5 Reasons to Arm Your RMM With Stronger Security
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) platforms are a simple way to gain a powerful handle on maintaining your clients’ IT environments. As a true force multiplier, RMM allows you to greatly increase your productivity by giving you a vantage point on various workstations from numerous clients all at the same time. This way, you can often resolve problems before your customer even knows they were there. Furthermore, you can automate a whole host of tasks too, which only helps you increase your productivity even more.
RMM and Security
That being said, it should probably come as no surprise that security needs to be a priority for your RMM platform. Anytime you have something with this much power, you, unfortunately, have to expect that a lot of things can go wrong. The most obvious is probably the fact that an RMM platform makes an almost irresistible target for a hacker. If they can gain control of it for even a few minutes, a lot of damage can be done.
That’s only scratches the surface, of why you need to invest in strong security measures for your RMM platform though. Let’s take a look at the five most compelling reasons.
1) Systems Visibility
As we covered at the beginning, one of the best features of an RMM platform is how it allows you to keep track of a number of users all at once. It also makes it easy to track their habits over a prolonged period of time. These types of analytics can be extremely helpful. You can view the role of the users as well, which makes it simple to add context to each user being viewed. Another advantage of this vantage point is that you can see the entire layout of the network managed.
Now, that’s all well and good, but these benefits of using an RMM platform can quickly become a burden if a cyber attacker gets a hold of them.
First, a savvy hacker might use the information we covered above to efficiently find weak points in a network’s security plan. Whether the intruder wants to plan a much more destructive attack or simply locate the sensitive data they’re after, neither would be good.
Second, this type of information would be ideal for designing an attack based on social engineering. RMM platforms would give a hacker everything they need to create the perfect plan for maximum damage.
2) Trust Factor
The majority of RMM systems make it easy to communicate with users on managed systems. Again, a hacker would love to have the opportunity to do this.
If you’ve heard of phishing scams, you know that they usually rely on the assumption of authority. Someone will email an employee and claim to be the head of IT. As long as they have a company email address, they stand a pretty good chance of succeeding.
Now imagine a hacker is able to use a company messaging system to reach out to anyone they want as an “IT administrator.” Most staff members would trust that chat platform implicitly, meaning they’d be quick to hand over all kinds of sensitive data.
A simple command to “reset” a password is all it would take. From there, the hacker could easily gain access to any information they wanted.
3) Privileged Access
With RMM systems comes the need for privileged access. Part of what this software allows the user to do is access customer systems and perform various tasks. In order to do this, the user has to have a privileged-level of access to these systems.
You can probably see the potential problem here.
Should an enterprising attacker gain access to an RMM system, it would take very little work for them to then go and access customer systems as well. With this access, they could easily install all kinds of malware.
This threat alone should make clear why RMM systems are such major targets for hackers. Trying to break into a system and install some kind of bot or other malicious software is no easy task to perform. Accessing a backdoor with practically no security is so much easier. On top of that, an RMM system would give them access to a number of different customer operations.
4) Sensitive Data
Here’s another obvious reason why you have to be so careful with your RMM systems. At the end of the day, one of the biggest reasons for a cyber-attack is to obtain sensitive data. Just about every company has some version of it too.
When you’re using an RMM system with customers, it’s very likely that this entails access to some of their sensitive information. This could be customer credit card numbers, medical records or proprietary information that’s essential to a company’s competitive edge. Whatever the case, whether a hacker wants to add to their bank account or just cause problems, this sensitive data is going to be a nearly irresistible target.
Aside from the problems they’d cause one of your customers, imagine the compliance issues that this would bring up. Your customers could find themselves in legal trouble if an attacker is successful in using your RMM system for their malicious ends.
5) Remote Access
You can’t have RMM without remote access. This is part of its effectiveness, but it’s also one of the reasons hackers love to attack them too. Accessibility goes both ways, after all. If your staff can use RMM systems to access customer-side operations, it will allow successful attackers to as well.
They could infiltrate an RMM and, say, disguise themselves as the president of one of the companies you work with. From sending emails to making permanent changes to the organization’s digital infrastructure, a hacker could do just about anything and mask their actions from a remote environment.