Hello and welcome back to “What Is: ____” here on the Fantastic IT blog, our (bi-) monthly (-ish) blog where we take a look at popular concepts and terms in IT and explain them in terms non-IT people can understand (aka business owners with too much stuff to do).

This week, we’ll be taking a look at remote monitoring and management, also known as RMM. This is an increasingly important concept in IT operations for businesses of any size, and is definitely something that business owners need to be aware of as they grow their business, no matter their size or scale.

Let’s dive in!

What is RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)?

Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is the system of technology, people, and organizations that enables IT service providers to manage and monitor IT systems remotely 24/7.

RMM is essential for both internal IT departments and managed service providers (MSPs) across various organizations, as it allows them to ensure efficient and continuous operation of IT infrastructures, protect against cyberattacks and bad actors, and improve connectivity and ease of use for users across the world.

Remote monitoring and management have become increasingly commonplace since the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses shifted from in-office to hybrid or remote work overnight, companies needed ways to remotely monitor the IT operations of various users located all around the world.

Remote monitoring and management allowed companies to safely and securely ensure continuous, protected IT operation, without the need for physical interaction with IT infrastructure.

Core Functions and Features of RMM

  • Monitoring and Alerts: RMM tools continuously monitor IT systems, automatically generating alerts to notify administrators of potential issues that could impact system performance or security. RMM allows your IT to get a jump start on fixing issues before they become catastrophic.
  • Automated Management: These tools automate routine management tasks, such as updates, backups, and patch management, thereby reducing the need for direct human intervention and minimizing the risk of human error. This really cuts down on the costs associated with maintaining your infrastructure.
  • Remote Troubleshooting and Maintenance: RMM enables IT staff to remotely troubleshoot problems, administer patches, and manage system updates, which is particularly crucial for managing geographically dispersed IT assets. In today’s world of remote and hybrid work, being able to remotely manage IT and troubleshoot issues with end users is not only convenient – it’s increasingly critical to business success.

What Are The Benefits of Using RMM?

  • Enhanced Operational Efficiency: By automating day-to-day tasks, RMM increases the productivity of IT teams and reduces the time spent on routine maintenance. It allows you and your team to focus resources more directly on the things that make you money.
  • Proactive Problem Resolution: Proactivity is key in a successful IT organization and RMM tools allow you to do that. They can detect and address issues before they become critical, thus preventing downtime and ensuring business continuity.
  • Scalability: RMM software can easily scale with the growth of an organization, managing an increasing number of devices without the need for proportionate increases in IT staff. Like many IT solutions nowadays, being able to scale effectively is not only nice to have, it’s essential to allow your business to stay agile.
  • Cost Effectiveness: By reducing the need for onsite visits and enabling remote problem resolution, RMM can significantly cut down operational costs and increase the overall profitability of IT operations. Just as hiring an MSP to handle your IT allows for cost savings in your organization, so does RMM.
  • Improved Cybersecurity: Continuous monitoring helps in detecting security threats early, which – if you ask any IT professional in the world – is absolutely critical for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of IT systems.

Security Considerations and Best Practices

With the benefits of RMM also come significant security considerations. You’re giving an outside party access to your most sensitive systems, at all times of day.

You have to make sure that your cybersecurity is dialed in and ready to protect your IT at all times, including ensuring that whoever is doing your remote monitoring can be trusted to protect your systems. Getting it in a contract is the bare minimum.

Here are some nuts and bolts ways to make this a reality.

  • Robust Access Controls: Ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to RMM tools is crucial for preventing unauthorized access. Outline this in your contract with your MSP or internal IT team. You should know who has access to your systems, especially in a remote capacity.
  • Regular Security Audits: Conducting regular audits and compliance checks can help ensure that the RMM tools are secure and up to date with the latest security standards. You should be doing regular security audits of ALL of your IT and RMM is no exception.
  • Data Encryption: As with everything else that involves your systems connecting to the internet, encrypting data transmitted by RMM tools helps protect sensitive information from being intercepted during transmission. Always, always, always use a VPN – at the very least!

The Future of RMM Software

The landscape of RMM is rapidly evolving with the introduction of sophisticated features that cater to diverse operational needs across various sectors. As you might expect, the usual tech suspects – AI and machine learning – are revolutionizing this space, improving capabilities and features while simultaneously increasing efficiency in terms of human resources.

For instance, the integration of automation capabilities in solutions like ConnectWise Automate and NinjaOne simplifies IT workflows and enhances security protocols from the onset, out of the box. These platforms offer features like asset discovery which automatically identifies and tracks new devices, and script-free automation that simplifies routine IT tasks and enhances system security.

This is only the beginning – RMM software will soon be a “set-it-and-forget-it” solution, where the AI and machine learning tools it has will automatically adapt to any changes in the computing environment.

The Role of RMM in Cybersecurity

We can’t finish this article without speaking about how RMM fits within a cybersecurity framework.

As noted in various reports by Channel E2E, CrowdStrike, and SANS, there is a significant uptick in the exploitation of RMM platforms by cyber attackers to conduct sophisticated cyber-attacks. By hacking into these systems, they can directly – and anonymously – gain access to your company’s IT, remotely, via RMM. If your RMM is compromised, your business is compromised. This misuse typically involves the deployment of legitimate RMM tools like AnyDesk and TeamViewer in sophisticated cyber-attack strategies.

Effective patch management is critical in maintaining the security integrity of systems managed via RMM tools. Patch management – maybe something we’ll cover in another edition of “What Is___” – involves the timely updating of systems to protect against vulnerabilities via patching. These days, advanced RMM solutions incorporate automatic patch management features that allow IT teams to promptly apply necessary updates, ensuring security and compliance across the network​

While there’s only so much you can do in the face of increasingly complex and powerful hacking tools – we’re only just beginning on the journey to DeepFakeTown – frequent updates, employee training and consistent communication between your team and any external partners go a long way to helping mitigate these threats. Furthermore, strict identification verification tools can ameliorate some of these more significant threats. Partnering with an MSP you can trust – like us! – can go a long way to putting your mind (and your company’s IT department) at ease when it comes to RMM.


RMM technology is pivotal in IT management in a business world where networks of disparate users collaborate across borders and time zones.

RMM provides essential tools for monitoring, managing, and securing IT environments efficiently and remotely, from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world, allowing your IT specialists to keep your business safe at all times.

As organizations continue to expand their digital footprints, the role of RMM will only grow, driven by the need for robust, scalable, and secure IT management solutions. The future of RMM promises greater integration with AI and machine learning, offering even more robust tools for IT management and security.

So the long and short of it is this: get your RMM sorted – yesterday. If you don’t have an RMM system in place right now, you’re probably already in trouble.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s iteration of What Is____. We’ll catch you next time with more complicated IT topics distilled into plain English. And if you want more beginner-level IT help, check out our recent series on the most common IT abbreviations and acronyms business owners need to know. Maybe RMM will pop up there soon!