Charles Tomeo, vice-president of Worldwide Business Sales at Webroot, examines how organisations could be leveraging Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the performance of their business.
I recently stumbled upon an insightful quote from Robert Work, the 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense, that read “What AI and Machine Learning allow you to do is find the needle in the haystack.” If you stop and think about that, you realize it’s true. In this day and age, with the help of AI and ML, so many tasks once perceived as utterly inconceivable–are now possible.
For example, in cybersecurity, we no longer have to evaluate every risk or classify each site manually. And with today’s exponential growth of websites, this task would be painstaking and nearly impossible. Rather, machine learning algorithms are instrumental in helping to assess and rank the sites we visit daily.
I talk with MSPs every day and I’m sure, like so many, you must be considering ways to leverage AI and ML to automate and improve the performance of your business. In 2019, 73 percent of IT professionals in the United States reported they plan to utilize these technologies. But how do you make the most of these emerging trends to increase margins and scale up business? Let’s take a look…
The need for speed
AI and ML are not just buzzwords anymore. They’re mainstream technologies that strengthen our capacities in everything we do, from weeding out potential job candidates to diagnosing cancer. In fact, it’s been reported that ML algorithms are capable of solving complex mathematical computations at the speed of light.
For example, Vasil Vykhopen, CEO of MSP Exelegent, hit the nail on the head when he said, “I don’t think anyone has enough resources. With 5 billion events a day, it’s impossible to watch! The more I can automate it, and the key word is automation, it’s like having a team member that does everything 100 times faster.”
Check out this awe-inspiring video where Exelegent and other MSPs demonstrate how they drive successful outcomes through AI, ML, and automation:
Ways to drive success: the tools of the trade
I’m certain you’re capable of easily identifying time-consuming, manual processes, which hinder efficiency. Tasks like support ticket management, communications, time and billing, and other internal operations are just a few of the procedures that MSPs pinpoint for automation.
In our never-ending charge to do more with less, taking advantage of the right vendor software can make all the difference when it comes to scaling your MSP business. Here are a few products your MSP peers are already leveraging.
- Collaboration and Workflow. Collaboration software, such as Slack makes alignment with teams and clients easier, but the real power is derived from Slack bots and the Slack API. Directly through a Slack channel, you can receive critical helpdesk network operations alerts, which streamlines operations. And with chatbots, that do the work for you, you can automate daily time-consuming tasks. The possibilities are endless––everything from Jira, Salesforce, and Okta integrations to planning lunch outings with co-workers and clients.
- Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM). RMM software, which is sometimes referred to as network management software, helps you automatically discover and monitor the endpoints, networks, and computers of your clients. At Webroot, we offer automated deployment and management of your preferred RMM, with integrations including Atera, Autotask, ConnectWise, Continuum, Kaseya, and NinjaRMM.
- Professional Services Automation (PSA). PSA software provides workflow automation and management of projects, support tickets, billing, finances, and human resources. Pulseway, NinjaRMM or Atera are options that MSPs utilize.
Case in point: proof through experience
At Webroot, we’ve been leveraging AI, ML, and automation for over a decade. As industry experts, we’ve certainly learned a thing or two, especially when it comes to how these technologies have fundamentally changed the way SMBs and MSPs view cybersecurity. Here are some of the top benefits.
- Threat Intelligence. Using global threat sensors, machine learning algorithms, and human classification, we continuously scan and classify the Internet to expand our knowledge of today’s threats and develop risk scores for each URL. In fact, we’ve created the largest URL database of its kind, with over 32 billion URLs and over 750 million domains to-date, to help protect users from the dangers associated with browsing the Internet and clicking malicious links. Without machine learning and automation, this would be virtually impossible for humans to achieve on their own, much less keep up with the constantly evolving Internet threat landscape.
- Auto Remediation. Automated rollback is crucial in keeping customers safe and improving MSP efficiency. For example, when malware is detected and determined to be malicious, automated rollback surgically reverts systems to a prior state, which eliminates break/fix work, and reduces the costs associated with re-imaging and re-building systems.
- Security Alerts Overload. 36% of security professionals report that one of their top incident response challenges is keeping up with today’s sheer volume of alerts. In fact, many alerts are ignored because they simply can’t keep up, which leaves businesses vulnerable. What’s the answer? Automation and ML, of course!
The ROI of automation
As you’re well aware, measuring the ROI of automation initiatives can be challenging. We suggest that you begin by examining the methods in which SMBs and other MSPs reduce costs and improve performance. For example, Helion Automotive Technologies, America’s largest outsourced technology provider for auto dealerships, reports they are saving $80,000 a year through Webroot’s solutions––with ransomware protection, automatic rollback, and RMM and PSA integrations all playing integral roles.
To learn more about how Webroot can help you transform your MSP businesses, dive into Webroot’s quarterly threat report to gain insight into the latest threats, relevant news, industry reports, and information to help you stay ahead of modern malware.