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How MSPs can stay ahead of the cybersecurity threat landscape

There’s one thing MSPs can count on: cybersecurity threats will continue to evolve and grow. New technologies open up the possibility of more sophisticated methods of infiltration and attack. Cybercriminals have become skilled at quickly identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities in recently released tools and platforms— and are helping others do so as well. To stay ahead of this increasingly complex and ever- changing landscape, you’ll need to do more than just wait for problems to appear.

Adopting a proactive mindset to cybersecurity is essential to keeping your clients’ data and systems secure in a dynamic threat landscape. And client security is crucial to prioritizing client security is paramount for safeguarding both your own reputation and that of your clients’, contributing to the growth of your cybersecurity practice. This only gets more complex with the growing amount of regulations at the federal, state, local, industry, and insurance-related levels. Let’s explore some of the most pressing threats in cybersecurity and how MSPs can manage them effectively with preemptive planning, best practices, and intelligent IT solutions.

What are the latest cybersecurity threats?

Threats change all the time, but here are some of the most common threats to be aware of as you evolve your cybersecurity practice.

Ransomware: In this attack, cybercriminals take control of an organization’s data or assets and demand payment for it to be returned or a decryption key. It is estimated that by 2031, this fast-growing threat will attack a business, consumer, or device every two seconds.

Social engineering: Social engineering refers to the use of deception or manipulation to share information they would or should not share, such as access credentials. The rise of remote work has led to new security vulnerabilities, and inconsistencies in network security protocols, lack of training, and failure to implement remote work processes can all contribute to a less vigilant home workforce. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities by using machine learning to craft and distribute fake emails and SMS messages at scale.

Crime as a service: In this growing trend, cybercriminals provide the services and tools that others can use for ransomware, phishing, and other crimes.

Insider cybersecurity threats: These may be inadvertent, as when an employee doesn’t follow proper security procedures, or intentional, like if an employee is bribed to compromise security.

Zero-day exploits: This refers to the practice of leveraging a vulnerability in software for criminal purposes before the vendor discovers and fixes it or releases a patch.

State-sponsored cyberwarfare: Hackers acting on behalf of governments may target networks to disrupt utilities, communications, and critical infrastructure. Ukraine and Russia have engaged in these types of attacks during their ongoing conflict.

Cyberwarfare often takes the form of an advanced persistent threat (APT), in which intruders carefully establish a presence in a network designed to go undetected. This highly sophisticated method allows them to monitor and steal data over time. APT goals generally fall into cyber espionage, crime for financial gain, hacktivism or destruction of assets.

Data center attacks: Data is essential to modern business, so data centers have become more attractive targets for a range of attempts to infiltrate them, such as DDoS attacks, attacks on DNS infrastructure, and more.

The consequences of not anticipating and preparing for these evolving cybersecurity threats can be severe. Even major companies with ample security resources fall victim to them. For example, Meta fired or disciplined several employees in 2022 for hacking into user accounts at the behest of criminals. Other real-world examples of the impact of these threats include:

A new version of Chrome experienced multiple zero-day attacks in 2021.

Data centers used by Amazon, Goldman Sachs, and Walmart were hacked between 2021 and 2023.

Ransomware incidents affected 14 of 16 critical US infrastructure sectors in 2021. The scope and impact of these attacks highlight just how vital it is for you to take a proactive security posture by staying up-to-date on threats and vulnerabilities to protect your clients.

Best practices to stay ahead of cyber threats

Keeping track of today’s cybersecurity landscape isn’t something you do once a year. It should be integrated into your everyday processes. Implementing effective practices into your cybersecurity program can make it easier to stay a step ahead of threats in cybersecurity and protect your clients—while also positioning your services competitively in the marketplace.

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