18 April 2024
octobits-network-assessment-tools

Network Assessment Tools (Image by AIS NOW)

Reliable and advanced MSP network assessment tools are essential to deliver top-notch services. Yes, the effectiveness of network assessments largely hinges on the tools used.

As we know, network security assessments are essential for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) as they are the foundation of their service quality.

These assessments help MSPs effectively understand and manage their clients’ network environments. 

MSPs can identify potential issues, optimize operations, and ensure robust security measures are in place through a thorough evaluation of network performance, security, and overall health.

So, that’s why MSPs can use network assessment tools to perform in-depth assessments.

These evaluations provide insights into network configurations, performance bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities, and compliance with industry standards.

These insights are vital for effective IT Security Management, as they enable MSPs to proactively address security risks, configure networks securely, and implement appropriate security measures.

Let’s discuss the tools that can improve business operations more effectively and efficiently.

Type of Network Assessment Tools

MSP network assessment tools are available in various types, each designed to address a specific network issue.

Monitoring & Management Tools

Monitoring and management tools continuously track network performance, identifying issues like slow internet speeds, server downtimes, or overloaded systems.

They provide real-time alerts and detailed reports, enabling MSPs to respond swiftly to any problems. 

Effective use of these tools helps in maintaining optimal network performance and reducing downtime.

They can also predict potential failures by analyzing trends, allowing MSPs to proactively address issues before they escalate. 

This continuous monitoring ensures that the network runs smoothly, supporting business operations without interruption.

Documentation Tools

Documentation tools help in creating a detailed inventory of all network components, such as routers, switches, and servers.

This documentation is vital for understanding the network’s current state and for planning future expansions or modifications. 

These tools also assist in mapping network topologies, providing a clear visual representation of how different devices are interconnected. 

Good documentation supports efficient troubleshooting and maintenance, as it provides quick access to critical information about the network’s structure and configuration. 

Regularly updated documentation ensures that MSPs have accurate and current information, essential for effective network management and decision-making.

Security Tools

Security tools are designed to protect networks from various threats like viruses, malware, unauthorized access, and data breaches. 

These tools include firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and vulnerability scanners. 

They monitor network traffic for suspicious activities, scan for known vulnerabilities, and enforce security policies. 

MSPs can use these tools to identify and address security weaknesses. This ensures that client networks are fortified against cyber threats. 

Continuous security assessments and updates are crucial in this fast-evolving threat landscape.

MSPs rely on these tools to provide robust security solutions, maintaining client trust and compliance with regulatory standards.

Top MSP Network Assessment Tools in 2024

As an MSP, your network assessment tools are crucial for monitoring your clients’ IT infrastructure.

Selecting the appropriate tools can significantly impact your ability to provide efficient, proactive, and secure services.

Here are seven of the best network assessment tools for MSPs that will become more valuable in 2024.

1. NinjaOne

NinjaOne offers a comprehensive solution for MSP network management, balancing robust features with user-friendly design. 

Its advantages in monitoring and scalability make it a popular choice, while considerations around cost and initial user experience are important factors for potential users.

Pros of NinjaOne

The key strengths of NinjaOne include its robust monitoring capabilities and its intuitive user interface.

Another significant advantage is its automated alert system, which notifies MSPs of potential issues before they escalate.

This proactive approach is essential for maintaining network reliability and performance.

Additionally, NinjaOne’s scalability makes it suitable for MSPs of various sizes, adapting to different network complexities and client needs.

Cons of NinjaOne

One of the drawbacks of NinjaOne is the initial learning curve associated with its wide range of features.

New users may require time to fully understand and utilize all the capabilities offered by the platform.

Another concern for some users is the cost, particularly for smaller MSPs or those with limited budgets.

While NinjaOne offers comprehensive functionality, its pricing structure may be a barrier for some businesses. 

Price of NinjaOne

Although exact pricing information is not publicly available, NinjaOne provides a free trial and consulting service. So, your companies can evaluate the value and applicability of the solution.

2. ConnectWise

ConnectWise offers robust features for streamlining IT processes. Its capabilities extend across knowledge management, request management, configuration management, service reporting, and more. 

Pros of ConnectWise

The strengths of ConnectWise lie in its versatility and integration capabilities. Users appreciate its seamless QuickBooks integration, making invoice and data transfer straightforward.

The platform is also praised for its functionality in handling asset and configuration management. Its mobile app is a significant advantage, offering access to services and information on the go. 

Cons of ConnectWise

ConnectWise can be overwhelming for small companies due to its extensive features and the need for each user to have their own account.

Some ConnectWise user report the initial setup can be time-consuming, and the platform may include functionalities not necessary for all businesses, particularly those using it for internal IT solutions​​.

Price of ConnectWise

The on-premises version of ConnectWise Manage is priced at $35 per technician per month, with no initial setup fee, based on some reviews.

Please contact the ConnectWise Manage sales team for a personalized quote that meets your specific business needs.

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Network Vulnerability Assessment Tools (Image by annexustech)

3. SentinelOne

SentinelOne is designed to identify and mitigate a vast array of cyber threats, ensuring robust protection for user systems and networks.

Pros of SentinelOne

One of the major advantages of SentinelOne is its ease of deployment. It allows for smooth and efficient roll-out across numerous endpoints from day one, responding to threats and ransomware in real-time.

Another notable feature is its storyline-based incident analysis, offering exceptional auto remediation capabilities.

Its ability to swiftly identify vulnerabilities and disconnect affected systems from the local network enhances overall network safety.

