The Advantage of Human Observation
MSP security requires the kind of security monitoring that can only come from concerted observation. It’s fundamentally necessary for an MSP to have security options which aren’t entirely automated, because no hacker is. A close critical examination of the reality reveals the truth: robots aren’t hacking businesses— people are. People are clever and those with the know-how to undermine operations were often previously part of the tech industry themselves. This is one of many reasons managed security is absolutely fundamental to sustaining operations. Managed security commonly includes:
- Endpoint protection
- Malware scanning
- Spam filtering
- Patch management
- Managed firewalls
You’ve got to ensure that those computational devices used by employees are properly safeguarded against underhanded hack attack. This means having passwords which are properly designed for security and protocols which restrict certain kinds of downloads with administrator passwords, as well as continuously maintaining computers as one would a car— there is periodic maintenance that becomes necessary. MSP security should feature endpoint protection solutions, as these are additionally one of the prime areas where hackers acquire entry into a given system.
Malware is commonly seeded through a network via Trojan. Oftentimes, there’s a third-party bit of software in an application or another form which is downloaded for a different purpose. The application works exactly as it should, until the hacker needs to take control of your system. Then, the hidden coding kicks into gear and the whole network is compromised. On a very large scale, a DDoS attack did just this thing in the fourth quarter of 2016. You need managed security which can detect such malware and curtail its effects as immediately as possible.
You’re going to get spam, pure and simple. But spam likes to dress up ransomware so that it’s clicked on. Here’s a common example: you’ve got a friend named Bill Jenson and a friend named Steve Conway. You get an email from Conway Jenson or Steve Bill, or maybe Bill Conway/Steve Jenson. These are names you recognize and may assume are known quantities without reading too closely. You click on the email and it says something like: “I can’t believe what you did in this video,” and there’s a link. This is a common ransomware scenario. Managed security can catch such emails and filter them out, while still allowing those with benign attachments in. Non-managed security may automatically screen everything or nothing.
Wannacry is a ransomware worm that hit in the earlier part of May 2016. This software utilized “back doors” built into Windows computers by the NSA for surveillance. That information became public and hackers were quick to exploit it. They developed the worm by May, less than two months later. In the meantime, a patch was sent out to rectify the vulnerability. Those organizations which put the patch into play weren’t invaded through their SMB ports. Those who didn’t were compromised— and in over 150 countries. Managed security provides such patches and prevents such vulnerability.
Firewalls have come a long way since their initial inception. Originally, they basically just rejected unknown data packets, but that’s not enough today. Hackers discover ways around firewalls all the time, and this requires both regular monitoring and upgrade. Without both in play, a firewall’s security diminishes substantially. Ideally, you should have your firewall managed by an organization that is on the cutting edge and is able to apply new developments as they become available. A firewall is not static— it must be upgraded.
Managing Your Business Securely
When you’ve got managed patches, firewalls, spam filtering, scanning of malware, and protection of endpoints, you’ll be a business that is less likely to be undermined through hack attacks. MSP security which isn’t managed with this kind of perspicacity won’t be nearly so effective. Finding the right kind of security is hard to understate and will feature one additional component— and that is education. Managed security doesn’t just keep your systems safe; it helps educate your employees pertaining to best practices. Even the finest security system is easy to undermine if employees aren’t properly informed.