Channel, Networking

MSP Cybersecurity in Action: Protecting Your IT Infrastructure

Javid Khan, CTO, IT By Design
Author: Javid Khan, CTO, IT By Design

We’ve all seen in recent ransomware events how crucial it is for companies to prioritize their cybersecurity needs to protect their businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates there are more than 42,000 security incidents each year, with 43% of those targeting small businesses. So, it’s not just large corporations that are at risk. Cyber threats are here to stay and will only continue to raise concerns over the protection of a company’s infrastructure.

Nearly every organization was faced with challenges in the past year. For the MSP industry, there’s no doubt that you’ve had to re-strategize and shift focus in order to best serve your customers. Now, businesses are opening back up and here we are again faced with another level of risks to network security. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to understand where your business is vulnerable and create an actionable plan to prevent cyber threats. Remember, it isn’t just your business data that can be impacted; your customers’ data is at risk as well. 

We’re all familiar with basic best practice such as changing passwords regularly, installing a robust firewall and backing up your data. But there’s so much more to consider. Here are five actions you can take to safeguard your business to its fullest:

1. Ditch your antiquated Antivirus for Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Gone are the days of relying solely on traditional signature-based antivirus. As technology rapidly develops, so do malware creators. The latest and greatest endpoint security products now use AI machine learning models to quickly identify and respond to malware and ransomware threats. Using enhanced Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) will give you the highest level of zero-day prevention, while the continuous behavioral-based machine learning will help to detect any new variants from infiltrating your network.  

2. Prioritize education on security best practices for your team leaders and staff

The world of IT never shuts down, even in a global pandemic. We must have the ability – and confidence – to quickly react and protect our infrastructure to limit any possible impact. Yes, providing the most advanced products and services available is vital, but don’t forget another key component to running a successful MSP: your people. We thrive for knowledge and often need a nudge to take a break from the daily grind and feed our minds. Be intentional in offering your team members the training and development opportunities needed to stay updated on security trends and best practices. 

3. Add an extra layer of protection with Two-Factor Authentication

Let’s toughen up. You don’t always know for certain who is truly on the other side trying to gain access into your network. Updating log-in passwords certainly helps decrease your risk, but in this digital era? It shouldn’t stop there. Assume that hackers with the right resources will be able to break through single-factor authentication and get a hold of passwords. Implementing a two-factor authentication to your log in information significantly raises the level of security and gives you more control. 

4. Only allow VPN access to your network from outside

COVID has significantly changed the way we work. The new normal now is for businesses to support remote/hybrid working environments for their employees. And although there are great benefits to this, it undeniably increases the risk for cyberattacks. VPN access is important now more than ever. Allow for your network to only be accessed by VPN to ensure that data and files are securely transmitted, regardless of where your employees are working from.    

5. Leave it to the experts for 24/7 monitoring and response

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most SMBs don’t possess a solid Security Operations Center (SOC) for such reasons as a lack of funding or required talent – or both. According to survey results from the (ISC) 2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study (2019), 62% of SMBs said that they lack the skills to properly deal with security. That same survey said cyberattacks cost SMBs up to $84,000 or more to remediate. The aftermath of a cyberattack can have long-lasting impact on not only your business operations, but also your reputation. Consider using a SOC, NOC (Network Operations Center), and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) to have the experts keep an eye on the entire threat landscape and respond efficiently. You’ll sleep better at night for it. 

At IT By Design, we’re all about taking action. Don’t sit back and think that a security evaluation every other year is enough. Cyber threats are constantly changing and can cause irreparable damage in seconds. Let’s discuss not only the ever-evolving threats, risks and vulnerabilities across cybersecurity, but also how you can implement a plan of action with effective solutions that will ensure your business is protected while providing peace of mind. Learn More.

This guest blog is courtesy of IT By Design. Author Javid Khan is chief technology officer, IT By Design. Read more IT By Design guest blogs here. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of ChannelE2E’s sponsorship program.