Remote Management and Monitoring (RMM) vs. Hourly

remote management and monitoring

With the rapid technological advances in the last 20+ years, automation is becoming commonplace in business. Today, repetitive business tasks are often replaced with automated software solutions in an effort to streamline costs and focus man hours on tasks that require critical thinking.

One such example of automation in the IT industry is remote management and monitoring (RMM).

What is RMM?

Remote management and monitoring is a type of automation that uses the latest technological tools to keep computer systems up to date and business networks protected.

RMM makes it possible to automate the process of applying patches and updates, reducing the risk of human error. In the days before RMM, these tasks were handled manually. With the introduction of RMM, automated tools now handle these tasks more effectively, freeing up IT staff to focus on other projects.

One of the biggest benefits of remote management and monitoring is the ability to flag certain items. Servers are constantly producing logs, and those logs can provide valuable information for IT staff. In the past, server logs were reviewed manually and it was easy to miss even the most obvious red flags.  RMM software searches for red flags, passing the most critical onto the IT team or service provider.

Remote Management and Monitoring – and Compliance

When all systems are connected to a central ticketing system, reporting is even easier and more effective. RMM provides a detailed audit trail, showing exactly what steps were taken to resolve an issue.

HIPAA, for example, requires proof that patches and updates are regularly completed. This audit trail can help you confirm your business is in compliance, and that you have taken steps to prevent a recurrence.

RMM vs. Hourly

Businesses require data to operate and that data needs to be protected. There are a variety of ways to do this, but one service isn’t necessarily ‘better’ than the other. It is more a matter of finding the best way to identify and apply fixes in a consistent manner.

The Benefits of RMM?

RMM has a number of advantages over the hourly model, including its proactive nature. With RMM, services are proactive, offering real-time alerts and ongoing monitoring. This allows for faster response times and reduces the risk of serious damage to the network or its data.

With the hourly model, a user will report that something is wrong, or IT will find the issue. Action is only taken once the issue is identified, which results in a reactive process that is susceptible to human error. If an issue is missed, it could remain unresolved for days, weeks or even months. In this way, resolution speed is more efficient through RMM compared to hourly.

Cost Comparison

Remote management and monitoring provides a more consistent, predictable cost, making budgeting easier, eliminating expensive surprises. With RMM, you have a set cost based on the number of computers, firewalls, servers and other equipment you have in place.

With the hourly model, costs fluctuate, sometimes in unpredictable ways. Windows updates for example may take more time one month over another, resulting in sometimes drastic cost fluctuations.

A Hybrid Approach

A popular approach and growing trend is to use RMM for critical network infrastructure and hourly IT support on projects. RMM can handle basic maintenance and monitoring tasks while IT staff tackles projects like server migrations, application setup or user training. This approach offers the best of both worlds, combining the predictability of RMM with the custom aspect of project work.

Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Trends

The biggest shift in RMM is the number of tasks these automated tools can tackle. Modern RMM tools include sophisticated scripting models, i.e. if this happens, do that.

You can take alerts that are already in place and automate that process response over time. And while it takes time to build out the automation, once it is in place, you can enjoy lower and more consistent IT costs.

If you want to streamline your IT costs through RMM, contact Ontech Systems at 262-522-8560. We can help you develop a RMM plan so you can protect your business, stay compliant with all applicable regulations and build a better and more robust network.

Ready to get started?

Call us at 262-522-8560 for a quick 10-minute chat to see if we’re a good fit or submit a request online and let us know how we can help.

10 Easy Ways to Secure Your Online Accounts and Identity

From ransomware attacks to spear phishing designed to target decision makers and compromise intellectual property, security threats are multiplying faster than many businesses can adapt to.

If you want to avoid becoming the next cautionary tale, it’s important to understand the risks and know how to protect yourself. The more you know about these established threats, the easier it will be to prevent them. Here are some steps you can take to enhance your security and protect your business in an increasingly unsafe online world.

1) Enable Two-Factor Authentication

If you’re relying on passwords alone to secure your network and protect sensitive data, you are one step away from truly securing that information. With so many widely known data breaches, there’s a good chance some of the passwords you use are already in the wild.

