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It seems that there is a constant development of new terminology used to define and describe all aspects of the business and technology worlds. In the past, risk management was the focus, which is responding to known or suspected risks in a market or industry by making the correct choices.

Risk management can include prioritizing risk as it applies to different aspects of any business. This risk may include market conditions, political changes, natural disasters or other types of situation that could potentially exist to pose a risk. For example, if you are building a hotel in the mountains, part of your risk assessment would be to assess the location for the potential for avalanches or impassible roads that would have the potential to impact profit, liability risks and even ROI (return on investment). For a network, risk management would include deploying standard types of systems security from firewalls and antiviruses to anti-rootkits and anti-malware programs.

Risk intelligence is a further evolution of risk management. It refers to the ability to be a proactive rather than reactive measure to a threat. To effectively use risk management the threat has to identified and then an MSP (Managed Service Provider) can develop RMM tools and technology to address that risk across a network and in managing mobile devices.

Managed Service Providers that are using risk intelligence are developing remote monitoring and management tools that can identify areas of risk, block access from future unauthorized programs and continually monitor the potential vulnerabilities on any business process management platform before hackers detect them.

Protecting Unprotected Data

Most IT managed services are highly effective at responding to known data breaches after they have been identified. This information can be provided through a variety of security management solutions offered by Managed Service Providers.

These will include the ability to use remote management and monitoring to ensure all hardware on the network, as well as all mobile devices and endpoints, are fully up to date with the latest patches and fixes as well as operating system updates to address known vulnerabilities.

When Managed Service Providers use remote monitoring to search for vulnerable or unprotected data on the system, there is no need to risk having data in a vulnerable program. Using risk intelligence to predetermine areas that are potential security risks allows the MSP to secure the data before hackers are aware of the existence of the data.

Customizing the System Protection

A very effective selling point for Managed Service Providers is to be able to use risk intelligence to help to identify problems on the system of any given customer. This may be a service offered to new customers, or it may be used in a report to assist existing clients using the service to understand where their specific security issues may be putting their data at risk.

By having the ability to provide risk intelligence based on the current data security management tools in place, the MSP can work proactively to protect their clients. The businesses using the service will benefit from this report, showing them trends across cyber security and technology and where the latest types of attacks are most dangerous to their own network, devices, data and endpoints.

No only is risk intelligence a way to market to clients, but it also demonstrates to your new and existing customers the proactive component of the use of remote monitoring and management tools through the MSP. Often this ongoing work simply goes on in the background without the business realizing the protection and service that is being completed through the MSP.

Access and Compliance

One of the areas of risk that is often underestimated or completely ignored by a business is an internal security breach. Part of the risk intelligence top Managed Service Providers can provide is full compliance with regulatory or company based policies with regards to access to information.

These systems can include a broad range of login flexibility, allowing for different departments or group controls to have various requirements. It can be used to create different management capabilities by location and context, limiting unauthorized using a specific desktop applications or programs by users.

It is important to realize that the risk intelligence used by MSPs is applied across the complete network, not just on a particular device. With this feature, everything from endpoints and even cloud-hosted applications such a Dropbox can all be proactively scanned, monitored and managed.

Having the ability to automatically prioritize vulnerabilities found with the network monitoring systems turns risk intelligence into actionable data. The MSP can report, and the business can clearly see the areas discovered that are unsecured or inadequately secured based on the risk intelligence information.

With this type of ongoing monitoring and use of risk information, Managed Service Providers become a key factor in the protective security of data stored on a network or through cloud-based hosted services. This advantage is one that is highly marketable to businesses of all sizes as proactive prevention of breaches is always less costly than the liability and reputation damage to the firm in the event of a breach.