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MSPs confident they can fend off cyber threat

Despite the ongoing targeting of the managed service community by cyber criminals, many feel confident about their position

Of all the components of the supply chain, the managed service provider (MSP) is one of the most targeted by cyber attackers.

But given MSPs are so frequently targeted, it might be surprising to hear their cyber confidence has remained high.

According to research from CyberSmart, 87% of MSPs have experienced a breach in the past year, with a number being hit multiple times, and the overwhelming majority (87%) are feeling confident about their security position.

MSPs indicated their customers had similar levels of confidence in their ability to defend against cyber threats. “The associated confidence noted by MSPs is heartening, but needs to reflect the reality on the ground for MSPs,” said Jamie Akhtar, co-founder and CEO at CyberSmart. “Their own perception of their security posture is concerning, and highlights the need for cyber security to step up and work closer with managed service providers.”

The recent attack on blood testing specialist Synnovis, which works with a number of London hospitals and a wide number of GP surgeries, has underlined the dangers of cyber weakness in the wider supply chain.

Akhtar said MSPs were in a position where they were seen by attackers as a route into numerous other companies.

“MSPs, due to the levels of privileged access they will have into multiple companies, make for an appealing target for cyber criminals,” he said. “This, coupled with the fact they are responsible for the IT infrastructure of companies without IT or security resources, means it is paramount that security providers work closer with them to protect the £5.5m SMEs who in many cases turn to MSPs to keep them safe. Failure to do this could be existential for many of their customers.”

Ransomware and malware infection

Ransomware and malware infection continue to be the biggest threats customers and MSPs are dealing with.

MSPs also indicated it had been a challenge juggling rising costs and getting through economic headwinds while always keeping on top of the latest threats and maintaining a strong defensive position.

MSPs also indicated to CyberSmart that efforts they had made on security training, stabilising policies and a more security-conscious culture all contributed to their high levels of confidence.

There have been consistent reports over the past few years that MSPs are firmly in the crosshairs of cyber criminals due to their influential position in the supply chain.

Speaking to MicroScope last week, Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola said MSPs deserved more recognition for the services they delivered to customers, including providing data security.

“If we think about the customers of MSPs, small to mid-size businesses around the world, most of them have three outsourced service providers that they use,” he said. “They use their legal providers, they use financial/tax providers for counting audits tax stuff, and they use their IT and security providers, the MSP. Without question, the MSP is the most important and most strategic business partner of all of them.”

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