Mostyn Thomas, Pax8 Senior Director of Security, shares strategies to help MSPs maximise their online protection.
When it comes to keeping your business protected against cybercriminals, it’s way too important to do it yourself. Throughout my 25 years working in IT, I’ve seen many holes in MSPs’ online protection. The tactics used by cybercriminals to extort money and data from businesses have become increasingly complex. Thankfully, cybersecurity solutions have developed alongside criminal tactics. I’ve joined Pax8 as the Senior Director of Security to help protect our partners’ businesses from bad actors looking to profit from the hard work of others.
As a trusted partner for their clients’ IT needs, MSPs are responsible for identifying potential vulnerabilities and addressing them proactively. So, when it comes to keeping their clients’ organisations secure, MSPs act as the first line of defence against cyberthreats. But who are they working with to ensure that their cybersecurity strategy is up to scratch?
Why are MSPs overlooking their own security?
It’s important not to be complacent when it comes to keeping a business safe online. MSPs can think they have everything sorted or are so focused on their clients’ protection that they leave their own network exposed. Just because your business has not been impacted by cyberthreats, it does not mean that you don’t need to take any precautionary measures. Remember, it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ As an MSP, there are critical steps you should take to protect your organisation from cyberattacks.
At Pax8, we regularly see MSPs not adhering to the basics when it comes to cybersecurity best practices. A lack of regular vulnerability assessments, the absence of formal training, and staff logging onto business applications as administrators rather than users are just three examples of flaws in cybersecurity measures.
There’s a difference between selling cybersecurity solutions and implementing them. Business systems and practices become entrenched, making it increasingly difficult to spot flaws. The nature of technology means that both online threats and protective software are becoming increasingly advanced. Measures implemented years ago — even months ago — are no longer sufficient. Keeping an organisation adequately protected against cybercrime is time-consuming, but it’s a task that’s well worth the investment.
Flawed cybersecurity measures mean increased risks to businesses
The risks posed to MSPs by criminals are countless and can often be devastating to businesses. If an organisation is successfully breached by a criminal, it could bring the whole operation to a halt and cost significant sums of money. Worse, the criminal could sit within the business’ network and attack clients from the position of privilege held over these networks by MSPs. Is it worth saving time and money now to risk potentially astronomical costs and reputational damage later?
While most MSPs recognise the issues and risks posed and implement security policies, these usually aren’t sufficient. Often, they will put in action a top line endpoint security product but won’t configure their SPF or DMARC record correctly. This example is one of many that underscores how far robust cybersecurity practices, conducted consistently and well, can go in protecting a business.
Keeping your business protected
There are several ways to keep a business secure. By leveraging the world-class security solutions offered by the Pax8 Marketplace, MSPs can derive a multitude of benefits to enhance their security posture and minimise the risk of cyberattacks.
Cyber insurance is a key investment for any MSP business. A breach in a business’ security is likely to be costly. Taking out insurance now could save the money that would otherwise be spent on remediation fees if the worst-case scenario becomes a reality.
Arguably, the most effective tool in an MSP’s arsenal when it comes to keeping an organisation secure is ensuring that team members know what to look out for. Regular and in-depth training will play a key role in minimising the risks posed by cybercriminals to a business’ data and profits. Make sure that people know the warning signs, and what to do if something doesn’t look quite right.
Another point to consider is how many members of a team are accessing the business’ online workspace as an administrator unnecessarily. Granting staff admin rights rather than the rights of a user will make them more attractive targets for hackers and increase the potential damage they could inadvertently cause to a business if they make a mistake. While regularly updating user rights for each employee may take additional time, it’s a worthwhile investment when it comes to keeping an organisation’s data secure.
Cybersecurity is too important to manage yourself. Join me at a Pax8 Cybersecurity Masterclass to learn how to keep your organisation, its data, and its profits secure.