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VSA 9.4 Debut Grabs Press Attention

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Moving from a 9.3 to a 9.4 product release usually isn’t a big deal. Chances are there are some fixes and a small new feature or two.

The recently released Kaseya VSA 9.4 is different, and the MSP, channel and IT press all took notice of the big changes.

The channel press, which has covered Kaseya extensively in the past year, took particular notice. Continue Reading…

The Best RMM Just Got Better

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Late last year Clarity Channel Advisors declared Kaseya VSA 9.3 as the best RMM for MSPs. Now that same RMM has been boosted with a bevy of new features that all add up to VSA 9.4, released in January.

Aimed at managed service providers (MSP) and IT departments, VSA 9.4 is packed with functions that let both constituencies more fully automate the management and protection of IT resources through policies and enhanced remote control. Continue Reading…

Why Is Cloud Backup So Hot? Six Lofty Reasons

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Cloud storage is an everyday thing for many consumers, what with Google Drive, Apple Cloud, Microsoft OneDrive and more. On the backup side, there’s an array of consumer services, and some of the more primary storage solutions can be maneuvered into serving as backup.

Businesses looking for backup need heartier solutions. And for years that answer was tape backup. Continue Reading…

GUEST BLOG: Solid Security with Kaseya plus Proven Next-Generation Endpoint Protection from Webroot

Each year, Webroot publishes a Threat Brief, a detailed report which details the churn, change and growth within the cybercrime ecosystem. 2015 was another record year in which more malware, malicious IPs, websites and mobile apps were discovered than in any previous year. The current rate of cybercrime comes as no surprise, given continuous innovations and little in the way of risk for those who choose to participate. The continued onslaught of hacks, breaches and social engineering scams targeting individuals, businesses and government agencies has caused many in the security field to ask if it’s truly possible to defend against a persistent attacker.

At Webroot, we believe it is possible to effectively protect enterprises and end users alike, but only by understanding your adversary and the techniques they employ for their attacks. Webroot’s sophisticated approach and secure solutions reflect an in-depth understanding of the threat landscape and how attackers think, allowing us to provide cutting-edge, proven next-generation protection and real-time detection of threats as they emerge. With Kaseya VSA’s integration of Webroot SecureAnywhere® Business Endpoint Protection, it has never been easier for you to manage and protect your users.
Continue Reading…

6 Reasons MSPs Must Manage Office 365 – Right Now!

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Too many managed services providers (MSPs) are seeing tried-and-true revenue streams vanish as clients migrate to the cloud. Providers that manage desktop applications, for instance, can lose business when these customers move from on-premises versions of Microsoft Office to Office 365.

Instead of letting customers make this move under your nose, you should be pro-active. If they want to migrate productivity apps to the cloud, you might as well help in the move, and then offer ongoing Office 365 management services. This puts you in a leadership position, offers solid migration fees, creates a solid new source of recurring revenue, and puts you in a whole new business.

Continue Reading…

The Kaseya “Times Twenty” Initiative: What it Means and Why It’s Vital to the Future of Your Business

Kaseya’s mission is to provide the technology and best practices that MSPs need to succeed.  We always focus on ways to help MSPs drive down the cost of administrative (i.e., non-revenue generating) tools and activities to free-up precious human and investment capital to be re-invested in new revenue generating services that drive growth.

I’m pleased to introduce Kaseya’s “Times Twenty” initiative, which focuses on enabling MSPs to put that capital to work in designing and deploying IT service offerings that will generate a 20 times return on their investment.

At its core, the Times Twenty initiative is about the value of money.  Specifically, your money.  You and your staff (all of them – marketing, sales, service delivery, finance and admin) work hard to earn this money.  You can’t afford to invest it in anything – people, technology, systems – unless you know you’ll be getting a high return on your investment.

Continue Reading…

Day In the Life of a System Administrator – What Would You Do with More Free Time?

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Do you pass the shower test in the morning? No, this isn’t referring to how clean you are – it references your attitude about your job.

Are you an IT manager or systems administrator who wakes up in the morning eager to start the day? Do you think about how good the day is going to be while taking your morning shower? Are you excited to get to work? If not, there’s a way to recover the magic and pass the morning shower test. Let’s look at a typical day-in-the-life in IT operations.

Why You Might Not Pass the Test

As an IT manager, you have a tremendous amount of responsibility in planning and directing the IT systems activities in your company. Installation, maintenance, and oversight for every piece of hardware and software fall into your lap. On good days, it’s a challenge. On typical days, it can be a migraine in the making.

Continue Reading…

Product Design in the IT Management Cloud Era

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I think many of us are more aware of the impact of product design than ever before. Recently, you may recall that the rounded edges of the iPhone 6 were widely considered newsworthy; even with mainstream television media! Apple has a long history of setting styles for product design and striking a balance between style and usability.

