Ask an Expert: Erik Petersen
This blog is part of a series where some of our most experienced technical and support team members share their IT experiences and the tips and tricks learned from working with hundreds of organizations and IT teams.
This blog post features Erik Petersen, a Managed Services engineer and Care Team lead based out of San Diego, CA. Erik works with clients to diagnose and troubleshoot issues and helps manage open tickets.
Q: What are some of your job responsibilities?
I usually work with a select group of clients, and I address the higher-level issues that they encounter. I help with everything form server installation, firewall management, password resets, and various outstanding projects. I also will troubleshoot or escalate issues to the correct team member. I’m constantly working on ongoing items, however new tasks always present themselves, such as password resets or other tickets that need escalation. For example, I was recently working on a project when an emergency ticket came in because an entire office couldn’t get on the VPN, so I had to jump in to get that office up and running. As a Care Team lead, I also help new employees organize their tickets and give them ideas and suggestions to help them better manage tickets. If anyone has any questions, they can come to me and I can point them in the right direction, such as first steps for troubleshooting or which resource to contact if a ticket needs to be escalated. That’s something I really like about Logically – there’s such a great group of engineers and technicians, and in my role, I get to interact with so many of them. Each day is different but that’s something I really enjoy.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face as a care team lead?
Because IT is growing at such a fast rate and is becoming more complex, I think there’s a lot of growing pains when it comes to learning new processes and procedures. I’m constantly working on communication to make sure all the engineers know what’s going on. Even internally, we’re constantly reviewing our policies to make sure that they provide the best experiences for our clients, so I’m always trying to take a deeper dive into the gray areas so I can help answer any questions that may arise. That being said, I don’t think I face many major challenges at work. Yes, our job is high-tech and comes with a lot of technical work, but we have such a wide array of support and resources that we can all rely on each other’s strengths and provide a great experience for our clients.
Q: How has IT changed over the last few years?
I think we’ve developed a better understanding about how to use hardware to the fullest extent. It’s saving clients’ money while being able to operate more hardware at the same time. That makes it more environmentally friendly too, which I really like. So, in the same space where we use to run 4 or 5 servers, we now only need to run one server. That leaves a drop in electrical costs, which is good for us, our clients, and the environment. That virtualization is now moving to the cloud, so now we’re responsible for managing that cloud environment. That’s a lot of command-line interfacing and programming the engineers haven’t had to do, so we’re all brushing up on our PowerShell skills because that’s the fastest and most efficient way to change things in the cloud.
Q: What are some quick and easy things companies can implement to keep their data secure?
One of the things I focus on is security. When we onboard clients, the first thing I look at is their firewall. Is their firewall up to date, and is it scanning and sniffing traffic? Many people own SonicWalls, but don’t pay for the support. If you don’t pay for the support, you don’t really own a the application-based firewall. That’s the first thing we check. Then, we look at the password policies in place, and whether management tools are being used. From there, we move to two-factor authentication (2FA). With 2FA, you need to have your phone to verify your identity. Hackers would have to have your credentials, as well as your phone for that secondary authentication to be able to successfully hack your account. It would be very challenging for them to break through the system without that. The truth is, we hear about all these different types of hacks (political, corporate, etc.) and most are due to bad password policies. So, I think 2FA can change a lot of things, and will help secure us in the future. I tell everyone – friends, family, and clients – if you can turn on 2FA, do it. Finally, Logically is now offering SecureCore, which in part is a network-based antivirus that will take any company to the next level of security. It analyzes traffic that passes between computers rather than just scanning files or processes on each individual computer. That’s just one part of SecureCore, but I think that easily allows companies of any size to access some of the greatest security tools on the market. The network-based firewall is something that’s new and exciting, and I’m excited to see it become available to our clients.