Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) continue to make headlines the world over, as they’ve impacted some of the world’s most trusted brands. Many of the initial breaches were nation-state-sponsored activities in nature, aimed at government and high-IP-value commercial organizations. As with any successful attack style, their methods have begun to trickle down, dragnet style, to impact organizations of all sizes.
As we’ve previously covered in our blog posts here on MSPMentor, small to medium sized enterprises are often the most disadvantaged when it comes to dealing with sophisticated threats and complex compliance mandates, due to the lack of onsite expertise and resources to meet the challenges.
For all of the fanfare provided in the media, these sophisticated attacks typically employ fairly pedestrian methods of entry and infection. That is to say, both technology and processes exist to help combat these threats. So, why are attacks still successful? One of the major reasons is their persistent nature – the repeated attempts to gain access via a few tried and true methods of ingress. By design, they’re looking for the cracks in the system – be it a gap in security coverage, a human weakness or a policy conflict that gives them the upper hand.
Pervasive Threats Require Pervasive Security
Given the relentless nature of the threats organizations face today, MSPs are turning to cloud-based security solutions to solve this challenge. This approach – delivering consistent protection via the cloud – minimizes both disruptions and the need for complex deployments of additional firewalls or virtual private networks, which do nothing to protect the employee checking email or Facebook at Starbucks.
The cloud delivery model is more advantageous for the SMB user, as it ensures persistent coverage for the end-user, ensuring that malware doesn’t make it’s way on to systems, putting company data at risk. It’s also more advantageous for the MSP, as it typically entails a predictable recurring revenue stream, with little or no upfront costs.
Specifically, what should MSPs be looking for when selecting solutions to recommend for their clients? Here are some quick ideas to consider, based on our own partner feedback:
Email is still the favorite method of entry for attackers. No new news here: Attackers still rely on email as a method for deploying malware onto systems. Specifically, spear-phishing is the preferred entry point to an enterprise. Effective email security and compliance (filtering, archiving and retention) provides a higher bar for attackers to overcome. Providing these services from the cloud is dramatically more cost effective than hardware-intensive on premise approaches.
One click is all it takes. Without an effective web filtering strategy, users are at risk of unknowingly downloading unwanted malware onto their systems, with leads to the lateral movement within networks that the attackers seek. Protecting users from themselves, regardless of their location is key. It’s important to also remember that having this protection available outside of the warm embrace of the corporate network is a must. End users are just as prone unintentionally aiding attackers at Starbucks as they are in their office.
Follow the data. The primary objective of an attack isn’t to get in – it’s to get out with data – the intellectual property, customer and patient data, credit card and social security numbers, etc that is the currency of cyber thieves. Persistent, pervasive protection means being able to protect against data leakage, regardless of physical location.
It’s important to remember that there is no single cure against the persistent threats that are proliferating today. An integrated approach, one that delivers consistent protection, regardless of location or method of communication is the best bet for stacking the odds in your favor.
MSPs are partnering with Total Defense to offer an integrated and profitable security and compliance solution. Contact us today for your free trial at cloud.totaldefense.com/msp, or contact us by email at [email protected] or telephone at 888-504-9800.
Total Defense is the leading provider of content and endpoint security from the cloud. We keep organizations and individuals safe from cybercrime, malware and digital threats. Thousands of businesses across a wide array of industries have deployed our solutions, including some of the most sophisticated buyers of security technology worldwide, and millions of consumers worldwide use Total Defense’s products. Total Defense has operations in New York, California, Europe, Israel and Japan.