The advent of smart phones and tablets has resulted in millions of user-friendly apps being made available to the consumer market. As a result, there’s a lot of interest in work applications that are just as easy to use. Software for the IT management market is an area where applying modern product design principles can yield significant productivity and value for the companies using these products.

So what are the design principles that you should watch for as the next generation of IT management tools arrive? From a functional perspective, products need to help you centrally command your infrastructure, manage remote and widely distributed environments with ease, and automate everything. To deliver against these key functions, IT management products need to evolve based on the following four design principles:

Mobile First.

All aspects of the product should be designed so they can be used from a tablet or mobile phone – even if they will be used in a browser. By meeting this goal, it will be easy to deliver them within a web UI on a laptop or desktop. This is often described as Responsive Design. Basically, this means that what is available in the UI and how you interact with it will adapt to the form factor of the device you are using. If you have a laptop or tablet, you can expose more features. On a small device such as a mobile phone, navigation and other information is available, but not in your way. Another important aspect of a mobile first approach is to make sure that the apps have a native feel – so the iOS, Android and Windows apps should look and behave like they are native to the device.

Simplify everything.

You need to leverage powerful, policy driven automation, and be able to implement it simply. You don’t have the time to train your technical staff on highly complex products. Well-designed apps will take highly complex actions, but not expose this complexity to users so that they can be highly productive. For example, you should be able to quickly create policy and apply it reliably and at scale, with just a few clicks. One great way to simplify things is to be consistent in the features provided. For example, always include a Search driven approach to find things and take actions, and have it work the same way in every context.

Use pre-defined content.

Apps should deliver out-of-the-box building blocks to make simplification real. Part of the evolution towards a simpler, easier IT management solution is using content to deliver value quickly. Delivering configuration in the form of pre-packaged settings is an excellent example. Apps can include policy and profile definitions so that you don’t have to construct them before you can start using them. This applies to other app content. Apps can include prepackaged dashboard templates, agent procedures and automation scripts, profiles, and reports to deliver high productivity. Intelligent default values are probably the simplest form of content, and apps can make implementation much simpler by providing recommended choices by default.

Provide measurable impact.

You need apps that capture and present metrics demonstrating the positive impact of management apps on your business as part of the design. The whole reason for getting an IT management tool in the first place is to enable your business. It only makes sense that the app should provide the data to demonstrate value too.

By applying these principles, Kaseya is now building a new generation of IT management cloud apps that are really easy to use and maximize productivity, efficiency and quality for you. Our new Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) app will reflect these principles in its beta release at the end of October. Kaseya customers can sign up to participate in the beta here. And this will be followed by reimagined apps for software delivery, patching, antivirus and antimalware. So stay tuned, we’ll provide you more specifics on these solutions in future blogs.

Author: Don LeClair

Building the World’s Fastest Remote Desktop Management – Part 4

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Building the world’s fastest remote desktop management solution is a bit like building a high performance car. The first things to worry about are how fast does it go from zero to 60 and how well does it perform on the road. Once these are ensured, designers can then add the bells and whistles which make the high end experience complete.

In our first three installments in this series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), we talked about the remote management technology being used to deliver speed and performance, and now we are ready to talk about remote management bells and whistles to deliver the high end experience IT administrators’ need. Kaseya Remote Control R8, which became available on September 30, adds 6 new enhancements to ensure greater security and compliance and help IT administrators resolve issues more quickly on both servers and workstations:

  1. Private Remote Control sessions:

    In many industries, such as healthcare, finance, retail, education, etc., security during a remote control session is crucial. Administrators cannot risk having the person next to the server or workstation view sensitive information on the remote screen. Kaseya Remote Control R8 allows IT administrators to establish private Remote Control sessions for Windows so that administrators can work on servers or workstations securely and discreetly.

  2. Track and report on Remote Control sessions:

    These same industries have strict compliance requirements. Remote Control R8 allows IT organizations to track and report on Remote Control sessions by admin, by machine, per month, week, day, etc., with a history of access to meet compliance requirements.

  3. Shadow end user terminal server sessions:

    Many users run terminal server sessions for which they may need assistance. Remote Control R8 lets IT administrators shadow end user terminal server sessions to more easily identify and resolve user issues.

  4. See session latency stats:

    Poor performance is often hard to diagnose. Remote Control R8 shows session latency stats during the remote control session so administrators are aware of the connection strength and can determine it’s relevance to an end user’s issues.

  5. Support for Windows Display Scaling:

    HiDPI displays are quickly becoming the norm for new devices. Remote Control R8 includes support for these display types (i.e. Retina) to allow IT administrators to remotely view the latest, high definition displays.

