SEARCH FOR CHANGE
Good Things Come to Those Who Search for Change
When a nonprofit needed a new partner to deliver improved telecommunications and cybersecurity, it turned to TPx.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Operating with limited financial resources, the nonprofit needed reliable solutions to keep its team safe in an increasingly dangerous threat landscape.
Based in Valhalla, New York, the organization provides housing, community and vocational services in New York’s Westchester and Putnam counties.
As a Managed Services Provider for Search for Change, TPx consults and sources a variety of IT solutions to help power their communications and keep their networks secure.
TPx’s flexibility and willingness to work with Search for Change’s unique needs enables the organization to focus on mission-critical tasks.
By working with an MSP, Search for Change focuses on what they do best and extends the power of their IT team of one to a more secure and flexible IT stack.
About Search for Change
Search for Change is a nonprofit organization that provides quality rehabilitative services to individuals with behavioral, mental and medical conditions. Search for Change offers programs and services that help individuals obtain affordable housing, secure gainful employment, and reconnect with loved ones.
“You have to have good relationships with firms like TPx that can provide comprehensive subject matter expertise and assistance with new service implementation, ongoing technical assistance, troubleshooting issues and understanding new technologies. Having that kind of partnership is ideal so there can be a robust response when issues arise. That’s part of what we appreciate about TPx; the response has been very rapid.”
Ashley Brody, Chief Executive Officer, Search for Change
Search for Change is a relatively small nonprofit organization that has been around for roughly 50 years. With just one dedicated IT professional on staff and a commitment to maximizing their budget as a nonprofit, Search for Change relies heavily on external vendors to handle the bulk of their technical needs.
The organization used another vendor for telecommunication services but was growing dissatisfied with the relationship. Many shortcomings came to light when Search for Change relocated its administrative office in 2022. “We needed some support in making that transition, and the provider really was not very helpful,” said Ashley Brody, Search for Change’s Chief Executive Officer. “Once we needed to change the configuration, they weren’t all that responsive. So we started looking for alternatives.”
Their technology challenges did not stop there. The organization also suffered a pair of ransomware attacks that led the team to evaluate their existing security posture. “That was really an eye-opener for us,” Brody said. “We had some security measures in place, but they clearly weren’t robust enough to prevent an attack. We know if you have robust security measures in place, you can still suffer a cyberattack. It happens every day. But we had a significant gap in our security infrastructure.”
Luckily, the organization’s cyber insurance policy helped mitigate the financial damage. But it confirmed what Brody and his team knew, and the consultants confirmed: They needed a stronger partner. Brody and his team instituted additional safeguards at the time and opted to partner with TPx as part of an ongoing effort to strengthen our security posture and to improve the functionality of Search for Change’s telecommunications systems.
The Search for Change-TPx partnership is built on four main offerings: UCx with Webex, Managed Firewall service, Security Awareness Training (SAT), and Managed Inbox Detection and Response (IDR), all of which play a pivotal role in enhancing the organization’s operations.
TPx’s award-winning UCx with Webex is a gamechanger for Search for Change, going beyond traditional calling plans with true enterprise VoIP. It eliminates mediocre calling, replacing it with a complete solution for calling, messaging, video conferencing and meetings. The HIPAA-compliant solution not only provides a better and more secure telecommunications experience for users, it also provides Search for Change greater administration flexibility to make configurations easy when needed.
To address the gap in Search for Change’s security infrastructure, TPx implemented its Managed Firewall service as the first line of defense in protecting the non-profit from internet-based threats. The TPx team configured the next-generation firewall and continues to manage and monitor it, allowing Search for Change to focus on mission-critical tasks without compromising the security of their network.
Search for Change also opted to boost their user security by incorporating TPx’s IDR and SAT services into their security strategy. TPx’s IDR service helps protect Search for Change against phishing attacks, email compromises and advanced malware that traditional email filtering may miss. The nonprofit’s employees can easily submit suspicious emails from their inbox to be quickly and accurately validated if malicious or safe. By incorporating TPx’s SAT program, Search for Change can further mitigate its risk by increasing alertness and educating employees on how to recognize and avoid cyberattacks.
Brody shared his positive experience with TPx’s Security Awareness Training saying, “The security awareness training that TPx has been providing has been very helpful. Having a syllabus we can roll out and administer every month is key. What we’ve liked about the training courses and videos is that they are not terribly time-intensive. They take a few minutes to complete, cover essential topics, and keep cybersecurity and cybersecurity-related themes in our staff’s minds. It’s not always about all the material because most of them have heard this information to one extent or another. But it’s reminding them that threats are ever present.”
TPx’s SAT program has been instrumental in transforming the culture at Search for Change when it comes to cybersecurity. “It’s not just up to leaders to say, ‘Make sure you watch your email and be careful,’” Brody said. “You’re getting this from multiple sources. It’s embedded in our training syllabus; it’s part of the culture.”
Despite their mission to do good in the world, Search for Change remains susceptible to those with malicious intent. But with a partner like TPx in their corner, Search for Change can navigate these challenges more confidently.
“Nobody is safe. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are; it doesn’t matter what industry or sector you’re in — the risks are there,” Brody said. “So we’re definitely much more aware of that. And we try to make sure everyone else is aware of that now.”
With TPx’s help, Search for Change has developed a workforce well-versed in cybersecurity best practices, significantly reducing the likelihood of employees interacting with potentially harmful files. There has also been a noticeable improvement in employee communications and collaboration thanks to UCx with Webex.
“I can tell there’s been an improvement,” Brody said. “We’re not getting as many complaints and there’s been a marked improvement on productivity. The positive changes are evident in our day-to-day operations.”
These solutions also make onboarding new employees easier. “Not everybody is tech-savvy when we have new staff come on board. Now, we have security awareness training available for everybody — our established staff members, tenured staff, members, and new staff members — embedded in the culture in a way that wasn’t previously.”
With an MSP as a partner, this holistic approach ensures that cybersecurity awareness is woven into the fabric of the organization, benefiting both existing and incoming staff members and strengthening Search for Change’s overall security posture. With TPx’s support and their proactive cybersecurity measures, Search for Change is not only better equipped to face the challenges of today’s digital landscape but is also poised for continued success in their mission to make a positive impact on the world.