Whether you’ve been spooked by the season’s cast of creepy characters, there’s an ominous presence that should be keeping every business awake at night: cyber crime.

Kaseya Guest Blogger

October 23, 2019

6 Min Read
halloween pumpkin
Getty Images

October means Halloween, when ghouls and goblins lurk in the shadows, when the creaks and groans of the floorboards make us quake with fear, and when ghost stories and haunted houses try to give us a scare. Or, it’s just that time of year when we eat lots of candy.

But whether or not you’ve been spooked by the season’s cast of creepy characters, there’s an ominous presence that should be keeping every business awake at night: cyber crime. While it may not scare the toddlers and teenagers knocking on your door and looking for sweets, SMBs are the ones who should be quaking in their boots. They are the prime targets for real-world bad guys that prey on the unsecured IT environments SMBs rely on.

Despite all the press that major breaches get, the vast majority of cyber criminals are attacking SMBs, and they have good reasons to do so. Smaller firms don’t have the same level of defenses in place, thanks to smaller budgets, lack of expertise and poor education regarding the devastating impact an attack could have on their business.

While an enterprise has dedicated staff living and breathing IT while armed with a sizable war chest to keep systems up to date and protected, worrying about IT at a smaller firm might be someone’s part-time job or outsourced to an “IT guy” who shows up only when called upon.

Unreliable and less-than-timely security patch deployment, lax password management and shared or re-used credentials are just a sampling of the shortcomings SMB IT systems can exhibit. When trying to defend themselves against sophisticated, professional cybercriminals, these firms don’t stand a chance.

Put a scare into SMBs

In a perfect world, every business would be hypervigilant when it comes to cybersecurity, sparing no expense and taking every proactive step possible to prevent breaches, data thefts and the like. But most smaller outfits are too focused on operating their core business to spend the time and money required to safeguard their digital stronghold.

As trusted advisors and industry experts, it’s unfortunately the job of MSPs to deliver the terrifying news that SMBs’ meager defenses are ill-equipped to handle the many threats their organizations face. MSPs can provide thorough, comprehensive assessments of SMBs’ corporate IT environments, pointing out the raft of weaknesses and inadequacies.

 Better Than Garlic for Warding off Vampires

Pumpkin patches aren’t the only patches SMBs should be thinking about this month. Applications and operating systems are constantly providing updates to mitigate any security holes or weak points that have been identified.

Yet despite the availability of these protective updates, many SMBs are woefully behind when it comes to installing them. MSPs can scan every device on the network to ensure everything is running the latest and greatest versions, applying updates as needed to bring every app and OS up to date and automating the process for rapid execution.

 Reanimating Systems from the Dead

When a ransomware attack, virus or even human error results in lost data, SMBs could find themselves in serious trouble. Without access to customer records, billing history and other essential information, daily operations can grind to a halt, impacting revenues and reputations.

To adequately protect themselves from these frightening scenarios, businesses must employ a fully automated and comprehensive back-up and disaster recovery solution. MSPs are excellently positioned to provide these services, not only handling the technical elements but also promising to swoop in if disaster strikes and help the company get back on its feet and return to the land of the living.

 Safeguarding the Entrances

On Halloween we all open the door whenever the bell rings, but we prefer to prevent masked strangers from stepping inside. When SMBs rely on basic usernames and passwords to protect their valuables, they might as well leave the front door wide open.

Multifactor authentication is the best defense against unauthorized access. An extra step increases the degree of difficulty exponentially for any bad actors trying to break into key systems. MSPs can provide such solutions and offer the training and enforcement required to make it a mandatory habit for any employee requiring access to important areas.

Preventing Admins from Running Amok

Just because someone needs some admin privileges doesn’t mean they need them all. Far too often, SMBs simply hand over all the keys instead of narrowing access to what is necessary.

Providing advice on restricting administrative access and implementing these barriers is yet another important service MSPs can provide to SMBs.

Yes, SMBs Should Be Afraid of the Dark (Web)

Beyond the vast array of defensive measures MSPs can implement within their SMB clients’ own environments, another source of evil lurks beyond their own domains. The dark web is just as scary as it sounds–a lawless digital playground where illicitly acquired data is sold to the highest bidders.

If an SMB’s data is stolen, it’s most likely to end up on the dark web, which is why constant surveillance is required to quickly identify compromised credentials and other information that could lead to big problems down the road.

MSPs can shine a light into the dark web and spot stolen passwords, customer records and other ill-gotten data, as well as simulate the phishing attacks that are a common source of these data thefts.

Solutions for a Spooky World

Unfortunately, SMBs that just want to focus on their core business still have to deal with this web of threats that put every digital system in danger. The first step is understanding what all those potential pitfalls are, which isn’t easy when new ones emerge all the time.

The value MSPs can offer starts with building awareness among their customers and prospects of just how dangerous it is out there. They can then bring an assortment of solutions to the table that will protect their clients, force good habits and stay on the lookout for emerging dangers.

Don’t miss this opportunity to scare some sense into SMBs and give them the treat of a protected and secure environment. Not only will it be a sweet deal for customers, but it’s also a nice haul of recurring revenue for you.

Joining Kaseya in 2012, Miguel Lopez brings over 20 years of experience to his role as SVP, Managed Service Providers (MSPs). In this position, he consults daily with MSPs to help them solve their clients’ business problems with technology solutions. Prior to joining Kaseya, Miguel served as the director of consulting services for All Covered, a nationwide technology services company that is a division of Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc. In 2008, All Covered acquired NetCor Technologies, a leading MSP that Miguel founded and managed since 1997. NetCor specialized in serving highly regulated industries such as healthcare, CPAs, law firms and retail companies.

 This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Read more about:

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like