Device Protection 101: Safeguarding Businesses through Effective Device Monitoring

In today’s digital age, businesses are increasingly reliant on technology to optimize business operations and stay competitive. One crucial aspect often overlooked is device monitoring, which plays a pivotal role in ensuring uptime, availability, security, and compliance. Let’s delve into the top 5 ways monitoring devices can elevate your business’s protection levels and empower your workforce, especially those working remotely or sharing devices.

1. Real-Time Threat Detection

Effective device monitoring provides real-time alerts for any suspicious activities or potential security breaches. By promptly identifying threats, businesses can take immediate action to mitigate risks, safeguard sensitive data, and maintain uninterrupted operations. For instance, malware infections are a common threat that can be detected early with proper monitoring systems. Malware can corrupt files, steal sensitive information, and disrupt normal business activities.

Another example is phishing attacks, where malicious actors attempt to deceive employees into providing confidential information or access to secure systems. Monitoring solutions can identify and flag unusual login attempts or access patterns, preventing unauthorized access and potential data theft. Additionally, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which aim to overwhelm a system with traffic to render it unusable, can be identified promptly. Monitoring traffic patterns can help in recognizing such attacks early, allowing businesses to respond quickly and maintain service availability.

2. Enhanced Uptime and Availability

Monitoring devices proactively detect performance issues, hardware malfunctions, or network disruptions that could lead to downtime. By addressing these issues before they escalate, businesses can ensure continuous operation, minimize productivity losses, and deliver reliable services to customers.

Consider a company that relies heavily on its e-commerce platform, particularly during peak shopping seasons like Black Friday or the holiday period. During such times, any downtime or performance hiccup can result in significant revenue losses and damage to customer trust. With proactive monitoring in place, this company can receive alerts about potential server overloads or degraded performance well before it affects the end users.

If the monitoring system detects an unusual spike in server load, it can trigger an alert to the IT team. This enables them to take immediate action, such as scaling up resources or balancing the load across multiple servers, thereby ensuring that the platform remains robust and capable of handling high traffic volumes. By addressing these issues preemptively, the company not only maintains uptime and availability but also safeguards its reputation and customer satisfaction.

3. Compliance Adherence

Small businesses face regulatory requirements and industry standards that mandate data protection and privacy measures. Device monitoring aids in maintaining compliance by tracking access controls, data handling practices, and security protocols, thereby helping businesses avoid penalties and uphold trust with clients.

For instance, businesses that process credit card transactions must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). PCI DSS sets forth stringent guidelines for securing payment card data, which include requirements for maintaining a secure network, protecting cardholder data, implementing strong access control measures, and regularly monitoring and testing networks. Device monitoring becomes instrumental in meeting these requirements by continuously tracking network activities and ensuring that firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other security measures are functioning correctly.

To illustrate, consider a small retail business that conducts both online and in-store sales. This business must ensure that credit card information is processed securely and that any data stored is protected against breaches. Device monitoring solutions can help the business continuously oversee its payment processing systems, flagging any instances of unauthorized access or deviations from security protocols. For example, if there’s an attempt to access payment data outside normal business hours, the monitoring system can immediately notify IT staff, allowing them to investigate and respond swiftly.

Similarly, organizations in the healthcare sector must adhere to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which mandates the protection of patient health information (PHI). Under HIPAA, healthcare providers are required to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic PHI they create, receive, maintain, or transmit. Device monitoring assists in compliance by ensuring that access to PHI is appropriately controlled and by providing audit trails that can be reviewed during compliance checks.

For example, a clinic using electronic health records (EHR) can leverage device monitoring to track all access to patient information, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to PHI. If a monitoring system detects an unusual login attempt or an unauthorized attempt to alter patient records, it can alert the compliance officer immediately, thereby mitigating potential breaches and maintaining HIPAA compliance.

4. Remote Workforce Support

With an increasing number of employees working remotely, monitoring devices become essential for managing dispersed teams and ensuring secure connections. By offering remote monitoring capabilities, businesses can oversee employee devices, enforce security policies, and support seamless collaboration regardless of location.

For example, consider a marketing agency with employees working remotely across different time zones. By implementing robust device monitoring solutions, the agency can ensure that all remote devices comply with security protocols, regardless of the employees’ locations. The monitoring system can enforce the use of VPNs for secure connections, regularly check for software updates, and verify that antivirus programs are up to date.