  6. Hardware acceleration:

    Remote management becomes much easier if one can clearly see the remote machine’s screen. Remote Control R8 enables hardware acceleration, leveraging the video card for image processing, for a sharper remote window picture while reducing the CPU overhead by 25%-50% depending on the admin’s computer hardware – “sharper” image screenshot.

Just like your favorite high-performance car, Kaseya Remote Control R8 is delivering the speed, performance and features IT administers need to obtain a high-end management experience.

Let Us Know What You Think

The new Desktop Remote Control became available with VSA R8 on September 30.

We’re looking forward to receiving feedback on the new capabilities. To learn more about Kaseya and our plans please take a look at our roadmap to see what we have in store for future releases of our products.

Author: Tom Hayes

Why is it called “Multi-Factor” Authentication? (MFA)

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Why is multi-factor authentication (MFA) “multi-factor” anyways? A simple enough question, right? Well, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Depending on where you look, you can see references to two-factor authentication, three-factor authentication, strong authentication, advanced authentication. Based on the name, it sounds like these are all just subcategories of multi-factor authentication. Unfortunately, that’s only half true, and that’s also where this question gets complicated.

Which types of authentication are always examples of multi-factor authentication?

Two and three factor authentication are always examples of multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor definition, by definition, is authentication using at least 2 of the 3 possible authentication factors. So yes, two-factor and three-factor authentication are both examples of multi-factor authentication.

What about “strong” and “advanced” authentication?

This is where it gets tricky. Both strong and advanced authentication in use can be considered multi-factor authentication; however, it depends on how the authentication is implemented. To understand what I mean we first need to define what multi-factor authentication is.

What is multi-factor authentication?

The term “authentication” refers to the ability to verify the identity of a person attempting to access a system (presumably someone who is authorized to access that system). The term “factor” then, necessarily refers to the different types of tests someone must successfully complete to identify themselves. For IT security, these factors often filter down into three broad categories:

  • Knowledge: Something you know.

    This is the factor upon which password-only systems rely. To pass a knowledge factor based test, you must prove that you know a secret combination, like a password, PIN, or pattern.

  • Possession: Something you have.

    To authenticate using this factor, you must prove you possess something that only you should have, like a key, or an ID card.

  • Inherence: Something you are.

    Inherence means something that is inherently yours. That usually means a unique physical or behavioral characteristic, tested through some sort of biometric system.

Multi-factor authentication requires a system use at least two of these authentication factors to authenticate users. That’s why it’s “multi-factor” authentication.

Wait… so what was that about “strong” and “advanced” authentication?

Well, multi-factor authentication requires at least two factors be used. Both advanced and strong authentication can use two or three factors; however, the requirements do not require the use of “tests” from different categories. Strong authentication could be achieved by using a password and a security question, while advanced authentication could established with a password and a challenge question. This means that, while all multi-factor authentication solutions count as strong or advanced authentication, not all strong and advanced authentication solutions count as multi-factor authentication.

Why do businesses need multi-factor authentication?

Many groups feel that single-factor authentication is adequate for their needs, but let’s consider something first. You have a bank account, and tied to that bank account you likely have both a debit and a credit card. To access your money you already use multi-factor authentication. You have a debit/credit card (possession), and a pin code/ password (knowledge). Now, consider how much the damage a breach could cost your business. Does your business’ network deserve the same level of protection as your personal bank account, if not more?

Yes, yes it does.

Many industries already require multi-factor authentication! If you work in law enforcement in the United States, then you’re likely required to be CJIS compliant. CJIS compliance requires advanced authentication. If you work in retail, you’re likely PCI compliant. Again, PCI compliance requires multi-factor authentication. If you work in healthcare, then there’s HIPAA to consider. HIPAA is yet another regulation that requires multi-factor authentication. What this demonstrates is that, for IT security, MFA is becoming mainstream.

What’s my recommendation for a multi-factor authentication solution?

Well, no solution should be a one size fits all response. You should be able to customize and tailor any potential solution so that vital resources are protected, without inconveniencing users who don’t require multi-factor authentication. If you’re interested a solution designed from the ground up with security and usability in mind, then I’d recommend “AuthAnvil Two Factor Auth”.

AuthAnvil Two Factor Auth is a multifactor authentication server capable of adding identity assurance protection to the servers and desktops you need to interact with on a regular basis, and deep integration into many of the tools that you may use day to day. It also works with pretty much anything that supports RADIUS, so along with your Windows logon it can protect things like your VPNs, firewalls and Unix environments. Conveniently enough, it also integrates smoothly with Kaseya. That way you can accomplish even more from that single pane of glass.

For more information on multi-factor authentication: Click Here

For a look at how much AuthAnvil’s Kaseya integration can be used: Click Here

Author: Harrison Depner

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