Hackers Actively Targeting Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

Hackers Actively Targeting Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

July 18, 2019

It’s all over the news.  Hackers are actively targeting managed service providers (MSPs) in an attempt to simultaneously infect all of their clients with ransomware or malware. 

Why are they targeting the IT Service Providers? 

MSP’s and even cloud service providers (CSPs) utilize software and tool-sets that allow them to remotely access their client’s networks. These tools allow the provider to push out new updates, apply patches, and troubleshoot issues. If attackers can successfully infiltrate the MSP’s tools and applications, they can distribute ransomware and other malware to their clients.  Just think, if they can successfully infect one MSP, they could infect thousands of users depending on how many organizations that MSP manages.  

We have watched these attacks become more intuitive and targeted.  We saw the writing on the wall, and this newest outbreak within the MSP market-space was only a matter of time.   

The managed services and IT consulting market is extremely competitive, and unfortunately, many providers seem to have buried their heads in the sand, crossed their fingers, and stayed status quo in terms of their security offering in order to undercut their competitors’ prices.    

We know that unless we continue to evolve our security best practices, the services and IT consulting we provide to our clients is useless.  For that reason, we made the decision years ago to take a more mature, security-centric approach to the services and IT management programs we offer.  

Over the past two years, we have spent countless hours and resources evaluating each and every vendor, product, and toolset we utilize to ensure they stand up to the enhanced security policies we know are needed in our current technology risk landscape.  We have added and upgraded numerous security layers to both our own environment as well as our clients.  We no longer offer various security features such as security awareness trainingDNS filtering, or Microsoft O365 backups as upgrades to our programs, they are included in our standard managed services program, SmartBusiness™ Suite.  We believe that security shouldn’t be an option that you check when choosing an IT services partner, it should surround every aspect of your technology, without sacrificing productivity.  

This includes our own security policies with our vendors.  Some of the more recent ransomware attacks were caused by the hacker compromising the MSP’s login credentials which gave them access to the MSP’s tool-sets.  Once they gained access to the MSP’s environment, they were able to push ransomware and other malicious attacks to their clients.  We believe that it is OUR responsibility as your IT partner to deploy whatever security practices we can to prevent that from ever happening.   

No security policy or practice is foolproof. However, by putting the security of your organization at the center of your technology decisions, we can better protect from a breach, or detect and recover with far less damage to your organization, should a breach occur.  

Contact us for more information about these attacks, or our security-focused IT management programs. 

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