Managed Service Providers and IT Service providers are fighting a tough battle. Not only are they trying to prevent their clients from suffering a cybersecurity attack, they also face the worry of being attacked themselves.
Cybersecurity in the US is in a sorry state right now. Businesses saw the annual cost of cybersecurity increase by 22.7% in 2021, with the annual number of security breaches increasing by 27.4%. In one survey, respondents who saw improvement in the cybersecurity landscape dropped slightly from 69% to 68%.
Managed Service Providers or MSPs are prime targets for cyber attacks, and they must take steps to protect themselves right now. We’ve gathered the top 10 cybersecurity threats facing businesses and consumers, so that you can take action to prevent attacks while also educating your customers on the steps they must take to be safe. Combined with our blog on the 2022 cybersecurity trends, you’ll see a significant improvement in your cybersecurity.
Let’s start with a long-standing security threat. Malware takes the form of viruses, trojans, worms, and rootkits to name just a few. It infects computers when a link is clicked, a dangerous website is visited, or a nefarious program is installed. It can range from annoying to deadly, and can seriously compromise a business. Avoid malware by always ensuring that antivirus software is turned on and updated. Also educate clients and staff on the importance of checking links and files before clicking and downloading.
Although ransomware is a type of malware, it deserves special mention due to its increased frequency over the years and its particular harm to businesses. It installs itself over a network from a bad link or program, and then blocks access to whole systems and data. Unless, of course, you pay a ransom (which you should never do). As with other malware prevention, it’s important to keep your antivirus up-to-date and ensure that all files are backed up regularly.
This type of threat can be hi-tech or no-tech. It relies on old-fashioned psychology to trick users into giving access to systems or even physical premises. Attackers exploit trust or lack-of-knowledge, usually by impersonating someone else, to get what they want. Again, education is key to combat this. Antivirus and email screening software will also minimize damage.
Phishing is an incredibly popular way for attackers to gain access to their victim’s data and bank accounts. It’s a form of social engineering, and relies on the user clicking a link that looks authentic. It usually requests sensitive information, like passwords or bank account details and it can happen over email, SMS, or even phone calls (known as vishing). Educate your clients and employees to evaluate any link, email, SMS, or phone call they receive, and if they have any doubts at all to disregard them. If someone is asking for confidential data, it can usually be ignored.
Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) work by overloading servers with many thousands of requests per second. This can completely halt a business’s operations, as their networks become overwhelmed. This is an exceptionally tough form of attack to defend against. It requires expert knowledge from a professional as well as extra bandwidth, so make plans just in case. It’s always best to prepare for the worst.
Software updates exist for several reasons, and this is one of them. Although most software is rigorously tested before launch, not every vulnerability or opportunity to exploit can be found. Sadly, attackers are experts at identifying them at launch, and exploit them before a patch has been issued. Avoid this simply by not installing new software the instant it comes out, and keep all your software up-to-date.
Also known as an SQL attack, an SQL injection occurs when an attacker interferes with queries from an application to a database that lets them access information they’re not supposed to see. This can take the form of passwords, credit card information, and personal records. Firewalls are a great way to avoid SQL attacks.
It’s not just external attackers that can expose businesses to harm. Employees can, too. This can be accidentally, or maliciously from disgruntled or dishonest individuals, if proper steps aren’t taken they’ll have an easy time making off with sensitive data. Stop this by limiting access to files based on an “as needed” basis, make sure hardware is off-limits by locking it up, and make sure access to your buildings is guarded and monitored.
Every business is on the cloud these days, and with the increase in productivity and flexibility sadly comes an increase in risk. There are many types of cloud attacks and vulnerabilities, but thankfully there are multiple ways to guard against them. You can read all about this in our blog post 10 ways MSPs can strengthen cloud security.
Man in the Middle
Man in the Middle or MitM attacks involve an attacker either eavesdropping on conversations between staff or impersonating an employee. The goal of this is to steal sensitive information such as passwords so that they can further breach a network. They can do this by launching an open wifi network, so ensure that your employees only connect to verified company networks, and ensure they are encrypted. VPNs also work well.
InSOC helps MSPs protect their clients by selling cybersecurity services using our sales enablement program. We enable you to grow your cybersecurity sales through a personalized sales and marketing program, delivered by experts. Don’t waste money building your own Security Operations Center when ours offers a more cost effective solution. Book a time to talk to us today.