program, we see ourselves to become their trusted partner in providing policies, procedures, security engineering solutions and assessment services." In this light, NSG has partnered with key players who are leaders in providing products that are tailored for this market.