Discovering the Value of Network Assessment Tools
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch is famously misquoted as saying, “If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed.” He did say something that to effect, but that’s really less important than the underlying message: Management of any structure or organization requires knowing its composition, function and operations. This is particularly true when securing IT systems.
The average business really doesn’t know what sits on its network or lurks in its data center. Servers and appliances are attached to the network all the time without being properly inventoried. Users will download and install applications on networked servers and endpoints without authorization and users sometimes depart without the IT department receiving notice. Add to this that fact that users often create weak passwords, and you have many factors that can lead to infrastructure records being fractured and incomplete. An inadequate view of the IT environment is a security incident waiting to happen.
MSPs' Best Friend
Network assessment tools are probably the best friend of managed service providers, as they automate manual network and security assessments and produce branded Client Risk Reports that will help you win new business. Network assessments are also a great tool to use with your existing customers by providing a periodic “health check” network assessment and uncovering issues that need to be fixed.
A complete view of a client’s IT environment is essential for providing security services. Hackers target unmanaged systems, hardware and software. If they find a rogue machine or an unattended server on a network, they’ll have a much easier time installing Trojans or using the server as relay for deeper probes into the network or attacking networks. Unpatched software on servers and endpoints is the top source of security compromises.
Staying on Top of the Networks
Through the use of network assessment tools, MSPs can devise appropriate management and security services plans, using the assessment reports to improve infrastructure optimization while simultaneously reducing risk exposure. The ongoing use of network assessment tools will ensure MSPs and their customers remain fully informed as to what’s happening on their networks. After all, no network is static, and change is the catalyst that introduces opportunities for security breaches.
Sales and revenue aren’t the only business reasons for using network assessment tools. What happens on a network reflects upon the MSP, particularly when bad things happen. Knowing what’s on the network will help MSPs ensure quality of service, compliance with service-level agreements and customer expectation management.
The Value of Network Assessment Tools
Network assessment tools provide tremendous value to MSPs and their customers. This is why Continuum has teamed with assessment specialist RapidFire Tools to create Continuum Network Detective, one of many valuable service options and resources available to MSPs. With Continuum, MSPs have no need to acquire and assimilate third-party tools: They have a full set of discovery and management tools to keep their customers’ networks operating and secure.
Steve Ricketts, VP of Marketing, Continuum, which provides an end-to-end intelligent remote monitoring and management solution, 24 x 7 Service Desk, and business continuity platform offering – all integrated with a 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC) that enables MSPs to profitably backup, monitor, troubleshoot and maintain IT environments.