The Cybersecurity Mindset: Is Your MSP Looking Out For You?

by | Apr 3, 2023 | Blog, Cybersecurity

If your MSP says you’re secure, do you believe them?

The old “trust-fall” game comes to mind. If you close your eyes and fall back, is someone going to catch you? Or will you hit the ground and potentially hurt yourself as a result of too much trust? Digitally, we have a lot of trust in software, tools, and people we don’t truly know. We don’t know when someone is going to open a phishing email, click a bad link, or even enforce the high levels of protection we’ve been promised. Cybersecurity has become a crucial aspect of any successful business operation. Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, and companies of all sizes are vulnerable to attacks that can lead to data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage. Managed Services Providers (MSPs) have an essential role to play in helping companies protect themselves from these threats.

At Winsor Consulting, we recognize the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity for both our clients and our own business. In this piece, we will explore why MSPs should focus on cybersecurity, the high cost of cyber attacks, the ever-evolving threat landscape, and controversial topics in cybersecurity. Additionally, we will provide you with a practical guide on what questions to ask your current MSP to ensure that they are prioritizing your business’s cybersecurity and looking out for your best interests.

What’s at stake? Money, a lot of it.

The cost of cyber attacks can be crippling for businesses. Paired with the financial costs associated with remediation, companies can suffer long-term damage to their reputation, loss of customer trust, and even legal consequences. According to the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. This cost includes expenses such as incident response, legal fees, notification costs, and regulatory fines.

Correspondingly, the impact of a cyber attack can last for years. According to the same report, the average time to identify and contain a data breach is 280 days, which can prolong the damage done to a company’s reputation and bottom line. This is where MSPs can provide critical value to their clients by helping them to identify and mitigate potential risks before they result in significant damage.

It’s not just the plot of some sci-fi movie anymore, cybersecurity has become one of the most important aspects of running a business. With cyber attacks increasing in frequency and sophistication, companies are facing significant risks when it comes to protecting their sensitive information. As a Managed Services Provider (MSP), Winsor Consulting truly values the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity for both our clients and their own business.

Winsor - A managed services & cybersecurity company. (MSP or MSSP)

Cybersecurity: Can We Keep Up with the Threats?

The threat landscape for cybersecurity is growing at a concerning rate. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics, and businesses need to keep up with the latest cybersecurity tools and technologies to protect themselves from these threats. According to IBM, the most common type of data breach is caused by a malicious attack, which accounts for 52% of data breaches. This is followed by system glitches at 25% and human error at 23%.

One of the most significant threats to cybersecurity is ransomware attacks. These attacks involve hackers gaining access to a company’s network and encrypting their data, effectively holding it hostage until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for businesses, as they can result in significant financial losses, reputational damage, and even the closure of the business.

Another emerging threat is supply chain attacks. This type of attack involves hackers targeting a third-party vendor that has access to a company’s network. By exploiting vulnerabilities in the vendor’s system, hackers can gain access to the company’s network and sensitive information. This was the case in the 2020 SolarWinds attack, which affected over 18,000 organizations worldwide, including several government agencies.

The Importance of MSPs in Cybersecurity

MSPs are uniquely positioned to help companies protect themselves from cyber threats. Unfortunately, we’ve found ourselves in tough situations due to negligence on the part of other companies, claiming to be “Secure MSPs.” Just last month, we had a prospect reach out to us because they were a victim of a ransomware attack, ultimately costing them $300,000 (before remediation), because their MSP didn’t have the proper tools in place, nor did they perform a backup since 2019. To add to the pile, they were still utilizing tapes as their primary method of backup.

Not only does this absolutely disrupt business for the client, but it also puts a terrible taste in their mouths for managed services providers.  MSPs can provide a range of cybersecurity services, including risk assessments, vulnerability scans, threat monitoring, and incident response planning. By offering these services, MSPs can help companies identify and mitigate potential risks before they result in significant damage. But it’s critical that you have documentation or some type of proof backing up these claims.

