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5 ways for MSPs to safeguard customers’ networks (and their own)

July 20, 2020

5 ways for MSPs to safeguard customers’ networks (and their own)
Managed service providers (MSP) are supposed to be cybersecurity experts, but recently, cybercriminals have begun using them as an attack vector to harm them or their customers. As an MSP, you have complete access to customers’ most precious data and credentials. That’s why it’s so important to safeguard yourself and your clients to not become part of a hacker’s scheme.
 
Protect the networks under your care with these 5 steps:
 
1. Secure your own network first
Before MSPs can protect their customers, the first thing they need to do is figure out if their own systems have been compromised. The entire network should be scanned to look for any signs of a breach or suspicious activity, including strange login behavior by proper credentials and trusted applications. Even the custom solutions MSPs create can be used to initiate or enable malicious activity.
 
2. Create a framework for security success
After you have created a customer-specific cybersecurity plan, it’s important to communicate realistic goals for achieving that plan. Your plan should include a roadmap for securing the customer’s network that includes important items such as:
  • Basic controls for data and network protection
  • Vulnerability management
  • Threat modeling
  • Risk management and mitigation
3. System segmentation and admin privileges
Your risk management plan—for yourself and your customers—should include some form of segmentation. Separating your network from your clients’ (and your clients’ from each other) drastically reduces the risk of large-scale breaches. By isolating networks you isolate threats by keeping them contained to only one network. You should also create levels of admin users, use the lowest-level accounts to perform regular maintenance on customer networks and reserve the highest control for superusers with the most privileges.
 
4. Use meticulous logs
The quicker you can spot suspicious activity, the sooner you can investigate and determine whether it’s a threat. Knowing what typical network operations look like is a must if you’re going to uncover irregularities with any efficiency. In order to compare normal network behavior with anomalies, you should keep and scrutinize detailed system activity logs (host-based event logs, firewall and proxy logs, remote-access logs, etc.).
 
5. Have a response plan in place
All MSPs need to be prepared for a data breach because in today’s digital marketplace, it’s all but a certainty that either you or your clients will experience a cyberattack. You should have a roadmap for responding to these incidents ready to go so when they occur, you know exactly what to do and when. You should have a step-by-step action plan that covers how to respond, how to investigate and how to restore a network after an attack. Communication is also key in these circumstances. Your response plan should also include the proper way to let the proper authorities (and your customer) know a breach has occurred.
 
For more information on how security services could benefit your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.
 
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