A growing number of organizations are utilizing managed services providers (MSP) to support their internal IT departments. MSPs can provide businesses with a heightened level of IT support, ensuring that their IT infrastructure and network operate efficiently and seamlessly. To further enhance their services, many MSPs utilize remote monitoring management (RMM).
RMM allows MSPs to provide services to their customers from any location, ensuring that their systems function smoothly at all times. Monitoring your IT infrastructure is critical to avoiding disruptions and ensuring efficiency, but knowing what to monitor for is vital. For this reason, we will discuss the features to look for in an RMM and the metrics you should monitor.
Cybersecurity is of growing concern for businesses worldwide. As our technological advancements grow, so do the risks of data breaches and cyberattacks. Regularly monitoring the security of your network is critical to mitigating risk and protecting your information. As more and more professionals are conducting work remotely, it is vital that your organization can manage security remotely as well. The more of your employees that work remotely, the more endpoints that exist in your network and are vulnerable to security threats. Attackers will use these endpoints to enter and compromise your network, so you must continuously monitor for incongruencies and breaches. By hacking into your employee’s personal devices, attackers can gain access to your company network.
Your RMM provider should be experienced in information security and be able to protect your company and employees’ information from any location. As a result, you must ensure that the RMM software you implement has continuous security monitoring and management tools to ensure that your devices and network are safe from attacks. Security metrics to monitor may include:
- Firewall status
- Installation of antivirus and security tools
- Cybersecurity threats detected
- Failed user login attempts
- Creation, migration, or removal of users on an endpoint
- If drives on an endpoint are encrypted/unencrypted
- Backup failures and attempts
Device Health and Performance Monitoring
Beyond monitoring for security, your RMM should monitor your IT infrastructure as a whole. Ensuring the overall health and function of your infrastructure is critical for your business to operate efficiently. Your RMM should monitor device health, performance metrics, general network, application, and drive monitoring. We will break down what each of these entails.
The health of your devices should be monitored continuously, ensuring that all devices are operating as designed at all times. This will ensure that your employees have access to your network and can complete their work as intended, in cohesion with your company's network. Monitoring for device health should include:
- Monitoring for continuous critical events
- Monitor for offline endpoints and hardware changes
- Alert when a device is unintentionally rebooted
- Identify when devices require rebooting
In addition to the health of devices, your RMM provider should monitor and manage the number of mobile devices that your organization utilizes. Many employees use their personal devices while completing company work, so ensuring that these are protected and managed is critical to protecting company information. This will also ensure that all devices are secure and updated so that they operate with utmost efficiency.
Additionally, monitoring for performance is critical, ensuring that all devices and systems are functioning as intended. If monitored properly, your MSP will be able to identify potential issues before they cause disruptions. Performance monitoring is critical to determine how effectively your systems are working. If performance is lower than expected, your MSP should identify this and correct the problem. Should performance be neglected, it can negatively impact other projects within your organization. For this reason, proactive performance monitoring is essential – if something can be measured, it can be managed. Essential performance metrics may include:
- Disk space
- Uptime and downtime
Network and Application Monitoring
As more and more companies implement remote and hybrid work, network monitoring extends beyond just servers and workstations. In the modern office, companies must be able to expand their network monitoring to every device on their network. This will ensure that employees access the company network and systems no matter where they work or which device they access it from. To prepare for and avoid threats, all devices on the company network must be regularly monitored. Fortunately, RMM software provides complete network coverage while remotely monitoring and troubleshooting any irregularities. Additional features to consider regarding network monitoring may include monitoring for:
- Unexpected bandwidth usage
- Network device activity
- Status of open ports
- Client website performance and availability
Application and hardware are constantly changing as updates and maintenance are required. For this reason, you must perform regular application monitoring. This will ensure that you are aware of any unauthorized configuration changes. With an RMM, you can avoid the risk of human error that comes with the manual approach to application maintenance, in addition to equipping your company with real-time change detection capabilities. This ensures that the moment an unauthorized change occurs, you will be identified and the problem solved quickly. With application monitoring, you should keep track of:
- If required applications exist on an endpoint
- Whether critical applications and servers are running
- Resource usage for applications
- Application crashes
While monitoring helps strengthen the integrity of your IT infrastructure and its processes, some problems will inevitably arise. Whether a cyberattack occurs, a misconfiguration error, or your RMM refuses to integrate correctly with your existing IT infrastructure; an experienced professional is instrumental in solving problems quickly. For this reason, your RMM provider must offer adequate support.
The right RMM provider will ensure that your network and all of its devices are secure and updated, ensuring that your employees have the right tools to succeed in the roles. For your company’s technology to be useful, all devices and systems must be integrated with one another and be able to work collectively. With an RMM, you can be confident that your IT infrastructure is managed and monitored with the utmost care, allowing your team members to focus on the tasks that drive your business forward.