If they are honest, MSPs can also provide access to the latest cybersecurity tools and technologies, which can be expensive for companies to implement on their own. For example, MSPs can implement multi-factor authentication, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and network segmentation to protect their clients’ networks. Keeping in mind the scary cost in our example above, the costs always outweigh the potential of an attack. Investing in the right set of tools will prevent your chances of falling victim to ransomware by a vast amount.

Furthermore, MSPs can and should provide ongoing cybersecurity training and education to their client’s employees. This is critical, as human error is a cause of 90% of data breaches. By educating employees on best practices for cybersecurity, MSPs can help companies reduce their risk of a breach. Winsor offers this to every client, no matter their size, as training will reduce the potential of an attack by at minimum 50%, resulting in a more aware and alert staff. 

The Cost of Convenience: Balancing Security and User Experience

There are several contentious topics in the cybersecurity world, including encryption, privacy, and government surveillance. One of the most debated topics is encryption, which is the process of converting data into code to prevent unauthorized access. While encryption is critical for protecting sensitive information, it can also be used by criminals to hide their activities. The debate begins at the moral ethics of encrypted data, as the data is typically stored by the third party handling the encryption, yet, more and more users are starting to become cautious about their data, and who’s hands it’s in. Facebook has become the target of many lawsuits involving the misuse of personal data. As well as TikTok, Snapchat, and many others.

Data privacy is another huge area of concern. That of which has become increasingly important in the digital age. The collection and use of personal data by companies have raised concerns about privacy violations, and data breaches have highlighted the need for stronger data protection regulations. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are two examples of regulations aimed at protecting individuals’ privacy. Even more recently, the European Government has issued a ban on TikTok, due to national security concerns, forbidding even the installation of TikTok on any government device. Making government surveillance an area of concern.

Government surveillance is yet another hot topic in cybersecurity. While many governments argue that surveillance is necessary for national security, others believe that it violates individuals’ privacy rights. The debate over government surveillance has become more heated in recent years, particularly in the wake of revelations about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance activities.

Your current MSP should be able to answer these questions

When growing your business, it’s important to ensure that your current MSP is taking cybersecurity seriously and looking out for your best interests. Here are some questions you can ask your MSP to find out if they are really securing your business:

What cybersecurity measures do you have in place to protect my business from cyber-threats?

How often do you conduct vulnerability scans and risk assessments?

Do you provide ongoing cybersecurity training and education for my employees?

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity tools and threats?

Do we have an incident response plan in place? If so, what is it?

Do you have any certifications or accreditations related to cybersecurity?

Are you able to provide me with a cybersecurity status report, or audit, of my company's cybersecurity posture?

How do you handle supply chain risks, such as third-party vendors?

How do you approach compliance management as it relates to data privacy within the GDPR regulations?

Asking these questions can help you better understand how your current MSP is protecting your business from cyber threats and whether they are taking your cybersecurity needs seriously. If you’re not satisfied with their responses, it may be time to consider finding a new MSP that prioritizes cybersecurity and can provide the level of protection your business needs.

All in all, cybersecurity is critical for businesses of all sizes, and MSPs have a unique opportunity to help companies protect themselves from cyber threats. With the threat landscape constantly evolving, businesses need to keep up with the latest cybersecurity tools and technologies to protect themselves from potential risks. MSPs can provide a range of cybersecurity services, including risk assessments, vulnerability scans, threat monitoring, and incident response planning, to help companies identify and mitigate potential risks.

Don’t trust your MSP? Winsor can help.

We’ve grown cautious of the lacking honesty presented by our industry. It’s no laughing matter when the cards are down. After acquiring multiple clients through the lack of proactive measures taken by their previous technology partners, we’ve hardened our stance on cybersecurity and its crucial role in protecting livelihoods. It’s no sales tactic, we recognize the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity for both our clients and our own business. We also recognize the lack of responsibility provided by other Managed Services Providers.

By offering a full-suite of premium cybersecurity services, we can help companies identify and mitigate potential risks before they result in significant damage. As the threat landscape continues to evolve, we remain committed to staying at the forefront of cybersecurity and providing our clients with the tools and knowledge they need to protect their businesses.

Is it time to replace your current IT solution?

If so, it’s time to take back control over your business.

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