[SECURITY |5 MIN READ] With the right techniques, processes, and tools, MSPs can outsmart cyberattackers and keep their enterprise customers’ IT infrastructures safe.
Enterprises are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to elevate their existing operations. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts worldwide spending on technologies and services that “enable the digital transformation of business practices, products, and organizations” will reach $2.3 trillion in 2023. That number represents a five-year compound annual growth rate of 17.1%.
While this growth demonstrates progress for enterprise security, we can’t forget cybercriminals are making similar advances. As technology evolves, so do cyberattacks. In 2019, the month of November alone saw the Identity Theft Resource Center identifying 1,338 breaches. The combined number of records exposed by these branches totaled more than 163 million. The financial sector topped the center’s list of industries with most records exposed, followed by the healthcare and business sectors.
Outside of breaches, Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks represent the dominant threat observed by most service providers, with peak attack size increasing 63% year-over-year. DDoS attacks are designed to slow down or disrupt sites or services, bringing operations to a grinding halt. While these attacks disrupt businesses of all sizes, they can be particularly debilitating for enterprise companies.
So what does a managed services provider (MSP) need to do to keep their customers safe in 2020 and beyond? It’s time to turn to advanced enterprise cybersecurity.
What is enterprise cybersecurity?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines cybersecurity with one simple sentence: “Cybersecurity is the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.”
Cybersecurity strategies combine the power of systems, processes, people, and solutions to protect organizations large and small from attack. At present, an estimated 77% of organizations still operate with only limited cybersecurity and resilience. Fortunately, that same percentage of organizations are seeking to move beyond basic cybersecurity protections and fine-tune their strategy.
Why should businesses invest in cybersecurity?
Research company Cybersecurity Ventures predicts global spending on cybersecurity products and services to exceed a cumulative $1 trillion between 2017 and 2021. What’s more, global spending on security awareness training for employees is predicted to reach $10 billion by 2027, up from approximately $1 billion in 2014.
While cybersecurity requires some upfront investment, it’s well worth it—initial investments pale in comparison to the potential costs of damages. According to 2019 research done by IBM Security and Ponemon Institute, the average data breach takes an American business roughly 245 days to identify and contain—putting enterprises in serious jeopardy. In fact, the global average total cost of a data breach is a whopping $3.92 million. In the U.S., that number jumps to an average of $8.19 million, with each lost record amounting to roughly $242.
Homing in on DDoS attacks on enterprises, let’s look at Amazon as an example. After experiencing a DDoS attack on Prime Day in 2018, the retailer’s service was down for approximately one hour, costing them an estimated $75 million. More broadly speaking, the average cost of a DDoS attack for an enterprise is over $2 million, further building the case for advanced cybersecurity strategies and solutions.
How to improve your enterprise cybersecurity
Improving enterprise cybersecurity requires a multi-pronged approach, one that takes people, processes, and technology into consideration. When MSPs protect their customers from every angle, they force cybercriminals to turn elsewhere in pursuit of an easier target.
A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is one in which MSPs:
- Optimize security information and event management (SIEM). Sophisticated SIEM tools collect, store, and analyze security information from across your organization. These systems comb through log data to identify irregularities, alert IT technicians of suspicious activities, and safeguard organizations from ongoing attacks in real time. By gathering this information and consolidating it in cloud-based dashboards, SIEM tools make it possible for IT professionals to manage widespread, complex digital environments that would otherwise be too unwieldy to monitor and protect on their own.
- Make password protection a top priority. Passwords are the guards protecting your customers’ networks from intruders. Traditional methods of storing these valuable credentials via spreadsheets or plain-text files are not only inefficient—they’re extremely risky. MSPs charged with safeguarding thousands of customer credentials are encouraged to implement centralized, cloud-based password management platforms designed to put endpoint password protection into play.
- Leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI). AI has gained popularity in recent years, allowing organizations to streamline and simplify their operations like never before. But AI does more than increase operational efficiency—it also helps boost security. AI-driven endpoint protection solutions are equipped to establish a baseline of behavior for a specific endpoint and respond as soon as something out of the ordinary occurs—whether it’s alerting a technician or reverting to a safe state. Outside of endpoint protection, organizations can also use AI to predict risks.
- Educate all customers. Most employees aren’t aware of IT security best practices, which leaves them to accidentally allow cyberattackers to easily gain entry to their company’s network. MSPs must empower their customers with the insights they need to make educated, security-conscious decisions day-in and day-out. Helping them launch a comprehensive enterprise cybersecurity policy is a great place to start. This policy should include rules for developing strong passwords, examples of common phishing attacks, and beyond to help ensure all teams are on the same page.
- Implement appropriate patches. Antivirus software doesn’t provide protection against everything. In fact, some of the more high-profile security breaches were due to vulnerabilities in web plugins and add-ons. It’s vital to have an effective patch management process and schedule in place to help ensure all applications, software, and core operating systems have the latest patches in place.
Leveraging these tactics and more, MSPs can better navigate the shifting tides of the cybersecurity landscape and keep their customers’ data out of harm’s way.
To learn more about the current cybersecurity landscape and how to protect your customers, visit our blog.
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