In today’s data-driven world, businesses of all sizes are finding themselves increasingly vulnerable to data breach and loss. Recent studies have shown, in fact, that cybersecurity attacks are on the rise, increasing in both frequency and intensity. For example, Arbor Networks’ 11th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR), which was released in January 2016, surveyed 354 service providers and network operators and found that 56 percent of respondents reported multivector attacks targeting infrastructure, applications and services simultaneously, up from 42 percent in the previous year.
Cybercriminals are also becoming more sophisticated, moving beyond easy targets that give them a quick hit. Instead, they are launching more elaborate attacks targeting DNS servers--once and still a favorite of “hacktivists” looking to make a statement--as a means for extorting money from their victims. In fact, 93 percent of respondents to the same Arbor Networks survey report that they’ve experienced application-layer distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
MSPs and IT solution providers are especially vulnerable to DDoS attacks on DNS servers because they are responsible for managing the data and infrastructure of multiple businesses. The fact is, every minute MSPs don’t have access to their data and applications translates into lost revenue for both their business and their clients, and clever hackers will use this information to their advantage to secure a bigger payout.
What MSPs Can Do to Protect Themselves, and Their Customers
With World Backup Day upon us, now is the perfect time for MSPs and IT solution providers to take stock of what they are doing to protect their data and applications from cybercriminals.
Defending against today’s sophisticated DDoS attacks and other cybersecurity threats often requires an increased investment in IT security technologies. MSPs and IT solution providers also need to make sure they have staff in place to implement and manage these technologies. They simply can’t afford to skimp when it comes to security investments. Yet, while solution providers and their clients should expect a larger percentage of their budgets to be consumed by IT security, it can be a costly proposition for many, especially those in the SMB space.
The good news is that by leveraging the managed services business model, MSPs and IT solution providers can mitigate the costs of improving data and application security for themselves and their clients by spreading out the expense of upgrading their technology and hiring new staff. It’s a win-win for everyone. No single business has to bear the entire burden of the expense, and the IT solution provider and its clients on managed service contracts will benefit from better IT security than they could have afforded on their own.
They say it takes a village, and data protection is one area where businesses will find that there is strength (and safety) in numbers. On March 31, I encourage MSPs and IT solution providers to take advantage of the awareness being generated around the importance of data protection during World Backup Day. Start conversations with your clients about what they’re doing to protect their data and applications, and how by pooling resources everyone can reap the rewards that come from greater IT security.
Chris Crellin is Senior Director of Product Management for Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda, a provider of backup and data protection solutions for managed services providers, where he is responsible for leading product strategy and management.