Specifically, if an employee’s device shows signs of potential malware infection or is missing critical security updates, the monitoring system can flag these issues for immediate resolution. This proactive monitoring not only secures the company’s sensitive client data but also enables employees to work without interruptions caused by security breaches or system failures. Consequently, the agency can maintain high productivity levels and safeguard client information, ultimately leading to a more efficient and secure remote work environment.

5. Shared Device Security

For businesses utilizing shared devices, monitoring becomes critical in tracking user activities, managing access permissions, and preventing unauthorized usage. By implementing device monitoring solutions, businesses can protect confidential information, promote accountability among users, and maintain the integrity of shared resources.

Consider a hardware store in which multiple employees are accessing computer systems for design, configuration, quote and ordering of home goods and services. These shared devices pose a unique security challenge due to the constant flux of user activity and the diverse purposes for which they are used. By implementing robust device monitoring solutions, the store can significantly enhance the security of these shared computers.

For instance, device monitoring can track user logins and logouts, ensuring that each user session is properly accounted for and that any anomalies are promptly flagged. If the monitoring system detects an unusual pattern, such as multiple failed login attempts or an extended period of inactivity followed by a sudden surge in activity, it can alert the IT staff to investigate potential security breaches or misuse.

Furthermore, monitoring can manage access permissions to restrict certain activities by unauthorized users. For example, administrative settings should only be accessible to store staff, preventing employees from installing unapproved software or altering system configurations. This level of control helps to maintain the integrity of the shared devices and protect against the installation of malicious software.

Additionally, the system can enforce automatic sign-outs after a period of inactivity, reducing the risk of a user’s session being hijacked by the next person who uses the device. By continuously scanning for vulnerabilities and ensuring compliance with security protocols, the monitoring solution safeguards company and customer data while maintaining a secure usage environment.

By leveraging device monitoring in such a setting, the store can ensure a safer, more secure experience for all patrons while protecting the integrity and functionality of its shared resources.

In Conclusion

By prioritizing device monitoring strategies, businesses can fortify their defenses, optimize operational efficiency, and foster a secure work environment for all employees. Embracing proactive monitoring practices is not just a measure of protection but a strategic investment in long-term sustainability and growth.

For further insights and detailed information supporting the importance of device monitoring in small business settings, you can refer to the following reputable sources:

1. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

2. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

3. Data Privacy Regulations Overview

4. Remote Work Best Practices Guide

5. Device Monitoring Solutions Comparison

Stay informed, stay protected, and optimize your business with the right tools for effective device monitoring. Your business deserves the best defense against evolving digital threats. If you want to discuss this with an expert, please contact Montra at or +1-404-665-9675.

Four Ways to Revamp IT Rollout Efficiency for Retail

The process of rolling out new technology into your stores. It’s a flawless and simple joy, right? It starts as a clear and easy plan on a spreadsheet but ends up a messy series of poorly timed shipments and badly configured devices, leading to a lot of emails creating inefficiency and frustration. Ever found yourself marveling at how your best laid plans are dashed against reality? Or how your implementation partners vanish into thin air during deployments? Or perhaps you’ve witnessed the “budget bloat” that happens when inefficiency in your rollout creates delays and re-work that are blamed on ‘supply chain issues’. Fear not, weary retailers, there exists a better way to manage this process.

Bringing Order to the Chaos

Retailers, in their steadfast effort to modernize, encounter a formidable challenge. Implementing new technology across numerous stores is comparable to managing a complex array of IT equipment, each with unique configuration requirements. The hurdles are abundant, much like the frequent issues with point-of-sale systems or wifi. These include discrepancies in deployment times, lost shipments, and the perennial “it worked fine in testing” dilemma.

We believe that an integrated approach that links inventory management, asset management, remote management & monitoring and shipping logistics, into a single platform is the only way to maximize the efficient management of IT assets in a dispersed environment like retail.

This enables retailers to pull four important factors into control in the management of their IT rollouts:

1. Track Procurement and Warehousing

Before any rollout begins, it’s crucial to efficiently catalog and organize all your devices. You may be doing this in a spreadsheet or maybe an asset manager, but you need to manage the workflow also. Even a small rollout can become overwhelming without proper organization, and many devices need to be ordered in advance to ensure availability when needed. Without systematic tracking, finding everything during the shipping phase can be time-consuming.

