Climbing to the Security Summit
Managed services providers have an uphill climb ahead of them when it comes to protecting their clients against the increasingly pervasive cyberattacks currently circling small and large businesses. Technology increases in its scope and usage at a rate, which has been defined as exponential by many. As technology solutions and applications become more mainstream, “black hat” technology applications likewise grow. When economic systems are in flux or compromise, black hat tech flourishes.
This happens for the same reason you’re going to see a heightened black market in times of economic depression or over-legislation. Prohibition in the 30s didn’t stem the tide of alcohol use and abuse— it just pushed it underground and increased surrounding crime. This was compounded by dire economic circumstances. When it comes to computational technology, the same negative economic arrangements become juxtaposed against restrictions and sanctions from top-tier innovations experts. Just look at the laundry list of technical bureaucracy that comes in tandem to any Apple download. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The stronger the defenses of an organization against cybercrime are, the more concerted the efforts of cybercriminals will be. Since mankind has the capacity to think critically, black hat tactics against protections are developed almost as quickly as the protections themselves are.
Marrying Man and Machine
Getting around this requires a marriage of human ingenuity and technology, and that marriage is called “machine learning.” Algorithms are designed and refined such that concerted attacks can be identified and defended against in real time. But machine learning doesn’t operate in a vacuum— it requires the dedicated effort of managed services providers in order to be most effective. The algorithms used must be continuously upgraded and tweaked to be the most effective.
Without machine learning solutions, an MSP is going to be stuck continuously solving little problems as they crop up; they’ll always be putting out fires. While the technical acumen necessary to stop cybercrime flames from burning down a business’s technological core may be impressive, they’re not going to be good for business. Clients don’t want a ubiquity of drama surrounding interactions. Clients want to pay a fee and forget they’ve paid it. They want tech solutions to continuously be functioning in the background so the headaches involved with protection don’t come to torment them. If your MSP is always putting out fires, it will be seen as less than desirable when compared against other MSPs using machine learning to stop problems before they begin.
Make no mistake: protections are an integral part of successful operations today. Common ways cybercriminals are coming against businesses in the contemporary climate include:
• Phishing Scams
• Trojan Viruses
Tactics employing such techniques have been deliberately designed to overcome conventional protections. Cybercriminals are using machine learning “solutions” on their own in order to steal from businesses. Furthermore, they’re not concentrating their efforts on large enterprises solely.
A cybercriminal enterprise of more than a single individual necessarily has limited resources, forcing them to source the latest tech solutions for the greatest effect. Usually, these are of an automated variety designed to probe a system for weaknesses, and then exploit them. An easy way to understand this is through common phishing scams which will mass-email prospective targets until a “bite” is registered, at which point ransomware software of the polymorphic variety is uploaded. Nobody’s immune— last year, many government agencies were hacked in this way, a prime example being one echelon of San Francisco’s public transit system. Remember that San Francisco is one of the world’s most technologically advanced cities.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how concentrated your efforts are, they’re going to come under fire. It’s not just about machine learning being the latest and greatest tool in defense against cybercrime. This innovation is quickly becoming a baseline default necessity. Managed services providers who want to remain competitive and retain clients must understand how to apply machine learning, and have the skilled professionals to ensure its most successful institution.