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.

Hybrid Workforces Need Employee Notifications Now More than Ever

Now more than ever in this hybrid working world, employees value transparency, connectedness, and timely communication. When your organization communicates with employees when an incident occurs, or when an announcement affects their safety, they know that their time and well-being are being respected. 

An employee notification system makes the immediate reception of important information possible anytime and anywhere. The messages can inform or alert to maximize productivity of your employees. 

Texts and messaging apps are already a central part of your employees’ lives. Texts and messaging app messages like Slack are mostly read within the first 3 minutes after being sent, as opposed to only 22% of emails. Using these systems can help you to connect to your employees, increase engagement, and ultimately boost the employee experience. They’re quick, easy to manage and utilize all the devices they are using, from laptops to smartphones. 

When to Use Employee Notifications 

When starting to use an employee notification system, the following use cases have been shown to be the most efficient and value-packed: 

  • Emergency Situations: Use employee notifications to inform your employees about weather emergencies, transportation outages, or office issues. Not only is this information highly relevant, but it can save time, and boost efficiency. 
  • Deadline Reminders: Remind teams of project deadlines or upcoming deals. Company-wide, you can use deadline announcements to inform employees about things like benefits enrollment periods. 
  • Upcoming Events: To add a bit of fun, you can use employee notifications to promote the next office party, sports event, or team getaway. 
  • Major Company News: While not every piece of company news is worth a notification push, major news alerts can increase employee connectedness o the company and excitement about the company victories. 
  • Software Updates: Since call software comes with regular updates, you can inform your employees about new features or improvements that they can use. 

The Rules of Employee Notifications 

Employee notifications work, but sending too many, sending them at the wrong time, not targeting your message, or simply not providing value can quickly lead employees to ignore them. Consider the following rules when you generate your next employee message: 

  • Be relevant: When you send out employee messages, always consider how they will be received during your employees’ daily lives. According to a Push Index data study, highly targeted messages increase response rates by 293%! Target your employee messages based on departments, locations, and teams. 
  • Align with your company culture: Take time to decide on the proper tone to use. Employee messages should reflect the values of your company and your relationship with your employees, so make sure that your tone is consistent. 
  • Be engaging: Provide timely and relevant information so your employees are the first to learn about company news, benefit plans, or severe weather updates, not that John won the karaoke contest. 
  • Measure and improve: Track your employee notifications and their engagement rates. This will help you to determine which messages are more interesting and engaging to your employees and will help you to fine-tune future messages. 

Pay Attention to Timing and Wording 

Timing. Localytics data shows that when using sending an employee message, Thursday is currently the best day to get high click rates. The data further shows that sending messages between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. results in the highest average click rate: 15%.  

Wording. Keep your messages clear, concise, and compact. The aim is to catch your employees’ attention and quickly communicate your message. Messages should offer clear, concrete value, and communicate the desired action. 

Educate Your Employees on the System 

Once you implement your notification system, announce to your employees that you will be using a new service to notify everyone within the organization of critical events or announcements. It’s key that all employees understand that these notifications are important to stay informed and in the loop. 

Use Multiple Channels and Groups 

Multi-Channel. If you have an important message that needs to get to your people ASAP, make sure you leverage your employee notification system’s multi-channel functionality. Select as many channels as you believe are appropriate for your notification, but if this is indeed an emergency, we recommend contacting your employees over text message, email, Teams or Slack, voice call, and social media. 

Groups. To reach them with the right message at the best time, you’ll want to be sure to create robust grouping hierarchies that reflect your organization’s structure, for example, groups based on department, office location, and role for example. And if your organization has many locations, send notifications from the map using geofencing, so you can capture all employees in an affected region.  

Engaging your employees through thoughtful, relevant messages will enable your organization to interact and communicate with your employees successfully. Correctly using an employee notification system can help you connect with your employees in meaningful ways, create value for them, increase engagement and ultimately boost your employee’s experience. 

Are you interested in leveraging employee notification capabilities of Montra VIA? Do you want to connect with your hybrid workforce faster and more completely? Don’t hesitate to contact us at! 

Six Things to Look for in Modern Remote Management and Monitoring Tools

If you are a managed IT services provider or a company that gets services from one, you are likely very familiar with remote management and monitoring software. RMM has been a mainstay application used by managed IT services providers for years. It provides several important functions that enable the cost-effective and secure delivery of the end-device services by IT service providers. 