This is why two-factor authentication is such a vital part of any comprehensive security program. With two-factor authentication, you can create an extra layer of security that builds redundancy and offers peace of mind.

It is important to note that most, if not all online and business accounts use two-factor authentication, and implementing this strategy is not as complicated as you might think. Since most systems already have two-factor authentication built in, adding extra security is simply a matter of turning it on.

2) Close Any Accounts You’re Not Using

From the secondary email account you thought you needed to the app that looked great but wasn’t, you probably have a lot of extraneous programs running on your personal devices and business network. Each one of those unused accounts is a security risk, and closing them can lower this risk.

Start by taking inventory of all programs and accounts on your network. With this list, you can close accounts you no longer need. By removing this unnecessary data, you can reduce the risk posed by those old and frequently unsecured accounts.

3) Have Strong (and Unique) Passwords

A solid password strategy is key to online security and identity protection, but long and complicated credentials are not enough. If you want to protect yourself and your data, you need to make sure your passwords are unique as well as complex.

Repeating passwords across multiple accounts and websites is a dangerous practice that is all too common in the business world. You can start by setting a good example, then implement policies that require employees to establish unique passwords for every account they create and every password-protected website they visit.

4) Password Protect Your Phone

The smartphone in your pocket is much more than a communication device – it is a tiny computer vulnerable to attack. As such, your phone deserves its own protection, starting with a strong password.

If you are not protecting your mobile devices with strong passwords, you could be handing hackers the keys to the kingdom. If just one of your mobile devices is compromised, cyber criminals could use that access to roam the rest of your network, taking control of the system, stealing proprietary information and even implementing a ransomware attack.

If your organization is bring your own device (BYOD) friendly, it is critical to have a solid mobile device management plan in place. Allowing employees to use their personal devices makes sense from a business and cost standpoint, but only if those workers understand their responsibilities and take security risks seriously.

5) Be Mindful of What You Publish About Yourself and Your Business

It’s great to have a presence on social media, but sharing too much information could put your security at risk. Be mindful about what you publish online.

Hackers view social media as a rich source of information, and they routinely harvest that data. An resourceful hacker could use the digital clues you leave behind to guess your passwords, and if they guess correctly they could soon be roaming through your network undetected.

6) Watch What Others Are Saying

It is not just what you say about yourself that puts your security at risk. Information shared by others, including customers and your own employees, could also give hackers a back door into the company network.

It often starts innocently enough. A business, proud of an employee’s achievement, might post about it online, but that proud moment could have negative consequences depending on who is watching.

The threat posed by third-party information is all too real. This very thing happened to one of Ontech’s clients, and within a week hackers were already spoofing the individual who was promoted by the business.

7) Integrate AI Defense for Mailboxes

Artificial intelligence can be used to protect company email accounts. Once that AI defense is fully integrated, it can monitor company email for unusual activity and suspiciously heavy traffic. If a problem is detected, the AI can notify an administrator, allowing them to take action and head off an attack. Want to implement AI into your email defense? Contact us online or call 262-522-8560 for more information.

8) Be Mindful of Your Internet Connection

Not all internet connections are the same – some are riskier than others. Never log into accounts containing sensitive information via public Wi-Fi, and pay close attention to the type of connection you are using.

9) Do Not Use Free Emails for Business

Free email may be fine for personal use, but these accounts are inappropriate and dangerous for businesses. It may be tempting to use a free email address as a secondary address but this creates a major risk for the business, so stick to business accounts while at work.

10) Watch Out for Phishing Emails

Phishing attacks take many forms, and they have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. You can never be too careful. At Ontech Systems, we’ve recently seen an uptick in phishing emails targeting QuickBooks and other accounting software.

Ultimately, the greater the level of adoption, the more likely hackers will target users of the software program. Pay close attention to the software you use, and always be suspicious when you receive an email requesting personal or proprietary information.

If you have questions about how to secure your online identity or protect your business, just contact Ontech Systems. We can help you develop a comprehensive security plan for your business to lock down your systems and reduce the risks posed by hackers and cyber criminals.