These features, combined with its AI-driven threat detection, position SentinelOne as a highly effective tool for endpoint security.

Cons of SentinelOne

Some SentinelOne users have noted that the additional add-ons can be confusing, with some of the platform’s terminology being hard to understand initially. Managing multiple consoles can be cumbersome, although plans to consolidate these into a single console are underway. 

Price of SentinelOne

In terms of pricing, SentinelOne’s platform starts at $69.99 per endpoint, per year. This pricing is competitive and comparable to other endpoint protection platforms in the market.

4. ManageEngine

ManageEngine, anticipated to be a widely-used MSP network assessment tool in 2024, offers an array of features suitable for IT and support teams.

Known for its expansive suite of management and reporting capabilities, it allows MSPs to oversee and report on managed devices effectively. 

Pros of ManageEngine

ManageEngine’s standout feature is its versatility, offering numerous options and capabilities that cater to a wide range of IT management needs.

The software’s large feature set provides MSPs with significant flexibility in managing and reporting on managed devices.

Some users appreciate its ease of use, especially when generating complex reports, which streamlines IT management processes.

Cons of ManageEngine

Other ManageEngine users have reported challenges in obtaining complete information from individual users.

The initial understanding and navigation of the software’s functionalities can be difficult for some.

Additionally, the software may experience occasional glitches, lag in screen displays, and disconnects, which can hinder its efficiency.

Price of ManageEngine

Specific pricing information for ManageEngine in 2024 is not readily available.

You should contact ManageEngine directly to obtain current pricing details, as they likely offer various plans tailored to different MSP sizes and requirements.

5. RapidFire Tools

RapidFire Tools, particularly its VulScan product, specializes in performing both internal and external network vulnerability assessments.

This tool can be integrated with other RapidFire products like Network Detective Pro and Cyber Hawk, offering MSPs and MSSPs a comprehensive range of IT and security services.

Pros of RapidFire Tools

RapidFire Tools’ VulScan offers robust external and internal vulnerability scanners, making it highly effective for vulnerability management and remediation services.

It features a brandable and customizable report generator, which is particularly useful for MSPs and MSSPs in creating detailed compliance reports for clients.

Additional benefits include service-provider-specific training resources, an optional workflow to outsource alerts to RocketCyber SOC, and partner white-label marketing materials.

Cons of RapidFire Tools

However, there are some challenges associated with RapidFire Tools. The onboarding process is a paid service and may be too brief for some users to acquire effective training.

Additionally, setting up the virtual appliance requires specific expertise, which could be a barrier for less technically skilled MSPs. 

Price of RapidFire Tools

RapidFire Tools follows a quote-based pricing model, and they encourage interested customers to contact them directly for pricing information.

6. iTarian

iTarian is a cloud-based IT and remote access management solution anticipated to be a go-to choice for MSPs in 2024. It offers a comprehensive approach to monitor devices, troubleshoot issues, and handle operations remotely. 

Pros of iTarian

iTarian’s strength lies in its all-encompassing suite of tools, which includes RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management), PSA (Professional Services Automation), Patching, Ticketing, Endpoint Protection, and SOC (Security Operations Center).

Its stability and comprehensive options in an RMM are highly valued. Additionally, the platform’s ability to be white-labeled stands out, enabling MSPs to brand the tools as their own, including antivirus solutions.

Cons of iTarian

A significant concern is its pricing structure change, which has negatively impacted smaller organizations, such as nonprofits.

The requirement for a software download for remote connections, which is not always the case with other solutions, can be a hindrance.

Price of iTarian

iTarian offers a highly competitive pricing model, with a free version available for up to 50 endpoints. Beyond this, the cost starts at $1.25 per endpoint, per month, with discounted rates available for MSPs.

7. Nodeware

Nodeware has made notable strides in its continuous vulnerability management solution.

Nodeware is known for its adaptability, offering a pay-as-you-go pricing option, which allows MSPs to scale their licensing needs flexibly.

Pros of Nodeware

Nodeware’s strengths are its ease of use and efficiency in vulnerability management scanning.

Nodeware provides clear and concise detections, which is essential for addressing vulnerabilities and outdated services.

Notably, it can perform scans during regular business hours without causing disruptions.

This feature is invaluable for SMBs concerned about maintaining their security posture without impacting their operations.

Cons of Nodeware

Some challenges with Nodeware include the need for expertise in setting up its virtual appliance and potential issues with the pay-as-you-go pricing model, which may not suit all business models.

Additionally, its integration with other major IT management platforms like ConnectWise PSA, Kaseya BMS, and Autotask PSA, while in development, is not yet available.

Price of Nodeware

Nodeware offers a flexible pricing structure, including a pay-as-you-go option, allowing MSPs to purchase exactly what they need without a contract. 

In addition, Nodeware provides MSPs with full access to a Proof of Concept trial to demonstrate how Nodeware can assist in growing their business.

Conclusion

Let’s face it; By 2024, as technology advances, MSP network assessment tools will be a necessity, not a luxury.

They empower businesses to proactively manage and secure their networks, ensuring uninterrupted operations and optimal performance.

It’s important for MSPs and IT professionals like you to choose a tool that meets your needs. The right tool can significantly enhance network performance, security, and management efficiency.

As a result, MSPs should invest time and resources in the understanding and use of MSP network assessment tools.

Strengthening your MSP network assessment capabilities will benefit your business operations and improve the security and efficiency of the networks you manage.

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