RMM & Patch Management: Your First Defense Against Cyberattacks

Author: Adrian Luh, product marketing manager, Datto
Author: Adrian Luh, product marketing manager, Datto

Cybersecurity is a hot topic among IT professionals, and a managed service provider's (MSP's) responsibility to maintain secure environments has increased dramatically over the past decade. As threats become more commonplace, today's cybercriminals continue leveraging social engineering emails as the top attack vector.

According to the Anti-Phishing Work Group's Q1-2019 report, the total number of phishing sites from Q4-2018 to Q1-2019 increased by 30%. In addition to the rise in phishing, ProofPoint's Q1-2019 Quarterly Threat Report states emails with malicious URLs exceeded those with emails containing malicious attachments 5 to 1 and are up 180% versus Q1-2018. Users are closer than ever to being within a single click from the threat. Technology vendors are doing their part to ensure vulnerabilities are fixed as quickly as possible, usually releasing an update within hours of learning about it.

A prime example of this is the WannaCry5 outbreak of 2017. Microsoft learned of a vulnerability within the Windows Operating System on March 14, 2017, and released a security bulletin MS17-0106 that same day marked as CRITICAL. The global outbreak transpired two months later, compromising 230,000 computers in 150 countries in 24 hours. The malicious code that exploited Microsoft's vulnerability was in the wild for almost a month before the attack occurred. When the dust settled, at least 300,000 devices had not received the critically flagged update from Microsoft.

Attacks like WannaCry raise awareness around cyberattacks and often raise red flags for businesses, who then look to their MSPs to provide strategic guidance and tactical measures regarding security. To adequately do this, MSPs need to approach their client security engagements thoughtfully, and patch management is a great place to begin. Patch Management services provide MSPs with an opportunity to build a line of services that can be bundled or delivered à la carte. The types of services might include:

  • Vulnerability Assessments & Management
  • Patch Assessments & Management
  • Secure Configuration Assessments
  • Application Security Testing
  • Compliance Assessments & Management

Building a service around patch management requires a combination of program process documentation and technology toolsets to deliver effectively. MSPs should position the service to their clients as an ongoing and comprehensive discipline--not a short-term project. All stakeholders should understand the frequency of updates, the targeted devices receiving updates, and how to define and measure compliance.

Leveraging the power of a fully automated, policy-based platform, like Datto RMM, will position MSPs to systematically deploy patches for typical business applications as soon as they become available, helping to close the window of exposure for known and zero-day vulnerabilities. Datto RMM also generates easy-to-understand reports, bringing clear visibility to the sites and devices with the highest risk.

Download this whitepapere to learn more about the importance of Patching and how RMM can be the first line of defense against cyberthreats.

Author Adrian Luh is product marketing manager at Datto. Read more guest blogs from Datto here.