Why using Remote Checks is vital for any company
One of the biggest impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the number of employees asked or required to work from home.
Whilst the capability to work completely remotely has been available for many years now, some companies have been reticent to take advantage of this due to the managerial and technical difficulties involved in managing remote teams and networks.
In order to effectively manage networks remotely, managers and IT staff need to have in place a remote monitoring software like Pandora FMS. This system allows you monitor different types of networks and avoid the problems caused by a lack of direct access to office machines.
In this article, which builds on our guide on how to work with network scanning, we’ll explain four major issues that can be caused by working remotely, and how remote monitoring software can solve those issues through remote checks.
A critical security tool for remote workers is a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which protects sensitive data by encrypting it and routing it through a proxy server. Whilst this is necessary to protect your data, it can also cause problems with network load. VPN connections generate more network traffic across office servers, which can cause a VPN to fail.
Pandora FMS allows you to supervise connections from your servers and supervise individual router usage. Because of this, you can prioritize certain highly-sensitive connections and ensure that your VPN does not fail on critical systems.
Most remote working systems make extensive use of cloud storage, and most cloud storage software will automatically create backup files as employees work. This is one of the major advantages of cloud storage, but it can also cause problems for companies. It can quickly lead to both cloud and office-based drives being overwhelmed by huge amounts of data, rendering further work impossible.
Pandora FMS can help teams to avoid becoming overwhelmed by data. It makes use of native-level commands in your OS to directly monitor disk usage, and can alert you when disks are full or are under-performing, thus making remote work significantly easier.
Machine or Service Failures
The two issues above – increases in data volume and disk usage – can ultimately result in remote machines failing, that’s why remote checks are vital. If these machines are running key services, this can cause significant damage to your network, and make it impossible for employees to work remotely.
Of particular concern are two types of machines: those that handle payment and accounting software, and those that run fundamental networking services like Apache. A failure in either type of machine can lead to data loss, missed payments, or a complete inability for employees to access remote files.
Simulating machine failure has, in fact, become an important part of the cybersecurity market, where it is known as “chaos engineering”. Pandora FMS helps to fight against the problems caused by machine or service failures by giving you detailed oversight on the machines connected to your network, and what services they are running.
This network map can be used to generate real-time reports on the status of your network, alerting you to machines switching on and off immediately. You can also use Pandora FMS to monitor the status of critical services running on remote machines, so that you can respond to service failures immediately.
Remote checks and System Heating
For network engineers, one of the largest dangers of switching to remote work is the risk of machines overheating. Increased network traffic and increased disk usage can quickly lead to drives or cores overheating, and with no physical access to machines taking action to prevent this is difficult.
This issue is particularly common if remote teams have been provided with secure, encrypted remote working solutions. The most secure browsers today use complex encryption schemes that keep data safe, but also use relatively large amounts of computing power. The hardware charged with performing encryption algorithms is particularly vulnerable to overheating, and failure caused by this can lead to both data loss and security vulnerabilities.
Pandora FMS provides you with direct defenses against machine overheating. By using Pandora FMS, you can install remote clients on all your network machines that will monitor temperatures, alerting you to the potential risk of overheating. You can then shift network traffic away from vulnerable machines.
There are several other issues that can be caused by remote working, though they will not affect all companies. The issues above are compounded by the use of third-party tools and services on your network, for instance, which can be difficult to monitor using standard tools. Pandora FMS provides you with the capability to track network and disk usage generated by these tools, and take action if it threatens to overwhelm your system.
Similarly, many network engineers will prefer to set up automatic responses to the common problems mentioned above. Pandora FMS allows you to configure alert thresholds that will instantly alert you if there are problems on your network, and can be configured to perform actions in line with these alerts.
Remote Monitoring and Remote Working
of the issues in the list above are new; they have been around as long as compute networks have. For some companies, however, the dramatic rise in remote working over the past few months has put their networks under unprecedented strain.
If this applies to you, you need to implement a remote monitoring system as quickly as possible, alongside other systems such as web monitoring tools. Together, these will help to keep your network, your data, and your employees secure.
Sam Bocetta is a former security analyst for the Department of Defense and current freelance journalist specializing in writing about cybersecurity, technology, and cryptography. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling around the United States in his RV with his wife and fly fishing out in the woods. Currently working as part-time cybersecurity coordinator at assignyourwriter.co.uk
Sam Bocetta es un antiguo analista de seguridad del Departamento de Defensa y actual periodista independiente especializado en escribir sobre seguridad cibernética, tecnología y criptografía. En su tiempo libre, disfruta viajando por los Estados Unidos en su RV con su esposa y pescando con mosca en el bosque. Actualmente trabaja como coordinador de ciberseguridad a tiempo parcial en assignyourwriter.co.uk