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Director, Cloud Infrastructure & Security

Ascend

Ascend

Other Engineering
United States
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2024
About Ascend

Ascend empowers entrepreneurial CPAs to reach their goals with an innovative growth model that brings their firms into the new age. Backed by private equity from people-focused Alpine Investors, Ascend is building a modern platform for regional accounting firms that enables them to stay independent while accessing the resources of a large CPA firm to help them grow. Ascend provides access to growth capital, robust talent acquisition, best-of-breed technology, a catalytic leadership system, shared back-office services, and modernized equity incentives so that firms can surmount today’s industry challenges and reach their full potential. Founded in January 2023, the company attained revenues sufficient to qualify it as a Top 100 U.S. accounting firm within six months of operations.

For more information, visit ascendtogether.com.

Position Summary

Ascend is seeking a Director, Cloud Infrastructure & Security (“Director”) to oversee the implementation architecture and engineering of Ascend’s cloud infrastructure, network design, security tooling, and other mission-critical technical capabilities to support Ascend’s hypergrowth journey as we acquire middle-market Accounting firms. Additionally, they will coordinate with an MSP, and lead IT security for Compliance & Controls (Risk Management, et al.) and Security Engineering (firewalls, IDS/IPS, Zero Trust, EDR, et al.) The Director will report to the Chief Information Officer and is a remote eligible position.

Key Responsibilities

Lead the design and engineering of a resilient, secure, and performant IT Infrastructure Stack for Ascend and our Partner Firms.

  • Work with an external SI to design, engineer, and pilot a repeatable infrastructure technology stack meeting NIST standards for security and compliance. Key technology components for this include: Network (Firewall (SDWAN), Switching and Wifi); Endpoint Imaging (Windows Autopilot); m365 for Collaboration (Teams Voice); Azure VD and Azure Cloud for IaaS and PaaS.
  • Ensure the design and implementation of these technologies meet relevant best practices standards (e.g. Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework). Ensure the required security and controls capabilities exist to comply with relevant NIST security standards and support the ability to achieve SOC2 Type II Compliance certification by a selected third-party auditor.
  • Build and pilot a designed technology stack and incorporate continuous improvements resulting in a repeatable, scalable playbook.
  • Maintain close awareness of changing engineering guidance from primary technology vendors (Microsoft, Cisco etc.) and continue to maintain ecosystem-wide Infrastructure standards to maintain a cutting-edge posture.
  • Build and Maintain key vendor relationships to ensure we receive and deliver exceptional value from vendors (e.g. Preferred Pricing and Terms), access to funding buckets (e.g. Microsoft ECIF and MAPP programs), and invitations to preview new technology.

Collaborate with CIO to select and transition to a nation-wide Managed Service Provider (MSP) to design and rollout high-quality technology support capabilities, including end user support, 24x7 monitoring, incident management, and other routine operational tasks.

  • Ensure that an effective support process exists for all infrastructure and applications deployed across the Ascend ecosystem.
  • Selection and implementation of an Enterprise class ITSM Platform suitable for sustained growth.
  • Ensure proper availability baselines are developed through continuous monitoring, resulting in SLAs that are defined, monitored, and reported upon monthly.
  • Govern MSP Service Scope delivery, holding them to contracted Service Levels as associated with response and resolution times, service quality, and other qualitative metrics as appropriate.
  • Ensure MSP maintains appropriate controls and security safeguards to prevent undue risks to Ascend.

Build and lead an effective cybersecurity program resulting in SOC 2 Type II Certification.

  • Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy utilizing NIST CSF 2.0 frameworks to achieve best-in-class security.
  • Build strong partnerships with key vendors (Microsoft, Crowdstrike, Cribl etc.) to stay at the forefront of industry developments.
  • Build out a cybersecurity L&D program in coordination with People Operations to ensure Ascend and Partner Firms employees remain vigilant and alert to increasingly sophisticated attacks.

Qualifications

  • A minimum of twelve (12) years of experience leading cloud infrastructure and security in a high-growth environment; previous experience with a private-equity backed rollup / aggregator preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage against budget restraints to ensure costs remain competitive.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to identify opportunities and make data-driven decisions.
  • Excellent leadership abilities and superior service orientation.
  • Strong organizational, critical thinking and communication skills.

At Ascend, we provide a fair and equal employment opportunity for all candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, marital status, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Ascend hires and promotes individuals solely based on qualifications for the position to be filled and business needs.

About Alpine Investors

Alpine Investors is a people-driven private equity firm that is committed to building great companies by working with, learning from, and developing exceptional people. Alpine prides itself on fostering cultures where people value empowerment, diversity, fairness, integrity, and intellectual honesty. Founded in 2001, Alpine specializes in investments in companies in the software and services industries. Alpine has over $17 billion in AUM and has offices in San Francisco, New York, and Salt Lake City.

For more information on the firm, visit www.alpineinvestors.com