Safety Detectives: What motivated you to start Action1?
Alex Vovk: In 2018, we witnessed companies rapidly adopting cloud computing — and struggling to ensure adequate endpoint security for their newly decentralized networks. Though the trend was just emerging at that time, we foresaw the need for cloud-native endpoint security solutions. Because legacy endpoint security tools are centralized and run on a server that an organization deploys and cares for in-house, they are simply unable to support mobile workers. Therefore, cloud adoption requires organizations to implement new strategies for endpoint security and management. We wanted to arm organizations with a solution that empowers them to secure and manage their endpoints no matter where they are located, pushing the last frontier of cloud adoption—cybersecurity.
Mike Walters: By incorporating our twenty years of experience in cybersecurity into Action1, we were able to develop a lightweight, powerful, and intuitive cloud-based solution. Before creating Action1, we built Netwrix, a very successful technology firm that is well known for its visibility platform for cybersecurity and risk mitigation. We were excited to take full advantage of the expertise we gained at Netwrix and extend into the growing cloud-based endpoint security ecosystem, with the vision of enabling millions of organizations to securely switch to the cloud. In fact, demand for our solution has surged over the past year, when the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to work remotely. This success assures me that we are on the right path.
SD: What is Action1’s flagship service?
AV: Action1 is a cloud-based remote monitoring and management solution. Its seamless patch management gives organizations real-time visibility into which Microsoft and third-party patches are installed on what endpoints and which patches are missing and enables them to deploy missing patches remotely from the cloud. Indeed, Action1 also enables organizations to deploy any kind of software remotely. In addition, the endpoint configuration reporting and endpoint management tools empower organizations to granularly monitor and manage their IT asset inventory.
MW: We provide IT teams with a full set of remote management and endpoint security features, including remote desktop management. Action1 enables IT pros to remotely connect to any workstation in their network in order to troubleshoot a certain user’s problem, reboot the computer, and even remove unwanted software.
SD: What verticals/industries use Action1’s services?
AV: Action1 is commonly used by internal IT departments in companies of all sizes, including enterprises and SMBs in multiple verticals. However, it is particularly popular among small businesses, which always struggle with IT skills shortage and lack of resources; they value it because it is a lightweight solution that is easy to deploy and use. To support these organizations in today’s challenging times, we recently announced that Action1 is free for up to 50 endpoints without any limitations.
MW: Action1 is also very popular among managed service providers (MSPs). With its multi-tenancy functionality, MSPs are able to separate different customer environments while managing them from the same unified console. As a result, MSPs can quickly switch between different customer organizations, which saves them a lot of time.
SD: What are the worst cyberthreats out there today?
AV: The reality is, outdated or unpatched systems are one of the major vectors for attacks today. Any vulnerabilities in these systems leave your organization susceptible to cyberattacks—and new vulnerabilities make the headlines almost every week. This security risk has never been as high as it is today because millions of employees now work with corporate systems from their homes and therefore IT teams are no longer able to fix the vulnerabilities on their devices the way they could before the pandemic.
MW: When it comes to patch management, relying on business users is not a good approach. People tend to forget about updates or even decline them, which puts not only themselves but the entire organization at risk. To close this serious gap in IT security, organizations need to implement technologies that enable the IT team to remotely ensure that all endpoints connecting to the corporate networks are properly updated and patched. That will help organizations protect themselves and their remote workforce from cyber threats.
SD: How will COVID-19 change the face of cybersecurity for the future?
AV: The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization of business processes and dramatically changed the way organizations operate. Cloud adoption has surged, bringing new cybersecurity issues. In today’s world, protecting your local area network (LAN) and perimeter is no longer enough to ensure cybersecurity. With the majority of employees working remotely from their personal devices, cybersecurity strategy must consider the reality of work outside the office environment.
MW: As businesses have shifted to digital processes, cybercriminals have become more active, searching for weak spots that enable them to get into the corporate network. A commonly exploited weakness is employees’ unprotected devices. I think that with the COVID-19 crisis, more and more organizations will realize they need to control their remote endpoints as thoroughly as they used to manage their office-based workstations.