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MSP hacks are growing and here’s what to do about them

MSP hacks? Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a major target for cyber attacks, and research shows that MSP attacks have increased significantly in recent months. According to security provider Check Point Software, attack frequency rose by 67% between 2020 and 2021.

Many small to medium sized enterprises depend on MSPs for cost-effective IT infrastructure management. Nearly 66% of businesses use an MSP for at least one function. Although enterprises trust MSPs to protect their data, many MSPs are uniquely vulnerable to threats.

MSP hacks

In the past, the US Secret Service acknowledged that MSPs breaches were designed to orchestrate ransomware attacks, point-of-sale intrusions and business email compromise scams. MSP hacks are often used as launchpads from which to infiltrate the networks of MSP customers.

Best practices: Security for MSPs

  1. Develop well-defined service level agreements
  2. Ensure that tools are patched regularly and that patching is up-to-date
  3. Enforce zero-trust least privileged access principles
  4. Instate well-defined security controls that meet regulatory compliance requirements
  5. Conduct annual data audits
  6. Review compliance standards for local and national entities on a regular basis
  7. Proactively initiate cyber security training programs for employees

Best practices: Security for MSP customers

  1. Audit your service level agreements
  2. Audit remote administration tools deployed in your environment
  3. Make sure that two-factor authentication is enabled wherever possible
  4. Limit administrative access using zero-trust principles
  5. Leverage a secure network and system infrastructure that complies with industry, local and national security requirements
  6. Deploy cyber security training programs tailored for employees

Further details

For any organization, preventing a cyber pandemic is crucial. Here are a handful of additional pointers that can help:

  1. Prevent intrusions. One of the most daunting challenges facing security practitioners consists of Gen V attacks, which are large-scale, multi-vector attacks designed to harm multiple elements of an organization’s infrastructure; from endpoints to virtual machines.
  2. Provide comprehensive security. Organizations should opt for a single, unified security architecture in order to effectively protect all attack surfaces and vectors.
  3. Security hygiene. Patching is extraordinarily important and so too is patching in a timely manner. Patches can protect organizations from vulnerabilities that hackers are actively exploiting.
  4. Employee awareness. Ensure that all employees are aware of the types of cyber security threats that their department may encounter and that they have insight into the latest types of phishing threats hitting the organization.
  5. Segmenting networks. This represents a key pillar of a resilient security practice. Segmented networks can help ensure that, should hackers inadvertently gain access into systems, they cannot reach every corner of the kingdom, so to speak.
  6. Advanced threat technologies. Although there isn’t a silver bullet to protect organizations from all attacks at all times, there are “many great technologies and ideas available,” says a Check Point Software spokesperson. These include machine learning, sandboxing, anomaly detection and content disarmament. “Each of these technologies can be highly effective in specific scenarios, covering specific file types or attack vectors.”

Summary  

MSPs are uniquely vulnerable to cyber attacks, and may become more so in 2022. Nonetheless, regardless of your industry or affiliation, all organizations should take proactive measures to stop threats.

For more information about MSP hacks, visit MSSP Alert. Lastly, if you’d like more information about cyber security and cyber security best practices for the year ahead, please join us at the premiere cyber security event of the year – CPX 360 2022. Register here.

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