Montra’s device lifecycle platform, Via, addresses these challenges effortlessly. Designed specifically for IT, Via enables seamless tracking from procurement to deployment. It keeps tabs on software revisions, warranty dates, and service ticket history. By integrating with your ordering and shipping processes, Via simplifies procurement and warehousing complexities, ensuring every device is accounted for and ready for use.

For warehousing, Via allows you to track devices down to the pallet or individual shelf location. You can even track devices by serial number and manage IT asset details like software versions and hardware warranties. The platform also supports creating bundles and setting kitting requirements for interdependent devices. Any rollout process can be initiated within Via or through service management platforms like Salesforce Service or ServiceNow.

2. Monitor Shipping Centrally

Once devices are ready to go, the shipping process often turns into a disorganized mess of tracking numbers across multiple carriers. Whether you are shipping a bundle of devices to a single store, or a fleet of devices across multiple stores, using spreadsheets to track all your shipments can quickly get out of control.

With Via you can initiate and track all shipments from one location. You can ship bundles of devices with the same ease as a single unit. You can also specify requirements for pre-configuration or kitting prior to shipment, and you can even indicate whether an installer is needed on site to meet the devices.

Once devices are shipped, they can be tracked directly in Via with real-time updates from UPS or FedEx fed directly into the system – even across multiple accounts numbers. No more tracking packages across multiple carriers and various carrier accounts.

3. Monitor Devices in the Stores

Ensuring ongoing performance and swiftly addressing failures are critical aspects of IT efficiency in retail. Once devices are deployed, they should be continuously monitored for security and availability. Real-time surveillance allows for the immediate detection of security issues or system failures, ensuring that any problems can be addressed before they escalate.

Via integrates device monitoring with logistics and asset management to greatly improves response efficiency. Knowing the origin, duration, imaging history, and spare inventory of each device throughout its lifecycle streamlines issue resolution.

This integrated approach not only reduces resolution and response times but also minimizes downtime and employee time spent on technology issues rather than customer service. This leads to an enhanced customer experience, increasing sales and promoting repeat visits. A single, system of record for devices, like Via, also eliminates the need to maintain multiple databases of devices for warehousing, for device monitoring and for asset management.

4. Manage Returns and Spares

Furthermore, when it comes to the inevitable hiccups that require a system to be returned or replaced, Montra Via also streamlines this process. The platform’s efficient returns processing mechanism simplifies the logistics of initiating the return of a failed device and ordering a replacement from the spares inventory with minimal disruption. Designed for standard returns or cross-shipped ones, Via reduces downtime, ensuring stores quickly receive the correct equipment with an accurate configuration. By making returns processing seamless, Montra Via protects retailers from the potential chaos caused by device malfunctions, thus maintaining high operational standards and customer satisfaction.

Montra Via also helps you manage your spares inventory with a separate inventory account for spares systems and parts. Importantly you can see set reorder alerts, see versions and updates, as well as warranty dates. This help makes certain that your spares are up to date and ready if a return is required.

As retail continues to get more tech-enabled, implementing Montra Via for your IT logistics is akin to upgrading from a cash register to a modern POS system. Cost efficiency, faster deployment, better uptime, streamlined cybersecurity, efficient inventory management, and improved spare device storage aren’t just aspirations; they are your new reality.

Retailers, elevate your tech rollout game now. Life is too short for inefficient IT deployments. Join those who refuse to accept the status quo, empowered by the revolutionary capabilities of Montra Via. Your future self—and your bottom line—will thank you.

Laughing at Hackers: 5 Proactive Steps You Can Take to Secure Your Laptops from External Threats

Here’s a joke that’s not funny: your company’s data was just hacked.

Shock waves, unmitigated panic, and alibis are all fair play when you as the CIO, CISO or Head of IT, wakes up to the news that a hacker has infiltrated their systems. Fingers are pointing in every direction, questions are flying, and your reputation is on the line. What went wrong? It could stem from the fact that you only protected your perimeter with a firewall – your organization thought that it was enough to safeguard its network infrastructure and didn’t think much about user devices. However, laptops are a popular attack vector for an assailant to get into your inner sanctum.

