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3 Reasons MSPs Need Prediction in Their Protection

MSPs must offer cybersecurity that shifts customer mindsets from preventative to predictive defense.

Webroot Guest Blogger

September 25, 2019

3 Min Read
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MSPs offering security services have long aspired to preventative protection. Firewalls, antiviruses, email scanning and others are designed to proactively keep known bad actors out. But in a world where you can’t be sure what real threats looks like, from what direction they’re coming or what they’re after, preventative measures often struggle to stop the next attack, especially when it doesn’t at all resemble the ones that have come before it.

In light of this development to the threat landscape, MSPs must offer cybersecurity that shifts customer mindsets from preventative to predictive defense. Attacks today are a given, so thinking you can prevent all of them is irresponsible. Instead, a mindset focused on identifying attacks as early as possible is more realistic and more reliable.

This isn’t to say all the well-known preventative solutions shouldn’t be in place; it’s more that the methods you use to protect your customers should not assume that they will spot–let alone stop–modern attacks. In addition to preventative protection, MSPs need solutions designed to predict threats in the hours, minutes or seconds before they attempt to hit your client. Prediction isn’t just about “the future.” It’s also about the present. When you scrutinize an email that “looks funny” and delete it without opening it, you’ve predicted that if you open the email, it probably contains malware.

There are three reasons why your security services offerings should include predictive solutions:

  1. The threat landscape is constantly changing.

There are hundreds of thousands of new malware variants being released, new operating systems and application vulnerabilities being discovered, and new cybercriminals launching their “businesses” daily. Cybersecurity is moving too quickly and too erratically for any one individual to keep up. Predictive solutions are designed to continually learn using the power of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to morph defenses to match shifting attack patterns.

  1. There are telltale signs.

But not ones humans can easily spot or spot in time. At the end of the day, regardless of the attack type, cybercriminals are limited by the operating systems and applications they work within. So, while the bad guys spend their time working to cover their tracks, there are only so many things they can do to, say, infect an endpoint. It’s watching these behaviors–the network traffic generated, processes initiated, file locations used, application functions leveraged–that can easily identify potential threats. Predictive solutions aren’t only looking for known behaviors, but also those that could be considered irregular or suspicious, allowing for more vigilant security.

  1. Attacks have gone global.

Threats to your customers are part of a larger effort to opportunistically hit as many targets as possible. Leveraging predictive solutions that monitor on a global scale allows the security of your client in, say, New York, to benefit from known attacks witnessed earlier that day in New Zealand. By watching attack trends, global security solutions can predict attacks as they move across the globe and update customers before they face the attack themselves.

Predictive capabilities are an indispensable asset for securing customers. So what constitutes a “predictive” solution?  In short, solutions that utilize AI and ML using troves of data collected at scale to continually provide updated protection, regardless of how cybercriminals change their tactics, methods, attack vectors, and intent.

But it’s important MSPs aren’t wooed by the first solution with “artificial intelligence” or “machine learning” slapped on the side of the box. Rather, investigate how these technologies are used to provide better security for your customers. Ask lots of questions around the how and why, focusing on what it’s doing to offer protection.

Predictive security isn’t a fad. It’s now a necessary part of the cyber defense equation. Your adversaries are too numerous and moving too quickly for you to maintain a proper defense on your own. It’s time to put a layer of security in place that can stand up to modern threats, now and into the future.

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