Chris Swagler | May 26th, 2022

In today’s rapidly expanding digital world, more than 30 million global organizations have less than 1,000 employees and are seeking different managed services from experienced professionals to leverage their IT departments. Malicious actors frequently target Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who handle large volumes of sensitive client data. MSPs are diamond mines for threat operators since they have direct access to their clients. To survive in the industry, MSPs understand the importance of protecting clients’ sensitive data. MSPs can ensure optimal security for their systems and their clients’ important data by implementing cybersecurity best practices. Most companies outsource their IT services and infrastructure to MSPs due to a lack of human and financial resources.

Malicious threat actors are aware that established managed service providers handle clients’ crucial information and sensitive data. MSPs are prime targets for malicious threat actors because have access to enormous amounts of clients’ data. Because the managed services definition incorporates all their clients’ core IT activities, when MSPs fall victim to cyberattacks, the threat operators can infiltrate the systems of all companies seeking their services, which makes MSPs valuable targets. Experts advise MSP partners to follow these guidelines to strengthen their line of defense against online threat operators.

Use Email Authentication Protocols

Using popular email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC makes it easier to monitor potential server vulnerabilities among MSP clients. Users are likely to visit malicious websites through phishing emails if strict protocols are not implemented. The authentication process can detect fake emails with phishing links or malware, keeping the systems secure. Additionally, emails sent on the client’s behalf would carry the necessary authenticity.

Phishing Training for Employees

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, phishing attacks have risen by more than 600%, which is why MSPs need to conduct phishing training sessions for their employees. MSPs need to be aware of their employees’ behavior, considering most data breaches occur because of human error. Employees won’t fall victim to social engineering attempts if they receive adequate awareness training and follow best practices. A single vulnerability can result in having clients’ data compromised.

Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Audits

MSP leaders must be aware of the organization’s frequent lateral movements, as well as onboarding and offboarding procedures. Regular cybersecurity audits are required to review a team’s competencies. From time to time, MSPs hire third parties like SpearTip to conduct security audits. It’s possible to discover employees who no longer need system access still have when conducting an access review. If employers no longer work with an organization, it can put the clients’ data in jeopardy.

Practice Log Monitoring

The goal of regular log monitoring is to analyze logs for possible anomalies. When scrutinizing the records, it’s possible to find traffic inflows from malicious sources, provide a comprehensive idea of the threat patterns, and deploy adequate countermeasures to block the gaps. MSPs use robust Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools to easily scan through large amounts of data and prioritize attention accordingly.

Proactive Threat Detection

MSPs being proactive in detecting and neutralizing threats can help defend against threat operators. EDR (endpoint detection response), intrusion detection systems, and firewalls are all necessary. The first stage is to deploy a firewall to successfully control and monitor network traffic according to the clients’ security requirements. Additionally, MSPs use next-generation firewalls to improve their email security using antivirus scanning. The intrusion detection system will immediately block any attempts in case any malicious entities try to breach the firewall. The ShadowSpear Platform offers log monitoring and active endpoint monitoring to keep networks safe from threat actors.

Practice Vulnerability Monitoring

Vulnerability monitoring involves searching for gaps within a network that threat operators can exploit and prevent these vulnerabilities from occurring by managing them properly. To prevent zero-day exploits, MSPs need to test and scan their environments regularly for possible flaws. It needs to be a requirement to update the system, change the default password, or improve a particular configuration. Following the cost-effective strategy can provide valuable quotients in the event of data breach attempts.

Securing Remote Access Tools

MSPs must protect their remote access tools to avoid experiencing ransomware threats. Several strategies include:

Ransomware threats against MSPs are serious and will continue to increase given the vast amount of valuable data to which they have access. That’s why it’s important for MSPs to remain vigilant on the current threat landscape, follow the cybersecurity best practices mentioned above, and have offline backups of the clients’ data. Incorporating SpearTip’s Pre-Breach Services allows MSPs to upsell their security offerings. By partnering with SpearTip, MSPs and their clients gain our expertise in conducting comprehensive security assessments, including both external and internal penetration testing, and receive an all-in-one cybersecurity solution so MSPs can focus on their clients’ core IT objectives.

SpearTip’s certified engineers work continuously at our 24/7/365 Security Operations Center to identify, neutralize, and counter any malicious activity before it can gain an environmental foothold and access the data of MSPs and their clients. The ShadowSpear Platform incorporates continuous monitoring to ensure all endpoints within a network environment are protected against threat actors.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.