4 Elements of a Multilayer Cybersecurity Plan for Your MSP

Today’s reality is that cybersecurity risks are increasing due to the rise of digitalization and remote work in the post-COVID economy. With the work from home trend likely to last well into 2021 and beyond, we cannot deny that cybersecurity will not continue to be a challenge for all MSPs and their customers. Yet, it is not that difficult to put stricter cybersecurity measures in place and safeguard your network from cyberattacks with a well-planned, multilayer cybersecurity plan. All you need to do is prioritize security, and design an integrated approach to remote security by ticking the below-mentioned elements off their list.

1. Identify Vulnerable Endpoints with a Network Map

Sketch out an overview of you and your customers’ devices and cloud storage across your network. Having this network map will empower you to identify vulnerable endpoints and unauthorized devices. This way, you will be able to put the access and restrictions for each device on the network—something you’ve probably done before, but had to refresh.

Assess how many users in your MSP organization have access to every file and every system. A strong Egress Traffic Enforcement Policy will enable you to catch anomalies in data trying to leave your network. Also, create a compliance program based on an accurate accounting of all the data on your system, classified as per its criticality and sensitivity.

Once you capture all the data in your environment and lock down access levels, list all devices connected to your network—from phones to laptops to printers for close monitoring. Use a separate guest WiFi to not only improve your existing endpoint management but also to offer only internet access to guests, not your data files and backup. If you are using third-party video conference tools such as Zoom for remote meetings, encrypt each meeting with passwords. Create waiting rooms for attendees as you “enable/disable” participant(s) to use the “record” feature.

2. Ransomware Awareness Programs

Ransomware, being one of the most active threats today, can cripple your MSP’s operations in a matter of seconds. Use Secure Email Gateways with targeted attack protection to detect and block malicious emails that deliver ransomware.

To prevent malware from entering your network, create awareness around email phishing and spam— the main vehicle for ransomware attacks. About 91% of cyberattacks start with an email. The risk of an employee clicking a suspicious link from these emails continues to grow as social engineering gains sophistication. Train your employees around basic cybersecurity hygiene. Pay special attention to new hires that are often the weakest link in the chain.

3. An Added Layer of Security

It is easy to lose focus on security with your own business. Don’t make this mistake. Sit down with your CTO every week to discuss the latest major cyber threats and how you can address them with an added layer of security.

You can always add another layer of remote security with automation. Automatically institute monthly password updates that require employees to set “strong” passwords periodically. Automate backups whenever possible. Keep the backup frequency regular enough so rolling back to these backups does not cause issues.

Consider the use of multifactor authentication, wireless security protocols, and, of course, antivirus. Apply patches and security updates immediately as an essential security practice. For hassle-free patching, automatically set your network up to patch and update workstations when users are away from their machines.

4. A Disaster Recovery Plan

As much as you don’t like them, business-crippling cyberattacks happen all the time. While every attack can’t be foreseen or prevented, you can always plan for a quick recovery. Therefore, at the heart of your security stance should be a clear response plan that covers communications, data protection, and recovery in event of an attack. Make sure this response plan is tested, exercised, and stored offline regularly, and a designated team updates it frequently for data breaches or potential ransomware attacks.

Final Thought: Despite understanding the importance of strong cybersecurity measures, many MSPs are still struggling to have their network fly under any cyber actors’ radar. However, if you address all security threats with a multifaceted security strategy, you can protect your network against unwarranted ransomware attacks, cloud data breaches, and endpoint vulnerabilities.

Guest blog courtesy of IT By Design. Read more guest blogs from IT by Design here.

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