According to a recent report by Verizon, 94% of malware was delivered via email, and user devices like laptops were the primary targets. Moreover, a study by Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. It’s vitally important to adopt comprehensive security measures to protect not only your network infrastructure but also individual user devices.

So, what steps can you take to make your laptop more secure? Here are five strategies that you can use to combat external threats:

1. Utilize Strong Passwords

According to a report by Verizon, over 80% of data breaches are a result of weak or compromised passwords. To appreciate the importance of password strength, you must reconsider that hackers have computing power, time, and nerves on their side. But with the built-in technology of a password manager, you can utilize complex sign-in credentials for every account on your laptop, making them too difficult to crack in a reasonable amount of time.

A study by the University of Virginia illustrated that using a password manager can significantly increase the strength and variability of passwords, thereby amping up security. Once in place the password manager will automatically log you in without having to recall them all. It will also send you reminders to change passwords regularly, which is only advisable if you are using a password manager.

Furthermore, research by Pew Research Center indicates that only 12% of U.S. internet users utilize a password manager for remembering their password.

2. Enable Multi Factor Authentication

Fact. You need two factors to verify an identity. The FBI has reported that multifactor authentication (MFA) can block 99.9% of automated cyber-attacks. Moreover, according to Symantec, 80% of data breaches could be prevented with MFA. Therefore, multifactor authorization is the two-in-one (or more-in-one) approach that makes certain it’s you logging into the system.

The standard approach is to think of it as something you know, something you have, and something you are – a password, a smart card, and a fingerprint. Research by Google found that even the weakest forms of MFA, such as SMS-based verification codes, can block 100% of automated bots, 96% of bulk phishing attacks, and 76% of targeted attacks.

Despite the clear benefits, MFA is underutilized, with only 57% of people using it for their personal accounts and 30% at work, according to a report by Microsoft. If utilized MFA provides arguably the most effective line of defense in securing your laptop from external threats.

3. Install Updates and Patches

New software vulnerabilities are constantly found. A study by Flexera found that in 2019, 60% of breaches involved vulnerabilities for which a patch was available but not applied. The only way to avoid being exploited by this kind of attack is to install software patches and updates. They will help to fix any known security vulnerabilities in the software you use.

Further underscoring the importance of regular system updates, the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses report revealed that 63% of respondents experienced a data breach due to a known, unpatched vulnerability. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer – keep your software updated!

4. Use Antivirus and Anti-malware software

According to a report by AV-TEST, an independent cybersecurity institute, over 350,000 new malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) are registered every day. This alarming number illustrates the importance of antivirus and anti-malware software in protecting your laptop.

The state of the art in defending  against attack vectors and malicious threats keeps changing. Antivirus (AV) has given way to Next-gen Antivirus (NGAV), which has been upped by endpoint detect & response (EDR). You should look into whether NGAV or EDR is right for you, it really depends on the potential damage that a breach to the individual laptop can cause. Regardless of what type you use, installing a current antivirus and anti-malware software will assist in intercepting many external threats.

5. Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

A study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 68% of organizations admit antivirus solutions are not sufficient. Increasing cyber threats and a rising remote workforce, necessitates the use of secure, encrypted connections. There is a growing need for VPNs as a tool for securing internet connections, particularly when accessing public Wi-Fi networks. VPNs create a private network between a company’s network and a remote user to secure the internet connection.

In a nutshell, a VPN is vital for remote workers as it provides a secure, encrypted connection when utilizing a home connection or public Wi-Fi. In the age of remote work and digital nomads, using a VPN has gone from an optional extra to a necessary security measure.

To Summarize

Is gaining peace of mind that your end-user laptops are secure a burden for you? If the answer is yes, then these tips should aid your computing device protection game. You can’t go wrong with utilizing strong passwords, enabling multi factor authentication, installing updates and patches, using antivirus and anti-malware software, and using a VPN.

Take your laptop’s security one step further than your office firewall; take preemptive measures to make hackers regret even trying! Remember, security should always be your top priority as data breaches can have severe consequences for your organization.

If you have questions about getting your laptops secured or need a partner to secure and manage your laptops for you, reach out to us at or +1-404-665-9675.