The past two years have rapidly changed the breadth and frequency of remote work. Whether this is a permanent change in work habits or not, the remote worker needs to be supported as a standard part of IT service delivery, not as an exception – what people call hybrid work now. 

For modern RMM software to keep up with the changing nature of work and the applications and systems being used, the following items need to be addressed: 

1. Remote Updating Needs Rock Solid Reliability 

All RMM clients have supported remote patching and other software updates for years. Not all of them have supported remote updates effectively. The challenge in this new hybrid work model is that a remote user whose device gets bricked by a poorly executed update is especially adversely affected. The RMM client also needs to not only give users the option when to update, but also needs to warn them if they should be doing an update because maybe they are not plugged in, are in a public hotspot, or are on an unreliable internet connection. This approach will help minimize the times a user goes down and IT needs to scramble to get them running (typically at a high cost!) 

2. Top Rate Remote Policy Enforcement 

Policy enforcement needs to be included in any modern RMM. This is needed for a variety of reasons including 1) compliance to frameworks like HIPAA or NIST CSF; 2) security from a user making poor decisions like plugging in an unknown USB drive, and 3) intellectual property loss from users copying files or deleting files. The policy management importantly needs to be integrated with a centralized policy management system, so the policies that are enforced by the RMM are always in lockstep with the latest corporate policies. 

3. Remote Revocation of Rights is Critical 

Since employees can be anywhere when they leave the company, the traditional process of “hand me your computer” doesn’t work. Typically, laptops are mailed back after an empty box is shipped to the employee, or the system is just kept by the exiting employee. In either case, the user’s rights to access data on the device need to be removed remotely and preferably the data wiped. Not all RMM software does this well or in coordination with other HR and IT offboarding processes. 

4. Remote Control Is No Longer Optional 

To solve some issues remotely, it is often easier for the support engineer to take over control of the user’s system. This has been an optional feature in a lot of RMMs, but modern RMMs need to support this feature and support it well. It needs to work through consumer-grade firewalls and in typical co-working spaces, airports, and coffee shops. 

5. Need to support Macs and PCs 

Mac devices have continued to make inroads in the corporate environment. The new M1 processor Macs have provided a new price-performance benefit that is noticeable to every user/ Additionally, with more employees working from home, there are more employees that are doing work on their personal Mac. To properly support these users, RMM software needs to either support Mac and Windows equally well or managed IT service providers need to use two RMMs – one for Mac and one for Windows.  

6. Location Information Needs to Be Accessible 

Location information is available on most modern laptops. It can be GPS-based or WiFi-based, but it should be made available to the RMM. This is a necessary feature in a hybrid working world for many reasons. Employers need to know where employees are in emergencies, info-security needs to know where the device is for login and data usage rights, and it is helpful when a device has been lost or stolen. Modern RMMs need to tap into that information so that managed IT service providers can use it to track assets, data, and people. 

Montra successfully manages thousands of remote devices across all the hybrid workplaces of our customers. If you would like to learn more about how we can keep your workforce productive and secure, please email us at 

Remote Device Management Trends in 2022

In the third of our four-part series on trends for 2022, we are looking at device management trends. When we talk about devices we mean any physical asset that a person uses to connect to a network of information sources. 

Devices are proliferating, getting cheaper, and becoming more diverse, while our use of devices is expanding in frequency, location, and types of use. Whether we are talking about end-user devices or unattended ones, devices are front and center in the IT discussion and will be for 2022. 

With that in mind, the following are our trends for device management and security in 2022: 

1. Cyber-Attacks on Devices Will Get Bigger and Quieter 

With all the device proliferation, it’s no wonder that devices and the people that use them are now the frontline for security threats. The cloud and the systems and services that reside there are getting increasingly hardened against cyber attacks. Companies are continuing to shrink their private data centers while also getting better at securing them. This leaves devices – whether it’s an end-user device or an unattended one – as the current soft targets for cyber-criminals. 

In 2022, we will see more attacks of the sophisticated variety in which devices are compromised quietly until enough devices have been coopted that they can be used together in a coordinated attack. Unattended devices at the edge of the network are particularly vulnerable to this type of attack and are likely to be used in a number edge swarm attacks. 

