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Cybersecurity Tip #1: Assess Current Cybersecurity Protocols

By SolarWinds Passportal

#CyberSecurityTip: Assess your MSP’s current cyber-resilience to make sure your business is as secure as possible. Managed services providers (MSPs) are so busy helping their customers every day that they may not realize they are not running the most up-to-date security procedures internally. If MSPs are vulnerable, they become a weak link and an easy target for hackers. By ensuring they are implementing the best protocols and systems available, MSPs can prevent the risk of cyberattack for themselves—and in turn, for their customers. 

What are key cybersecurity protocols to follow?

The basic protocols of cybersecurity are laid out in the U.S. Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework. The framework is broken down into five categories: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. Of these, it is critical that MSPs identify the vulnerabilities in their security systems and act to strengthen them. These vulnerabilities can include technological ones, such as not having up-to-date software or not utilizing UTM firewalls, and human ones, such as falling victim to phishing attacks.

Because MSPs hold the key to the metaphorical kingdom, a simple mistake like storing customer passwords in the wrong RMM tool can have disastrous consequences. Following the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is a good place to start evaluating how your MSP can be as secure as possible.

How to assess current cybersecurity protocols

The first step in assessing your cyber-resilience is a cybersecurity risk assessment. While vulnerability tests, penetration tests, and cybersecurity audits can all give insight on the technical weaknesses of an MSP’s security systems, only a cyber-risk assessment focuses on the value of the information (not just the value of the hardware) that could be lost, stolen, or damaged in case of a cyberevent.

This allows businesses to accurately assess potential losses and better determine which vulnerabilities are most important to address. The steps of a cybersecurity risk assessment are: characterize the system, identify threats, determine inherent risk and impact, analyze the control environment, determine a likelihood rating of a given threat, and determine a risk rating.

Following a risk assessment, a vulnerability test can be used to align tactical solutions to the high-risk areas as determined by the risk assessment. By taking some basic steps to assess their current cyber-resilience, MSPs can protect both themselves and their customers from cyberthreats.


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