Ready to get started?

Call us at 262-522-8560 for a quick 10-minute chat to see if we’re a good fit or submit a request online and let us know how we can help.

5 Simple Steps to a Millennial-Friendly Network

5 simple steps to a millennial friendly network

The millennial generation is different in many ways, from its reluctance to invest in the stock market in the wake of the Great Recession to its preference for experience over material goods. But for businesses, there are other, more important differences to consider.

In the next few years, the millennial generation are expected to make up half the workforce, and their influence is growing daily. Millennials, it seems, do everything differently, and that includes the way they work.

If you want to manage the members of this incoming generation effectively, you need to think the way they think, and that can mean changing the way you manage and secure your corporate network. Follow these five simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to a millennial-friendly network.

1) Embrace the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Trend

Millennials love their devices, and more than 7 in 10 say the way an organization views technology influences whether they want to work there.

With businesses competing for millennial talent, a robust BYOD policy could prove essential to retaining members of this massive generation. Aside from keeping them happy, BYOD is great for productivity. There is compelling evidence that a well thought out BYOD policy increases productivity.

A BYOD policy also settles the endless debate over Apple vs. Android. Millennials have strong feelings on these matters, and allowing them to bring their own devices is a great way to avoid feuds over competing platforms and technologies.

2) Implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Plan

For millennial employees, access to mobile devices is not optional – it’s essential. If you want to create a millennial-friendly workforce and at the same time, keep your data safe, you need to have a mobile device management (MDM) plan in place.

Some millennials may be skeptical over the amount of privacy they will have on their devices, so it’s important to create an MDM policy that stresses security and privacy.

Educating your workforce on what your MDM policy is, what it covers, and how it works can set millennial minds at ease. For example; when Ontech implemented BYOD and MDM, we brought each employee in the manager’s office separately and showed them the portal and exactly what Ontech can and can’t see. 

In addition to a MDM plan, it’s also a good idea to lock down your network with a secure VPN. A mobile workforce is convenient, but you can’t afford to sacrifice security for convenience. Millennials don’t want to be chained to their desks or trapped in their cubicles – a secure and robust VPN gives them the freedom they need, whether they’re working from home or grabbing a bite at the local coffee shop.

3) Put a Solid Data Backup and Business Continuity Solution in Place

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses that suffer a major data disaster never reopen. The loss of network data could be an existential threat. A business continuity plan to restore critical files is not only your first line of protection, it’s also the path to a more productive millennial workforce.

Ontech crafted these steps by going ‘straight to the horse’s mouth’ and asking millennials exactly what they do and don’t like about their place of work.

One millennial worker expressed how her paperless office suffered mightily from network outages – network-stored blueprints were often unavailable, and work ground to a halt until connectivity had been restored.

But it’s not just millennials who feel the pain, younger workers in general are more attuned to these problems. If you want to keep your millennials happy and productive, a reliable wireless network, robust data backup and business continuity plan is an absolute must.

4) Make Company Tech EASY

As digital natives, most members of the millennial generation have never known a time before computers, cell phones and other tech devices. They’ve grown up with these devices in their pocket, and they are used to fast response times, intuitive designs and simple operation.

If your own tech is not easy, your millennial workers could move on to greener, more tech-friendly pastures. If you want to attract the best millennial talent and convince them to not only stay, but grow with your business, focus on ease of operation.

There are many ways to make your network easier to operate such as cloud-based software and storage systems used in conjunction with mobile apps.

Millennials prefer clear, step-by-step processes from employers. Microsoft Sharepoint allows those processes to be easily documented and shared between appropriate team members.  Microsoft Sharepoint also allows your management team to lock down those specific documents to not be edited without the proper user permissions in place.

Dual monitors are another must for the millennial-friendly workplace, allowing employees of all ages the flexibility and freedom they need to stay happy and productive on the job.

Strong support is another key to ease of use. If your business operates in multiple shifts, a 24/7 help desk could be a lifesaver. Nothing is more frustrating to a millennial than needing help and not being able to perform their job due to lack of support.

