RMMs are Great, but Great RMMs are Secure!
to get nicer for some time. Your staff have work that needs to be completed, but bad weather invariably lead to a bad commute. Wouldn’t it be nice if your staff could securely work on all of your customers systems from the coziness of your main office?
Yes, and if you’re an IT service provider you may already have the means of doing so. Effective ITSPs and MSPs invest in RMM solutions, and the ability to Remotely access systems puts the R in RMM.
Why is the ability to Remotely Monitor and Manage systems so awesome?
We’ve considered the facts, and there are three major factors that make remote control awesome.
It eases the process of assisting your users.
Never again will you hear the dreaded phrase “where’s the any key?” during a support call. When you receive notification that a system needs support, you can simply take control, assess the situation, and often resolve the issue without even needing to talk to the end user. If they require assistance, remote access makes guidance a snap, as you can see what they are doing without any actions required on their end.
It assists with the auditing of your resources.
Quick, what operating systems are all of the systems on your network running? You need time!? There’s a critical issue that only affects a specific update of a specific OS. How are you going to be able to resolve this? Well, with an RMM system in place keeping track of the systems across your network and their specifications you can have this information in mere moments. If you know your RMM tool has reach to every system on your network, you know what’s online or offline, what systems are running specific versions of an OS, and potentially even what software is installed on individual systems. Never again will you be blindsided by a mission critical system that “you were unaware was still running Windows NT.”
It can reduce many of the expenses of technical support.
How long can it take to get a technician on-site? How much does it cost to resolve a basic technical issue? Many of the expenses related to technical support are based around the time and travel requirements needed to get the job done. With easy to use remote access, your technicians don’t need to travel or guide the user through potentially complex steps. They can simply do it themselves.
What are some considerations that need to be made by those using RMM systems?
There are two major considerations that technicians utilizing an RMM system need to make. Are the accessing users being authorized in a secure manner (adequate authentication), and how will the accessibility of the system be handled.
Why does user authentication and authorization matter?
To put it gently, if an attacker gains access to your RMM system by impersonating an authorized user, then it’s game over. They could just as easily distribute malware across your network as they could use those resources to brute force passwords for other systems. As such, controlling access to those systems is of the utmost importance. Access should only be provided to those who can authenticate themselves, and that authentication should require more than an easily impersonated username and password.
Is accessibility a risk or a benefit?
In one respect accessibility is a great benefit, as it provides users with easy access to the resources they need to get their job done. On the other hand, accessibility isn’t a one way street. If resources are more accessible to your users, they’re also more accessible to anyone. This means that potential attackers could come from virtually anywhere. While there is great convenience provided by accessible resources, there are also additional risks that need to be considered.
Whether or not the groundhog sees its shadow is irrelevant. Every month of the year there are days where it is important, and sometimes necessary, to work remotely, and because of this, RMMs can be a great boon to any business. At the same time, with the great power and convenience of these tools comes an equally great responsibility. Ensuring the security of an RMM system in a business is utterly crucial. Connections made to the system should be critically eyed and audited in order to ensure that those systems remain secure. Supplementing those audits with additional strong security features is also highly recommended.