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Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM), also known as network monitoring or network management, is a process of controlling and monitoring IT systems remotely by a managed services provider (MSP).   

 

In order for the MSP to monitor a client’s system, a software agent will be installed on the client’s device(s). These agents are a computer program for client desktops, servers, mobile devices, or other network devices to send information about the system’s health to the MSP. This gives the MSP insight into the client’s networks, provides the ability to keep machines up-to-date and maintained, and proactively stay ahead of issues and resolve them remotely, without the need to go to the client’s office. The agent doesn’t just allow the MSP to check in on things, but if a problem arises, it can alert the MSP by creating a ticket to resolve that issue. This way of monitoring is so effective that the MSP can resolve issues before the client even realizes there was one. 

 

RMM is so efficient for both the client and the MSP. Technicians would traditionally need to come out and fix everything in person, this takes a lot of time and effort, from scheduling and travelling. Through RMM, techs can manage more clients, and do so remotely from installing software, updates, patches, and so much more. 

 

History of RMM

 

In the early 1990’s the first standard network management tools were being used with the first Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). Support technicians would develop procedures to constantly check up on their client’s environments to get the status and health of the systems. They would use elaborate checklists to record information about the machines. This method would only be somewhat useful, as it did not give the whole picture of the ongoing status of the network. 

 

The first managed IT solution tools used with SNMP were complex, difficult to manage systems that only giant companies with giant networks could afford. Many MSPs spent a lot of money into making their own service delivery platforms with their own infrastructure and network operations center (NOC). Cost was a big reason why small businesses and MSPs had a difficult time venturing into managed IT services. 

 

As time went on, computers and systems became more of an everyday necessity. In 2005, smaller businesses could finally start to take advantage of the type of managed services that the large companies had access to. Now the MSPs could take advantage of the RMM technology and provide these services to the small and medium sized businesses. 

 

Break-Fix Challenges

 

The term “break-fix” refers to the fee-for-service method of providing IT services to businesses.

You may think it’s not a big deal to stick with “break-fix” IT support. Here are some of the challenges it imposes. 

 

  1. IT demands are sporadic. Inconsistent workflow means difficulty staffing and planning. 
  2. Inconsistent and unreliable income.
  3. Less clients can be taken on. 
  4. Clients can become unhappy when problems arise from slow-acting IT support. 
  5. When problems occur, the client is more likely to lose trust in their IT support. 
  6. Minor issues that go unchecked can become big issues. 
  7. Systems can become outdated without regular checks. 
  8. Disasters like data breaches can occur on outdated or unchecked systems. 

 

RMM Benefits

 

Here are just some of the benefits that come from RMM:

 

  1. Small and medium size businesses can get enterprise-level monitoring.
  2. Problems are detected and resolved before it becomes an issue.
  3. Clients pay a fixed monthly price, which means, no surprise costs and steady revenue for the provider.
  4. The less IT problems that occur means higher profit. 
  5. Less downtime for end-users.
  6. Device lifetime may be extended with improved performance.
  7. Techs can be focused on preventative maintenance rather than break-fix issues.
  8. Customer satisfaction increased.
  9. Allows MSPs to expand their client base. 

 

RMM Services and Pricing

 

Many MSPs price RMM services using a flat-rate, monthly recurring model. Pricing may be based on the number of devices and/or users services that are included. The can be tiered packages priced at different levels. If a client doesn’t need a lot of RMM services, the MSP may offer a la carte services which allows clients to choose specific services that work best for them. 

 

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For the modern business today, data security is everything. The progressive move towards an ultimately paperless business process means that an increasing amount of business data is digital. 

 

First, let’s answer the question: What is data? And why is it so important for us to keep it secure? There’s a lot of buzz around data security. So, let’s see how it affects your business.

 

Information like email correspondence and financial records all contain confidential information. Your work documents can contain work product ideas, business leads and proprietary information that you would not readily give someone else access to. A good data security solution ensures that your information is kept safe and is only shared when you explicitly do so.

 

Why do I need a data security solution?

 

There are several data risks facing modern businesses today. Data leaks are amongst the most dangerous and damaging. They can happen both accidentally and intentionally. A good data security solution will prevent any accidental leaks, and make it extremely difficult to intentionally leak data out on purpose. 

 

Non-physical products like intellectual property cannot really be recovered in a way that a stolen computer can be. Once your ideas are out there, it’s not possible to get them back. The person who stole it in the first place can still get financial gain from it. Your data security solution needs to prevent this information from being released in the first place. Easier said than done, but there are definitely ways to keep your ideas safe.

 

Ransomware is another thorn in the side of online businesses. Hackers gain access to your data and essentially hold it “hostage” by charging you a fee before the data is released. Guarding against these attacks requires a multi-pronged approach. Obviously, your business system needs to be guarded. But you will also need other areas covered just in case, like multiple data backups. A data security solution that’s worth its salt would be an ever-evolving one; one that learns and adapts to threats that are always changing.

 

Another aspect of data security to consider is the protection of your clients, especially if your business handles online transactions. Your customers are trusting you with their financial data. You have an ethical (and usually, legal) obligation to make all reasonable efforts to keep their data safe. No client would even consider giving you their business if there’s even the tiniest chance that their financial data will be stolen. The right data security solution for you would provide a data structure where sensitive information is kept safe and only accessible when it is explicitly needed.

 

What does a good data security solution look like?

 

Data security for your business should be both preventative and remedial. A solution that offers a solid defense against data threats, and an effective plan to mitigate any danger that might break through. The ideal scenario would be to have a solution that is so secure and inclusive that no data failure would ever occur. But real life happens sometimes. And a recovery solution is every bit as important as a defensive solution. 

 

What if something still goes wrong?

 

If any major (or minor) part of your business operates online, then you need to consider what would happen in the event of any kind of failure. Technical breakdowns, acts of nature, human negligence, criminal activity, etc. The list goes on. These events can hinder business significantly. In some cases, it could completely shut operations down. How could you possibly recover from something like this? Could something like this be avoided in the first place?

 

This is where business continuity planning saves the day.  It is a set of protocols that come to action when needed. Some of the most popular systems put in place include cloud data backups, network monitoring and disaster recovery plans. In a nutshell, business continuity planning ensures that no matter what goes wrong, your data is safe and business can continue as usual. We can help make sure it’s business as usual, even when things aren’t going smoothly.

 

How do I decide which data security solution works best for me?

 

There are many solutions that are ready-made and available immediately. But, one of the most important criteria to consider is whether your business’ specific data security needs are being taken care of. Like a well-fitted suit of armor, your data security solution needs to be customized to fit your business. Not all plans are created equal. A solution that’s not properly tailored to your unique needs may end up not being as protective as you think. 

 

Ultimately, the best data security solution is one where your needs have been assessed by a professional, and your specific weak spots have been identified. You get a customized solution that is implemented without any bloated additional services whilst still offering outstanding performance in both fixed and mobile data security. Contact us today and see how your business can be stronger and better equipped to withstand anything.

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