One of the main concerns of MSP security should be to spread the word that businesses shouldn’t overlook the escalation of cybercrime. The problem has been steadily getting worse, despite sophisticated new methods to minimize vulnerabilities from cyberattacks. Businesses need to be aware that their own employees can unintentionally fall into traps planted by these criminals. MSPs must make a determined effort to inform clients about these risks, since they are not always widely covered by the mainstream media.
Rising Security Risks
In 2016, major institutions such as the US Department of Justice, the IRS, and UC Berkeley suffered data breaches. Just as shocking were cyberattacks on tech giants such as Oracle, Cisco, and Yahoo. If these large entities can be penetrated by cybercriminals, anyone can. Furthermore, it’s not good enough to just update anti-virus software. MSPs must include security awareness as part of its plan to reduce these intrusions, since many of them result from employees clicking infected attachments.
Cybercriminals appear to be developing their own complex strategies of targeting large corporations, since they typically store credit card numbers and other confidential information in databases. While there are many reasons why hackers attack websites, the ones causing the most damage are not kids in a garage. The most vicious attackers are out to ruin a company’s reputation by either stealing confidential information to sell to other criminals or to steal the data to support their own illegal operation.
Through ransomware, hackers can freeze up computer systems until victims agree to pay a ransom fee, typically with Bitcoin. Ransomware, like malware, can enter a system if an employee clicks the wrong email, typically disguised as a familiar brand. If the victim does not comply with the attacker’s demands, it can lead to data loss, damaged files and a complete lockout.
Why Employees Need Cybersecurity Education
Even if most people understand that you should never click an attachment from an unknown or suspicious source, MSP security still needs to emphasize that employee error is often the cause of infections. In other words, cybersecurity needs to be a more top-of-mind issue at all levels of all organizations. Employees need to be conscious at all times that their organization may be a target simply due to its size.
According to the Identity Management Institute, over 90% of cyberattacks happen because employees unknowingly give hackers information they’re looking for. They may reveal system ID or other access credentials by entering the information on spoofed login pages. Employees need to be educated on various other deceptive techniques used by hackers, such as unsuspecting links that download malware. A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environment can be particularly vulnerable if the company doesn’t implement strong enough security measures.
Managers who ignore statistics on employee errors tend to believe that the entire issue is covered by network security, which is not entirely correct. Employees can be targeted as individuals as part of a broader scheme to collect confidential information over time. Sometimes an attacker can plant malware in a system several months in advance before executing a full-blown phishing attack. Business leaders must also be aware that sometimes disgruntled former employees with access credentials can stage cyberattacks.
Testing Security Risks
MSPs that keep up with technological issues understand that cybercrime education must now be considered a vital component to preventing an attack. In other words, human error should be viewed as a concern for risk analysis and assessment. One way to assess security risks with specific employees is through a controlled website that implements simulated phishing attacks.
This method is known as the Social Driven Vulnerability Assessment. You can use it to determine risk levels, such as the percentage of employees, including managers, who click fake links disguised as attractive offers or discounts.
Part of MSP security should involve training employees how to deal with unknown emails or applications. Company policies should be set as to what types of links employees are allowed to click. An effective way to educate people quickly is through infographics. Let employees know that all cybercriminals need is to fool one person in an enterprise of thousands to infect a system.