How Hybrid Work is Affecting Remote IT Management: A Crash Course

As the world continues to adapt to the changing landscape of work, the concept of hybrid work has emerged as a popular model for many organizations. Hybrid work combines elements of remote work and in-person collaboration, allowing employees to have flexibility while also maintaining some level of face-to-face interaction. While this shift has brought numerous benefits, it has also presented unique challenges for IT management. In this post, we will explore the various ways hybrid work has impacted remote IT management and discuss strategies to navigate this new working model.

In a remote-only work environment, IT management was more focused on ensuring remote team members had the infrastructure, technology, and tools needed to do their jobs effectively. However, as we continue to transition into a hybrid work environment where some team members are working on-site while others are working remotely, IT management must ensure that the hybridity doesn’t cause communication or collaboration issues.

There are a few areas of IT Management concern that need to be addressed in good hybrid IT Management:

1.   Loss of Control of Digital Assets

One of the significant impacts of hybrid work on IT management is the loss of control over digital assets. With teams working remotely and often using their own devices, IT managers are faced with the challenge of ensuring the security and integrity of company data. According to a recent study by Gartner, 70% of IT leaders reported a decrease in control over digital assets since the implementation of hybrid work. This loss of control requires IT managers to implement robust security measures, such as multi-factor authentication and encryption, to safeguard sensitive information.

The solution to this is to implement strict and comprehensive access protocols that ensure only authorized users can get to the sensitive data. Multi-factor authentication, least privilege access, and data loss prevention tactics are some of the ways to achieve this.

2.   Increase in Security Concerns

Alongside the loss of control over digital assets, hybrid work has led to an increase in security concerns. Remote employees may not be as cautious about cybersecurity best practices when working from home compared to when they are in the office. This opens up opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities and launch attacks. A survey conducted by Cisco revealed that 68% of IT professionals observed an increase in security breaches since the transition to hybrid work. To address this challenge, IT managers must prioritize security awareness training, regularly update software and systems, and implement strong application access security protocols.

3.   Need for Efficient Communication

Effective communication has always been crucial in IT management, but the need for seamless communication has become even more critical in the era of hybrid work. Leaders must make sure they’re up-to-date with how team members are experiencing remote and on-site work and if they’re comfortable using technology tools. According to a survey conducted by Slack, 82% of IT professionals identified communication gaps as one of the top challenges in managing remote IT operations. To bridge these gaps, IT managers are leveraging collaboration tools, such as project management platforms, instant messaging apps, and video conferencing software, to facilitate efficient communication and ensure smooth workflow.

4.   Enhanced Infrastructure and Scalability Demands

Hybrid work has resulted in increased demands for infrastructure and scalability in remote IT management. As more employees work remotely, IT managers must ensure that the company’s infrastructure can handle the additional load and provide seamless access to necessary resources. A report by Forrester predicts that by 2025, organizations will spend $19 billion on technologies that enable remote work. This includes investments in cloud-based solutions, virtual private networks (VPNs), and scalable IT systems. IT managers need to proactively assess and upgrade their infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of hybrid work.

5.   Effective Remote Support

In a hybrid work environment, remote IT management also needs to ensure that there is a standardized support system in place to guarantee that remote and on-site employees receive quick IT assistance and support. This calls for a mechanism in place that can field and handle IT-related requests regardless of whether the employee who is facing the issue is working remotely or on-site. A helpdesk system can be an excellent solution. Robust helpdesk software that’s equipped with chat and email functionality should suffice.

There’s no denying that hybrid work is transforming the way businesses operate. In addition to its many benefits, it brings significant challenges that businesses must solve to thrive in a hybrid work environment. IT managers must navigate the loss of control over digital assets, address heightened security concerns, prioritize efficient communication, and meet enhanced infrastructure demands. By implementing proactive strategies and leveraging appropriate technologies, organizations can effectively manage their IT operations in the new era of hybrid work. Embracing these changes will not only ensure productivity and security but also foster a collaborative and flexible work environment for employees.

Here are the references for the information mentioned in the post:

Gartner Study

Gartner. (2022). Hybrid Work and the Future of Work. [Online]. Available:

Cisco Survey

Cisco. (2021). Future of Secure Remote Work. [Online]. Available:

Slack Survey

Slack. (2021). Remote Work in the New Normal. [Online]. Available:

Forrester Report

Forrester. (2021). The Future of Work Infrastructure. [Online]. Available: