Interview With Maurice Côté – Devolutions

Aviva Zacks Aviva Zacks

Check out Safety Detectives’ Aviva Zacks’ interview with Maurice Côté, VP Business Solutions of Devolutions. In it, she asks him about his company’s Remote Desktop Manager.

Safety Detective: Tell me about your background in cybersecurity.

Maurice Côté: I was in the Air Force as a technician, and I became a software developer as my second career. By the luck of the draw, I became heavily involved in start-ups and software development, creating products. When I was working in healthcare, we decided to create personal health record software that would live online. We hired an IT security firm, and their first reaction was that we should not do it! We overcame that resistance and succeeded in deploying something that we felt was secure. That was really my first experience working with cybersecurity as the main focus. Later on, I worked with more firms and more products.

In my time at Devolutions, I’ve lived through the whole spectrum—from a small, five-employee start-up, to a company that now employs more than 100 people and has grown to the maturity level of going after SOC2 and ISO27001 compliance.

SD: What would you say is Devolution’s flagship product or service?

MC: Our flagship product is Remote Desktop Manager (RDM). RDM centralizes all remote connections on a single platform that is securely shared between users and across the entire team. With support for hundreds of integrated technologies—along with built-in password management tools, access controls, and robust mobile apps to complement desktop clients—RDM is a Swiss Army knife for remote access. RDM empowers IT departments to drive security, speed, and productivity throughout the organization while reducing inefficiency, cost, and risk.

While it’s primarily a tool for IT professionals, we realized that small shops (engineers and quality assurance technicians) can also really benefit from its functionality. RDM is quite different from our privileged access management (PAM) products—so all of the complex accessing privilege accounts (checkout workflows, approvals, etc.)—that space is account centric. While CISOs and the VPs of security are worried about privileged accounts, RDM is endpoint-centric and its focus is to connect devices securely. It opens a VPN connection automatically, will adapt your routes, and ensures that you reach your endpoint in one fell swoop—just a single operation takes care of everything. RDM hides the complexity of the PAM products and the network topologies.

So when you hire a new employee, potentially he can be productive from day one because you can tell that person to connect to the domain controller and he just needs to look for it and double click on the device to connect to it securely.

SD: What verticals use your services?

MC: We are truly horizontal. As soon as you have two devices to manage you can make use of our solutions. We have 200,000 paid licenses and 300,000 free editions across a variety of industries. Anyone that needs to manage remote endpoints can benefit from our products and services, although our primary target is small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that have under 1,000 employees.

SD: What sets you apart from your competition?

MC: I like to think that we don’t have any real close competition. We have friends in the market, but the width and the breadth of the technologies that we support is unequaled. We have 160 integrations—and while 80% of our business is already RDP and SSH, we’re pretty much alone in supporting all of the other connection types.

SD: What would you say are the worse cyberthreats today?

MC: We are seeing that our customers are under ransomware attacks daily. In the past, spear-phishing emails often contained typos and mistakes, so it was more obvious the email was not legitimate. Today, you get a properly formed email that looks professional, as if was sent from your CEO—so the bad guys have upped their game.

To take a closer look at cybersecurity issues, we recently conducted a cybersecurity survey, which polled IT decision-makers from SMBs. Conducting this survey reaffirmed to us that while progress is being made, there is still a lot of work to do for SMBs to protect themselves from cybercrime. We compiled the results from this survey into a report titled, “The State of Cybersecurity in SMBs in 2020.”

SD: How do you think that cybersecurity is going to change now that we’re living through this pandemic?

MC: Obviously, the massive move to remote work has already proven to increase risk. People are moving to online platforms for most things and opening their networks to remote access, not only by employees but also by contractors, so that old landscape has changed drastically. Our surface area for attacks has increased in size—and attacks, in general, are on the rise. So we’re going to need to educate everyone on proper cybersecurity hygiene. Our cybersecurity report that I mentioned earlier includes recommendations as to how SMBs can improve their cybersecurity efforts moving forward.

About the Author
Aviva Zacks
Aviva Zacks
Cybersecurity Expert and Writer

About the Author

Aviva Zacks is a content manager, writer, editor, and really good baker. When she's not working, she enjoys reading on her porch swing with a cup of decaf.