Cloud Hopper attacks originating in China have an impact on MSPs.

T.C. Doyle, Senior Director of Content

January 18, 2019

The Cloud Hopper attacks that affected more than a dozen U.S. MSPs in December were a game-changer for cybersecurity, at least as far as channel partners are concerned, says Eran Farajun, executive vice president at Asigra.

Instead of a safe haven from harm, MSPs have become a target of choice among some cyberterrorists, Farajun concludes.


Asigra’s Eran Farajun

“The presumption among customers was that an MSP was a safe choice because they were experts and used the latest technology,” says Farajun. While still true for the most part, the reality is that MSPs now find themselves under attack by rogue actors who recognize that if they penetrate one MSP, they gain access to many customers simultaneously.

In the latest episode of The Channel Futures Podcast, Farajun talks about the ramifications the latest Cloud Hopper attack, believed to have originated from China, will have on MSPs. Among other things, MSPs should prepare themselves for a new barrage of questions from customers. Instead of technology, new inquiries will likely be focused on processes and procedures. This is a big change for companies such as Asigra, a Toronto-based developer of cloud backup and recovery services for public, private and hybrid deployments, and for partners, too.

Partners should brace themselves for questions such as “Can you confirm that you were not hacked?” or “What are you guys doing to make sure you don’t get hacked?” says Farajun.

For MSPs that don’t have solid answers for these and plenty of other inquiries, this could lead to some uncomfortable conversations with wary customers. If you haven’t already, you might want to review some key aspects of your internal processes. At the very least, you should:

  • Review your best practices when it comes to documentation, problem escalation, threat detection and more.

  • Look at your customer base and assess whether they are likely targets, such as financial institutions, government agencies and so on. If so, have you taken extra steps to protect them and your other customers by way of extension?

  • Do you have errors and omission insurance or cybersecurity insurance? If not, you should investigate your policy options now.

  • Finally, make sure you leverage the best of new technology — two-factor authentication at the very least.

Considering that the likes of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co and IBM were reportedly breached by China’s Ministry of State Security, these steps should be taken as soon as possible, Farajun suggests.

From attacks on MSPs, we move onto opportunities for partners in 2019. In the second segment of this edition of The Channel Futures Podcast, we hear from two executives at Pax8 — Nick Heddy, senior vice president of sales and marketing, and Ryan Walsh, chief channel officer. Heddy oversees marketing, field and digital sales, and public relations at Pax8, while Walsh, a member of the Channel Futures Think Tank, is responsible for the build-out of the Pax8 product portfolio and the development of the Pax8 Command Console.

Here, Heddy and Walsh talk the biggest business surprises of 2018, and big opportunities for MSPs in 2019.

If you’d like to be a guest on an upcoming episode or have a comment, drop me a line at [email protected].

For more episodes, subscribe to us on iTunes or check us out on SoundCloud.

As always, thanks for tuning in.


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About the Author(s)

T.C. Doyle

Senior Director of Content, Informa

T.C. Doyle, is the Senior Content Director of Channel brands at Channel Futures, and is responsible for the editorial direction of A veteran technology writer, editor and video storyteller who has covered the IT industry for more than two decades, he was previously the Executive Editor at Channel Partners, and the Editor@Large with Cisco, where he traveled the world in search of stories that captured the social and technological transformations occurring in the economies of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. A frequent speaker at IT industry events and trade shows, he resides in Park City, Utah.

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