2. Remote Management Wars Will Escalate 

Everyone wants to manage user devices – the hardware companies, the OS companies, the device owners, the app vendors, and telecom service providers. They all have legitimate business and technical reasons, usually centered around better device uptime, better service availability and device and data security. There is already a turf war for client software that needs to run on each device or gateway software that aggregates information on lower-end devices. It only makes sense for a very few remote management apps to be running on the device, and in 2022, the battle for that precious real estate will escalate. Corporations will increasingly need to turn to neutral third parties to help them understand how they navigate this battle for their devices. Many companies have opted for either no remote monitoring and management or defaulted to the hardware or security vendor. As the remote worker norm sets in, companies will need to make better-informed decisions about remote device management to make certain their uptime and security goals are maintained while also keeping employee productivity high and support costs minimal. 

3. Device-Cloud Will Kill Client-Server. Sort of. 

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” William Gibson said that 18 years ago, but it applies to this world of device-cloud and client-server today. Client-server is the computing architecture that replaced mainframe and is basically a PC connecting to a local network on which there is a server (“a big PC”) that runs an application for many people to use simultaneously. That started in the 1980s and the mainframe business has been declared dead every year since. The mainframe market is still alive and kicking, but it ain’t what it used to be. And while many of us work for companies that still have some application that runs on a server, there is not one startup in the past 10 years that have reached unicorn status with a client-server application architecture. 

The replacement for client-server is device-cloud or just “the cloud”. It comes in many flavors but in this context, the device is a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, and the cloud is a SaaS application or “serverless” or “native” cloud application. 

There is not one enterprise software startup that will emerge in 2022 that builds their application on anything other than pure device-cloud architecture. In addition, the remote worker norm pushed client-server even closer to the grave because client-server does not perform well with large-scale remote users. The security layers that need to sit in front of client-server solutions to serve remote users create cost and performance issues. So, 2022 will be a watershed year in the corporate move away from client-server architectures, and we will find more than 80% of the screen-time of a typical user is on device-cloud apps. 

4. The PC CPU War Will Move to the Front Page 

The PC CPU ware has already begun, but only industry insiders have really cared. Anyone who has purchased a MacBook in the past 18 months knows about the M1 CPU and knows why it matters. The latest Macs no longer use Intel CPUs – effectively ending their 15-year run. Instead, they use an ARM chip designed by Apple and built by TSMC. The performance is incredibly fast and for Apple, there is no going back. The way ARM chips are designed and built is fundamentally different than the way traditional CPUs are built. The net of it is that large technology companies like Apple, Lenovo, Microsoft, Google, and others can design their own ARM chips and have them built by lower-cost chip manufacturers than Intel. 

The ARM race has been going for a while, but in 2022 it will explode onto the front page. Apple will expand its ARM strategy, but what will make this truly mainstream is that one of the major PC vendors will launch their first ARM-based laptops. When people experience the speed difference and the faster innovation cycles for new chip designs, it will make CPUs a watercooler topic for the first time in 20 years. 

5. Secure Remote Erasure of Devices Will Become a Thing 

Today devices can be locked and erased remotely. This is mostly executed by companies when a remote worker has left their company and the company wants to secure the device as quickly as possible. Separately, the same devices or other devices will be shipped back to a common location, where they are erased using highly secure erasure techniques recommended by the Department of Defense (DoD 5220.22-M) or the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST Special Publication 800-88). 

As more companies increasingly treat remote work as the norm rather than the exception, these workflows will need to merge. In 2022, more and more companies will begin to require remote secure erasure processes. This will allow companies to protect the corporate data that is stored on the remote devices, and either never retrieve the device or allow the device to ship directly to an ITAD service – saving time and money. 

What are you thinking about device management and security in 2022? What are your big concerns for the upcoming year? Let us know what you think at 

Remote Workforce Business Continuity

Ensure your Business Continuity Plan Secures your Remote Workforce

In our last Securing Remote Workers Blog, we discussed how organizations in today’s world must adapt to changing business conditions to ensure a secure remote workforce. Another critical element for securing your remote workforce is ensuring your business continuity and disaster recovery plan includes the ability to support your remote workforce with little or no notice. An organization must be capable of sustaining normal operations due to a power outage, illness, flooding, or similar event, which makes it unsafe for employees to travel onsite. In such an event that disrupts normal business operations, an organization must be capable of rapidly transitioning to a fully remote workforce.

If you already have a business continuity plan, you should consider adding remote workforce security capabilities to your plan, such as:

  • Multifactor authentication
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)
  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Wireless connectivity

If you do not have a business continuity plan, the Department of Homeland Security provides details on the following four steps:

  1. Conduct a business impact analysis to identify time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support them.
  2. Identify, document, and implement to recover essential business functions and processes.
  3. Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage a business disruption.
  4. Conduct training for the business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.

For more information you can download a summary guide here.