Remote Computer Monitoring
With remote IT management continuing to boom, managed service providers have found themselves in a challenging position. To secure and stabilize their client networks, MSPs require a robust set of remote computer monitoring and system management tools. They must be able to comprehensively manage multiple computer networks, whether that means running patch updates or scanning for security threats at the network level.
At the same time, these processes must be efficient. Remote IT management demands a light footprint with limited resource drainage on a client’s network. A malware-free network is an important goal, but it can’t come at the expense of lagging system speed and broken business continuity.
The Cost of Network Slowdowns
Daily network slowdowns are not only frustrating for employees, but they can also wreak havoc on productivity. For every interruption, employees lose an average of five to fifteen minutes of productivity. Complete system downtime is even more costly. According to industry surveys, network downtime can cost up to $300,000 per hour — an eye-popping number, to be sure.
Those kinds of losses can cascade and destroy an organization – not to mention executives’ trust in their IT managers and MSPs.
Security Challenges of Remote Computer Monitoring
Remote computer and network access present particular security concerns for MSPs.
For one, MSPs have to contend with scattered access permissions. Employees, contractors and other vendors might all have remote access to networks. These users likely have varying levels of file permissions, and some may share logins with inappropriate permissions. It’s a scenario that presents a potential nightmare of security vulnerability.
This can be compounded by the need to support multiple devices and operating systems. Organizations today often run a mixture of operating systems including Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. And while employees may primarily access the network through desktop machines, they often also require access via smartphones and other mobile devices.
To accommodate so many devices and platforms, many MSPs turn to multiple remote computer and network monitoring tools, each with their own varying levels of performance and potential security vulnerabilities.
In a recent survey of over 2,400 IT professionals from across the globe, the Ponemon Institute found that managing complex security requirements is a top concern. Organizations recognize that they must reduce complexity in their IT operations. Yet, to accommodate organizational demands, they find themselves reliant on multiple vendor solutions, with 42 percent of IT providers in the U.S. reporting that they used seven to 10 vendors.
This kind of complexity is especially challenging for regulated industries such as healthcare and finance. Organizations in these industries face strict privacy regulations, including HIPAA and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. These laws set tough requirements on who can access and control sensitive data. Remote administration, including remote computer monitoring, must account for these industry-specific regulations.
MSPs and IT administrators need to incorporate proven security standards and fully understand the threats they protect against.
Security Threats to Remote Administration
Security threats to organizations come in a number of types and sizes.
- Social engineering, which includes phishing attacks, scareware and baiting
- Malware, ranging from viruses to spyware
- Brute-force attacks to decode encrypted data, as well as distributed denial of service attacks
How else can remote administration be exploited? Consider a case in 2014, in which hackers gained access to payment systems at several restaurants in the northwest United States. Information Systems and Supplies, a company that provides point of sale systems to restaurants, learned that hackers had gained access to restaurants’ payment records through the company’s remote access system.
With what likely began as a phishing attack, hackers gained access to a remote login account used to support the company’s clients. Hackers then appeared to have planted malware on the point of sale systems. This malware stole data that included customers’ credit card info.
The story was similar with retail giant Target in 2013. In that case, the attack appeared to be the result of mismanaged login credentials. Hackers were able to break into Target’s network by using stolen logins from a heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor who had access rights to Target’s network. The hackers then installed malware on Target’s point of sale machines and accumulated nearly 40 million debit and credit card records. The breach ultimately cost Target in the hundreds of millions of dollars — not to mention untold damage to the company’s brand.
With such consistent and dire threats to the way MSPs do business, it’s clear why MSP RMM from SolarWinds MSP leads the industry in providing remote computer monitoring and system management services that are truly secure.
Complete Network Access and Control
For busy MSPs, efficient tools are a must-have. That is where MSP RMM delivers.
Our complete remote administration platform is agile and lightweight. Whether you’re running network-wide vulnerability scans or daily backups, our platform offers lightning-quick functionality with a small footprint on customer machines. Employees stay productive, and their computers remain unhampered during important under-the-hood network maintenance.
Cleaning out temp files? Performing system restarts? Forget carrying out these routine tasks manually. MSP RMM automates these tasks, as well as other checks and alerts. You can even run custom scripts in order to boost automation, allowing you to focus your attention on higher priorities.
MSP RMM also offers a complete window into your network, with active device discovery. As more devices enter your network, you can proactively manage them, taking the important steps to prevent any kind of accidental data breach. For MSPs, remote computer monitoring and device discovery helps to account for all of a client’s devices, which allows for more accurate billing.
Our platform empowers you to remotely manage desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, across the full range of operating systems and model years. And did we mention that these comprehensive tools sit under a single dashboard?
Remote Computer Monitoring With Complete Clarity
The best remote computer monitoring solutions offer a complete view into networks. They’re also easy to use. With our remote monitoring platform, you get:
- Health checks on hardware and software — Keep a tab on workstations and servers, spanning multiple locations
- Complete security logs — Track the status of antivirus scans, updates in error logs and more
- Automated notifications — Get emails in your inbox every time there’s an overdue server or failed check
- Background maintenance — Use remote command lines to fix problems, all without disrupting users
With SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow), you can provide comprehensive security with features such as:
- Layered security — Our platform offers layers of proactive, predictive and responsive security, making sure that your networks don’t experience any costly disruptions.
- Two-factor authentication — As part of a layered security approach, two-factor authentication protects against data breaches and other security threats.
- Tough encryption — With SolarWinds MSP, you benefit from ironclad encryption options, whether your data is in motion or at rest. Backups are encrypted immediately on site and don’t reach the cloud until they’ve been transferred through secure connections.
To see how MSP RMM from SolarWinds MSP can boost your business and improve your remote computer monitoring capabilities, register for a free 30-day trial. You’ll be up and running in 10 minutes!
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. SolarWinds MSP products — including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk — comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market.
SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
SolarWinds MSP'S passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, contact us today.
Tech Target: http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/social-engineering
Computer World: www.computerworld.com/article/security/hackers-hit-more-businesses-through-remote-access-accounts
Computer World: www.computerworld.com/article/cybercrime-hacking/target-breach-happened-because-of-a-basic-network-segmentation-error