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Customer Story

How Heartland Credit Union Association Uses Ninja to Improve Patch Management and Compliance




Heartland Credit Union Association is a trade association that helps credit unions in Kansas and Missouri grow through advocacy, compliance, development, and consumer awareness. HCUA also serves as the primary check processor for their 200+ member credit unions, allowing members to benefit from the specialized skillset, IT requirements, and cost savings associated with processing checks at scale.

“When I first took over HCUA’s IT department, I was spending a lot of time working off hours and weekends,” says Michael Natale, IT Director at HCUA. “We still run several physical servers in addition to all the employee endpoints I needed to support. I’d often work late or on weekends to perform server maintenance or install patches so employee productivity wouldn’t suffer.”

Michael began searching for software that would help automate patch management for his servers and quickly came across Ninja. “While I was most interested in patching, Ninja immediately piqued my interest because of the breadth of IT management functions it could take over for us. In addition to patching, Ninja gives us the ability to roll out software, provide behind-the-scenes support to employees, take control of employee’s computers for remote support, and help me manage our inventory. Critically, Ninja can do all this for both my on-premises infrastructure and my remote employees,” says Michael. HCUA was also able to reduce some licensing costs as well by removing a third-party server monitoring tool called Nagios and remote-control licenses.

Ninja has helped Michael continue to provide top-notch support to his remote workforce. “My employee endpoints are always up-to-date now. I don’t have to rely on them to reboot their machines or agree to an update, Ninja handles it all. When employees do submit a ticket, I can jump into Ninja and get on their device quickly so they can get back to their work,” says Michael.

The biggest benefit for Heartland Credit Union Association has been a boost to patch compliance. “As an organization in the finance and banking industry, security and compliance are critical not only for HCUA, but also for our member credit unions,” explains Michael. “In Ninja, I can setup automated patching policies that align with various device roles so that, for example, an ERP server receives certain patches on a specific schedule and employee laptops receive different patches on another schedule. I set patching policies once and all my devices across different domains, locations, and device types are secured for us. NinjaOne’s patching solution has cut down on the time I spend patching by at least 8 hours per week.” Using Ninja’s built-in scripts, Michael is also alerted whenever an endpoint hasn’t been restarted in thirty days – which can cause significant patching issues – so he can restart it remotely.

Ninja is also a value-added tool from a compliance perspective. “Any time I make a change to a server, add hardware, install software, or connect to a device, Ninja logs that activity and who took the action. If something goes wrong, I have a full record of everything that occurred so I can go back and fix it. If I were to have a SOC audit, I can just hand them a stack of Ninja reports along with the activity log and be all set,” says Michael.  “Ninja allows me to be proactive, provide great support to business-users, and keep the company’s infrastructure healthy. That is a huge value add for any IT admin.”

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