For some companies, a millennial friendly network might extend beyond making things easy. A well-known pioneer of healthy workplace culture is Google who offers a wide variety of perks for employees. But at a smaller scale, this might mean opening up the firewall between 11:30am – 1pm for millennials to stream content or browse social media over lunch. After all, a healthy work/life balance is key to keeping millennials happy.

5) Create a Collaborative Environment

This generation is increasingly looking for a collaborative work environment that encourages the sharing of information and free exchange of ideas.

Nearly two thirds of workers ages 18 to 34 say they are motivated by video meetings and team messaging apps. Microsoft Teams is one of the most valuable tools for collaboration in the modern workforce, and adopting it can give your organization a powerful edge when attracting and retaining talented millennials.

Members of the millennial generation are already having a profound impact on the modern workplace, and their influence is only expected to grow. If you would like more information on any of the steps described, just contact Ontech’s support team by phone at 262-522-8560 or send us a message online.

We will work with you to create a powerful, secure, and stable network – one that will enhance the productivity and job satisfaction for all of your millennial staff.

Introducing Webroot Enhanced Security Training

Cyber security is a top priority for most businesses, and if it isn’t, it should be.  Cyber security basics can protect your business from cyber threats through a layered security approach. One of the most important fundamentals of cyber security involves educating staff through security awareness training

Webroot Enhanced Security can ease the stress that comes with training staff on how to spot a potential cyber security threat. 

“A study by the Ponemon Institute on the value of employee training showed that businesses who roll out security awareness training programs see improvements of between 26% and 99% in their phishing email click rates, with an average improvement of a 64%.2  “

2 Ponemon Institute. “The Cost of Phishing & Value of Employee Training.” (Aug 2015)

Webroot Enhanced Security provides a phishing simulator allowing you to create realistic phishing scams, that can mimic threats your business could potentially face.  This simulator enables you to track each email and how each user responds. Being able to see this data allows you to fill in those cyber security educational gaps with a full course library to assign the appropriate training to specific end users.

View more key features and courses included here.

For a limited time, Ontech is waiving the set-up fee for your first campaign!

Contact us today to learn how 262-522-8560 x2 or insidesales@ontech.com  

Mobile Device Management Event: Learn On Lunch

What: Support BYOD & Enhance Productivity with Complete Mobility Management. Enjoy lunch and learn about this important topic!
When: April 10, 2019
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm CDT
Where: Highland Hall (located inside the Hartford Senior Center)
730 Highland Ave Hartford, WI 53027 (View Map)

Fees/Admission:
$15.00 per participant
(includes a boxed lunch from MJ’S Market)

Keep Your Employees Happy (And Your Data Secure)

Smartphones and tablets continue to flood the workplace, and businesses everywhere are racing to appropriately regulate and manage these mobile devices.

To support today’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, you’ll need a mobile device management (MDM) solution that keeps your employees happy – and keeps you in control.

Ontech’s Mobile Device Management is an affordable, easy-to-use cloud platform containing all of the essential functionality for end-to-end management of today’s mobile devices, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindle Fire devices, Windows Phones and BlackBerry smartphones.

With MDM, you can provide users with fast and secure access to corporate data from their personal devices. And with the industry’s broadest device support, intuitive workflows, simplified deployment options, and advanced management and security features, we make BYOD simple.

Unparalleled Peace of Mind Ontech answers the MDM challenge, with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the management of personal devices – without compromising the user experience, security or privacy. Our solution provides flexible approaches for enrollment, asset management, policy enforcement and the distribution of profiles, apps and docs, all based on device ownership (whether corporate- or employee-owned).

We’ll even handle day-to-day MDM monitoring and management, and only escalate back to you the alerts that you want. It’s truly a set-and-forget solution.

Getting started couldn’t be easier. In just a few quick clicks, you can start enrolling devices and immediately manage the entire mobile device life cycle — from enrollment to enterprise integration, configuration and management, monitoring and security, support, and analytics and reporting.

Separating Work & Play Your employees want to maintain one device for both work and play – they want to access corporate email, then check Facebook, jump back to email and review an upcoming presentation over lunch.

