IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

RapidFire Tools Adds Work-From-Home Hardware Assessments to Network Detective

New functionality provided at no charge lets people working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic scan personally-owned PCs, and then issues color-coded, letter-graded report cards that MSPs can use to identify vulnerabilities in need of remediation. By Rich Freeman

RapidFire Tools has equipped its Network Detective assessment solution to make evaluating the security posture of work-from-home PCs easier for MSPs.

Available now at no additional charge to existing users, the new module includes a self-serve portal that lets people working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic scan a personally-owned PC for vulnerabilities, as well as color-coded report cards that assign those systems a letter-graded risk score. MSPs can employ those reports to create remediation action plans for mitigating the most serious security weaknesses.

“There’s a huge migration of employees working from home caused by COVID[-19], and Network Detective’s actually perfect to allow a quick assessment of the risks associated with those home computers,” says Michael Mittel, president and general manager of RapidFire Tools. “The one thing you just don’t want to have is somebody with a renegade machine attaching to the corporate environment and causing havoc.”

RapidFire Tools has been a business unit of IT management vendor Kaseya since September 2018.

Issues addressed by what’s officially named the Network Detective Work from Home (WFH) Solution include whether a PC has an anti-virus system installed, and if so which one; whether a personal firewall is in place and operational; whether the device is fully patched; and whether there are potentially dangerous third-party applications present on the machine.

According to Mittel, the only way to collect such information otherwise is either to connect manually with remote systems one by one or to deploy RMM agents on them. “That requires more configuration and set up,” he notes, and might provoke objections from people who don’t want an employer’s monitoring software on their home PC. 

MSPs must have Network Detective’s network assessment, security assessment, and Reporter modules in place in order to use the Network Detective WFH Solution.

At present, users must review and act on the new offering’s reports themselves. Future editions of the solution could however issue alerts automatically every time a work-from-home device falls below a pre-selected letter grade, or automatically disable or restrict the appropriate user’s permissions.

RapidFire Tools advises users to assess remote work PCs regularly, and has built an option for automating weekly scans into the new Network Detective solution. Though MSPs can charge for that additional work, bundling it into their service packages at no extra cost to build client loyalty will often be a wiser approach, according to Mittel, at a time when the COVID-19 outbreak’s economic impact has made switching to cheaper MSPs tempting for cash-starved businesses.

“It definitely hurts to lose a customer at any time, but for MSPs to lose one now is unthinkable,” Mittel says.

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