MSPs are a Growing Target for Cyber Attackers

December 01, 2020

MSPs are a Growing Target for Cyber Attackers

By Courtney Heinbach

Managed service providers (MSPs) and IT providers have become more of a target for hackers due to their broad access to client endpoints. Our latest State of the Channel Ransomware Report found 95% of MSPs agree that their own businesses are increasingly being targeted with attacks. This week, it’s been reported that a French IT provider was hit with a Ryuk ransomware attack on October 20th that may result in €50 million ($81 million AUD) in recovery fees. MSPs have had to step up their vigilance and put in place plans and processes to protect themselves and their clients in the event of an attack.

In fact, some MSPs already report taking steps toward this initiative:

  • 50% of MSPs have external expertise lined up to help them in the event of a large-scale attack against them or their clients.
  • 60% of MSPs report carrying cyber liability insurance should they or their clients become subject to a ransomware attack.

Why are MSPs being targeted? It has to do primarily with cyber threat actors wanting to gain access to their client’s data. No business is safe, and that’s why it’s important to review your cyber security plan and make sure you have in place the solutions that can help you protect your own business and your clients.

Datto Steps Up Security Measures

To address this growing challenge for MSPs, we’ve taken steps to enhance security controls and protection of Datto partners. In fact, late in 2019, our monitoring picked up on cybercriminals honing in on high profile remote monitoring and management (RMM) products as a favored tool for attacks, so we took deliberate action to require mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA) for all Datto RMM users.

Since then, we’ve determined that the majority of attacks on our partners are unsophisticated and involve the use of compromised user credentials. When our partners protect their technologies using Datto’s secure deployment best practices for BCDR, PSA, and RMM they’re significantly more secure.

We also added a Security Admin role in the Datto Partner Portal, which permits up to two users to tightly manage the security controls for their business. Security Admins may also configure Duo, a two-factor authentication tool, for the company to promote a consolidated login experience for all employees.

By the end of 2020, all users will be authenticated to Datto products using Datto Single Sign-On. A single login experience for all users reduces the likelihood of multiple usernames and passwords and provides a unified Datto login experience along with another layer of security protection.

Read our blog: The Journey to a Secure Managed Service Provider by Emilyann Fogarty, Sr. Security Program Manager at Datto to learn more about the steps we’re taking to increase security.

Managed Security Offerings Gaining Momentum

One thing is certain: MSPs see the need to take cyber security seriously for both their clients’ businesses and their own. Many are teaming up with managed security service providers (MSSPs) to gain access to their expertise and take advantage of services they can provide that offer some level of continuous security monitoring, vulnerability risk assessment, threat intelligence, and intrusion management.

This year’s State of the MSP Report found that nearly 75% of MSPs currently have a managed security offering, but 43% are more likely to offer it in partnership with an MSSP or other vendor, likely due to the complexity of IT security.

Managed security offerings vary widely, but most focus on the same tools and technologies: antivirus, backup and disaster recovery, email security, patch management, endpoint detection and response, and content filtering.

The Bottom Line

With cyber security attacks on the rise, especially ransomware, it’s more important than ever to strengthen your cyber security measures, not only to protect your clients, but your own business from the risk of a potentially damaging attack. Datto is here to help with solutions and security enhancements to keep MSPs protected.

Learn how to improve your security posture with our Information Security Analysis Tooklit.

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