This need for “dual personas” is exactly what our MDM solution aims to address. So go ahead, let your employees leverage their devices – and rest assured that critical business data and applications will remain safe, secure, and accessible. On your terms.

 

Take the Pledge on World Backup Day

The world has gone digital in a big way, creating a host of issues as well as enormous opportunities. The way we store and use data has undergone a profound shift in a short period of time, but all too often the security of that data has been in question.

Now industry, government and concerned citizens are coming together to address those issues. World Backup Day is a time to back up your data and check your files, but March 31st is about much more than copying files.

On March 31st, the founders of World Backup Day are banding together to raise awareness of a serious issue, one that affects businesses large and small and individuals alike. From the books we read and the movies we watch, to the music we listen to and the photos we store, digital data is everywhere. The digital nature of our cultural heritage makes secure backup an absolute necessity.

Ontech Has Taken the Pledge – Will You?

Creating and securing that digital heritage is what World Backup Day is all about. From ordinary users who have never backed up their data to businesses looking for a more secure data backup solution, everyone can get involved this year on March 31st.

Every Day is Backup Day

World Backup Day is coming fast, but you don’t need to wait to take action. Every day should be backup day, and it’s never too early to start – or too late to improve your company’s backup strategy.

The shocking data backup statistics surrounding personal and business backups are troubling – further proof that World Backup Day is sorely needed. Studies show that nearly a third of all data disasters are the result of an accident, and 10% of all computers are currently harboring at least one virus. If you think your system is immune, you could be in for a rude awakening.

Data Backup is a Must for All Businesses

No business is too large or small to benefit from a solid backup plan. As World Backup Day approaches, now is the perfect time to improve your backup strategy – or create a backup strategy for your business.

Backing up your data is more than inserting a thumb drive into your desktop computer or connecting an external hard drive to a critical server. Developing a backup plan requires a comprehensive checklist, one that Ontech Systems is happy to assist with.

Whether you already have a backup plan in place or you’re just getting started, our expert staff can help you create a plan that protects your data in an increasingly dangerous digital world.

Data Backup Checklist

Backing up your data may seem like a daunting task, but not if you break it down the right way. If you want to secure your data and protect your business, the following data backup checklist can help.

It’s time to get real about backing up your data, so why not use World Backup Day as the catalyst? This checklist could save your data – and your business.

If you’re not verifying the validity of your backups on a regular basis, you are flying blind, so checking your existing backups should be the first order of business. Once that task has been completed, you can move on to the rest of the checklist.

  • Make sure your backup includes ALL your files, including operating system files, software application files, lesser used data files and all data files from every company server.
  • Verify that your backups are running on schedule. Do not simply assume your backups are running every night – until you check, you can never be sure.
  • Address the frequency of your backups. Is backing up your data on a nightly basis really enough? Can you afford to lose an entire day’s work? You may need to adjust the way your backups run and how often your data is archived.
  • Ensure every device is being backed up. These days tablets, smartphones and other devices store enormous amounts of data. Is the information they contain included in your backup plan?
  • Give your backup a backup plan. It’s not enough to have a single backup – your backup also needs a backup. Making two backups builds redundancy into your network and adds an extra layer of security to your business.
  • Think in terms of recovery. Having a backup plan in place is only the first step. If you want your business to survive a disaster, you need a plan for fast recovery. If your disaster recovery plan is robust and well thought out, your customers never need to know about the temporary loss of a server or critical device.

A Quick Note for Windows 7 Users

Having a solid backup plan is critical to the health of your business, but so is the right software. After many years of faithful service and regular updates, the Windows 7 end-of-life date is rapidly approaching.

As of January 14th, 2020, extended support for this popular operating system will officially come to an end. If you are still running Windows 7, it is time to develop an upgrade plan for all your devices.

Once again, the experts at Ontech Systems are here to help you develop a comprehensive upgrade strategy that maintains support and helps you protect your data.

Just give us a call and contact us today at 262-522-8560 to discuss your Windows 7 concerns, backup issues or anything else in the tech universe.

Or, get started by requesting a free network discovery to get an assessment of your network.

Google Rating
5.0