MSPs have a responsibility to own and manage large volumes of sensitive data, making them prime targets for cybercriminals. With access to the sensitive data and infrastructure of their clients, MSPs must ensure that they employ cybersecurity best practices to protect themselves and their customers from advanced cyber-attacks. The security of MSPs’ systems and their clients’ systems relies on this.

In this guide, our partners at N-able outline some cybersecurity best practices for MSPs and enterprises, covering the importance of effective remote infrastructure management, utilizing a sophisticated endpoint detection and response (EDR) security solution, implementing robust patch management, and business continuity and disaster recovery.

Why are MSPs prime targets for cyberattacks?

Large enterprises that have access to mass amounts of customer information are obvious targets for cyberattacks. While these organizations represent what might be a profitable opportunity for cybercriminals, they typically use enterprise-grade security solutions that help them deploy sophisticated security measures (if they’re not they should be!). Launching a successful attack against these solutions can require a lot of skill and resources from the attacker.

MSPs, on the other hand, are likely to have access to large amounts of valuable customer data whether their customers are small, medium, or large businesses. MSPs have their hands in many pots and can serve as an effective single gateway for cybercriminals hoping to easily access a broad range of confidential data.

MSP solutions are typically built to give technicians easy and direct access to their customers, allowing them to troubleshoot issues, perform maintenance activities, deploy software, and much more with minimal restriction. Given the huge amount of access MSPs are afforded by customers, it’s no surprise that cybercriminals consider MSPs to be attractive targets. If a cybercriminal manages to compromise just one MSP, they may find themselves with access to a whole score of other potential targets.

In addition, because an MSP’s core offering is to keep customer networks secure and operational, the threat of customer-facing damage and disruption makes MSPs the ideal target for extortion.

6 Cybersecurity Best Practices to Prevent Cyber Attacks

With cybercriminals looking to hack their way into both MSP and enterprise systems, it’s more important than ever for both parties to implement cybersecurity best practices that will help them avoid falling victim to an attack. Here are six key activities to help protect you from exploitable vulnerabilities:

  1. Prioritize patch management
  2. Participate in regular vulnerability monitoring and management
  3. Conduct proactive threat detection and management
  4. Practice log monitoring
  5. Employ a cloud-first backup solution
  6. Implement and review privileged access management 

1. Prioritize Patch Management

Some organizations can experience hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of individual cyberattacks each year, although these businesses are certainly outliers. Still, most businesses are at risk of cyberthreats simply because cybercriminals are always hunting for potential vulnerabilities in applications.

MSPs should make keeping systems patched and up to date a priority because outdated software and firmware are prime targets for cybercriminals and can be easily exploited. One of the most effective ways of protecting your MSP business and its customers from issues associated with outdated hardware and software is to employ robust and sophisticated patch management software. This can help you keep on top of updates and deploy patches on a regular basis before criminals have the chance to take advantage.

2. Participate in Regular Vulnerability Monitoring and Management

Somewhat like patch management, vulnerability monitoring and management asks that you look for vulnerabilities criminals might be able to exploit in order to prevent this from happening. By regularly scanning and testing your environment for any weaknesses, you can identify areas in your systems or your customers’ systems that require updates, whether it’s a default password, a poor configuration, or an unpatched piece of software. This is a simple and low-cost way of significantly improving your cybersecurity.

A key part of vulnerability management is running vulnerability scans that look for potential vulnerabilities that cybercriminals might look to exploit. Host-based scanning can run vulnerability checks across the devices on your networks to ensure there are no unpatched software or potential malware threats.

N-able’s EDR powered by SentinelOne includes an application inventory based on what is discovered on endpoints and lists vulnerabilities associated with those applications and their severity providing a convenient up-to-date view of applications that may need updating or removal from an environment.

3. Conduct Proactive Threat Detection and Management

Threat detection and prevention tools can encompass firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and reliable endpoint detection response (EDR). Comprehensive and effective threat detection is a crucial part of securing your business and its customers. Implementing a firewall is the first step in successfully monitoring and controlling network traffic according to your customers’ individual security rules. A next-generation firewall can help by not only controlling traffic but also providing other security features like antivirus scanning. On top of this, an intrusion detection system can identify and block any malicious entities that breach the firewall.

Locking down endpoints is another key component of effective threat detection and threat management. Many cyberattacks begin with a user being fooled by a malicious email. Email and web filtering tools can help prevent employees and users from making potentially critical mistakes. To support email protection measures, you should set up DMARC, SPF, and DKIM along with an email protection tool that can provide protection against business email compromise attacks and active phishing campaigns. Before choosing a security solution, you should consider whether it’s comprehensive enough to meet your security requirements. All-in-one cybersecurity and RMM tools, particularly those offering advanced EDR alongside web protection and email protection, can offer a centralized and streamlined approach that can be both cost-effective and less resource-intensive.

4. Practice Log Monitoring

Effective log monitoring involves examining logs for anomalies. This could include traffic from malicious domains or attempts to escalate user privileges. Log monitoring can help you detect threat patterns and close cybersecurity gaps. Depending on the size of your enterprise or your customers’ networks and the number of networks and devices that require monitoring, you may want to consider a security information and event management (SIEM) tool. These tools will help you sift through huge amounts of data and help you prioritize items in need of attention. Even in smaller environments, tools like N-able N-sight RMM allows for targeted monitoring of specific events like excessive failed logins that can be indicators of brute-force attacks.

5. Employ a Cloud-first Backup Solution

Backups are a crucial part of remediating malicious activity and safeguarding business continuity in the event of a disaster or cyberattack. A good cloud-first backup solution affords you and your customers access to the latest versions of business applications and data, giving you all peace of mind that you can recover quickly from both data breaches and natural disasters. Backup solutions are especially important for MSPs and enterprises that must meet compliance mandates such as PCI DSS and HIPAA Security Rule.

There are limits to how well your backups can serve you, however, if they are stored exclusively on the same network where ransomware attackers may dwell. Instead, look for a cloud-first backup solution. Cove Data Protection keeps your backup copies off your network as well as the application itself. Being able to quickly restore after a downtime event, whether due to a ransomware attack, human error, or a natural disaster, is crucial for keeping customers safe.

6. Implement and Review Privileged Access management

Businesses experience internal change frequently in the form of onboarding, offboarding, and lateral moves within an organization. Because of this, regularly reviewing access privileges is critically important. When conducting access reviews, you may find that employees who once required access to certain mission-critical resources no longer need them. This can pose a major security risk, especially if the individual with access has left the company. To mitigate this risk, you should conduct regular audits to ensure employee access to critical data and applications is strictly “need to know.”

The best way to prevent privilege abuse is to establish barriers between users and assets. To achieve this, you could take a tiered approach, adhering to the principle of least privilege. The principle of least privilege limits privileges to the absolute bare minimum required to get the job done. Other access management best practices include avoiding sharing or reusing login credentials, enabling multi-factor authentication, using a password manager to create strong passwords, and having a strong process for employee offboarding and revoking privileges as needed.

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If this information is helpful to you read our blog for more interesting and useful content, tips, and guidelines on similar topics. Contact the team of COMPUTER 2000 Bulgaria now if you have a specific question. Our specialists will be assisting you with your query. 

Content curated by the team of COMPUTER 2000 on the basis of news in reputable media and marketing materials provided by our partners, companies, and other vendors.

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