The FBI and several federal security agencies reported that an alarming 57% of all ransomware attacks in August and September during the 2020-2021 school year targeted schools. Why? Because when distance learning became mandatory during the pandemic, district-issued devices expanded the attack surface for K-12 schools across the U.S., as these machines made their way into students' homes and began connecting to school resources, often using unsecured networks.
Not only were there suddenly more devices for IT teams to track, those devices were often exposed to potentially vulnerable personal and smart appliances in the home. More software was necessary, as well: during 2021, downloads of educational apps rose by 130%. This new remote-learning environment had IT teams in schools scrambling to create and maintain complete and accurate IT asset inventories in order to budget effectively, ensure staff and students had the resources they needed, and protect the network from cybercrime.
But the pandemic only added to an existing problem for IT teams in education. Even before Covid-19, a proliferation of technology in the classroom and bring your own device (BYOD) policies required significant effort, with a lot of manual tracking and logging. Unfortunately, manual methods are time-consuming and error-prone, and spreadsheets become outdated almost as soon as they are complete. Tight educational budgets and a lack of skilled personnel compounded the issue, leaving IT teams in schools and school districts overtaxed, frustrated and forever in catch-up mode.
Stepping Stones to ITAM
The idea for AdminRemix began when Matthews introduced Chromebook Getter, a Google Sheet add-on that streamlines workflows and processes for managing Chromebook data, saving admins 30-40 minutes per data upload. When the tool received upwards of 400,000 installs in a single weekend, Matthews and Warsitz realized they'd found a gap in the market waiting to be filled. They quit their jobs and set out to build a company that offered "amazing ITAM software for all teams to enjoy."
While AdminRemix's Chromebook Getter tool and Meet Enhancement Suite helped create brand awareness for the company, providing customers with IT Asset Management capabilities was the team's North Star. To that end, they partnered with Lansweeper to offer a seamless integration that customers could leverage to feed Lansweeper IT asset inventory data into their inventory management tool, AssetRemix.
"We have worked for the past two years on our ITAM management software," Matthews said. "Now it's really about making it easier for customers to import their assets, which is where Lansweeper comes in."
According to Matthews, his team evaluated several IT asset discovery solutions but chose Lansweeper for three important reasons:
- Lansweeper is priced fairly, which would make it easier for customers to purchase.
- The integration was straightforward from a technology perspective and enabled real-time data uploads.
- The Lansweeper team was the most responsive of all the vendors they considered.
Lansweeper automatically scans entire networks and discovers all connected assets in seconds, giving organizations full visibility of a school's ever-expanding IT estate, eliminating manual, paper-based asset tracking and reducing the high operational overhead of maintaining a growing and diverse IT infrastructure. What's more, Lansweeper provides granular information about assets, such as make, model, installed software, user, location and more which would be difficult if not impossible to collect without the integration.
Phase one of the integration will enable existing Lansweeper customers to sync their Lansweeper data with AssetRemix's ITAM solution. Once they've pulled in their asset data, a real-time integration via Webhooks automatically and continuously enriched the dataset with any new assets that connect to the network along with with additional information about existing assets, such as outstanding fines or fees, reports and pictures of any damages, helpdesk tickets and more.
Less Work, More Insights
With Lansweeper information at their fingertips, IT and system admins can make smart decisions about their IT asset estate, from tracking who has checked in and out devices, to fixing potential vulnerabilities and enforcing security measures, to ensuring staff and students have access to the resources they need to be successful. The Lansweeper integration simplifies workflows and processes for AdminRemix customers, as well, while helping them maximize the ROI of their IT resources.
"Prior to using Lansweeper, AdminMixer customers would leverage bulk CSV imports or manual data entry to track and update their IT asset inventories; however, this process was time consuming, requiring full-time employees normalize and deduplicate data," Matthews said. "With the ability to automatically populate and enrich IT asset inventory data through the Lansweeper integration, our customers can reallocate those IT resources to other business-critical tasks."
Matthews expects a substantial percentage of its 7,000 customers worldwide as well as many of its millions of free users will take advantage of the Lansweeper integration, which went live in January this year. He also anticipates it will provide value for additional use cases beyond ITAM. "As more customers use the integration and provide feedback, those use cases will become apparent," he said.
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Lansweeper's integration with AdminRemix is just one of the many ways the Lansweeper platform fits seamlessly into your existing technology stack. Learn more about our available integrations here.