What Is Cyber Resilience and Why Is It Important for MSPs?

April 07, 2021

What Is Cyber Resilience and Why Is It Important for MSPs?

By Courtney Heinbach

An evolving threat landscape faced by businesses of all sizes has raised the stakes for prioritising and working toward cyber resilience. Cyber resilience may seem like an ambiguous term or maybe just another buzzword. Trust us – it’s a critical part of any business’s cybersecurity strategy and presents an opportunity for managed service providers (MSPs) to better serve their clients.

Why is cyber resilience important?

Ransomware attacks have been top of mind for many MSPs in recent years, as well as some small and medium businesses (SMBs) that MSPs are serving. We’re just starting Q2, and we’ve already seen a handful of high-profile attacks on Microsoft Exchange servers, Acer, SonicWall, and more. And ransomware isn’t the only cyber threat businesses should be aware of – the Silver Sparrow dropper impacted Mac users in February, a close follow to the FireEye breach in late 2020.

This is by no means a comprehensive review of recent attacks. Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated there are more than 4,000 attacks taking place per day after seeing a rise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shift to remote work.

With this in mind, and recognising that there is no surefire way to prevent a ransomware attack from impacting a business, prioritising cyber resilience should be a non-negotiable for any business.

What is cyber resilience?

Cyber resilience is a measure of business strength in preparing for, operating through, and recovering from the eventuality of a cyber attack. Cyber resilience relies on the successful ability to identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover quickly from any cyber event and combines cybersecurity, business continuity, and incident response.

Cyber resilience includes, but is not limited to, cybersecurity, monitoring, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technology. However, a successful cyber resilience strategy requires a holistic approach that includes people and processes, as well. It is an ongoing practice, not a one-time effort.

Cybersecurity Framework

Many organisations use cybersecurity frameworks to guide their journey to building cyber resilience. A cybersecurity framework provides a common language and set of standards that enable organisations to understand and improve their security posture. Frameworks enable organisations to assess cybersecurity maturity, identify security gaps, and meet regulations.

There are a number of cybersecurity frameworks in use today. One of the most common is The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework. It is based on five functions: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, and Recover. Each function represents a pillar of an effective cyber resilience practice.

How can MSPs help SMBs achieve cyber resilience?

Cyber resilience presents MSPs with a massive opportunity to grow while serving their clients in preparing their businesses for a cyberattack. SMBs need a cyber resilience strategy but oftentimes don’t have the expertise or resources to implement them on their own. For SMBs, turning to an MSP allows them to focus on their core competencies while outsourcing this important business priority to the experts.

For MSPs, it’s important to help clients understand the risk they face and the best way to prevent and prepare for a cyberattack or data loss scenario. For SMBs not immersed in the cybersecurity space on a day-to-day basis, the gravity of the situation may not be easily understood. When approaching clients and prospects about building cyber resilience strategies, help them understand just how big the risk is, and how important it is to their business to build up their forces now before an attack happens.

People

The employees of your clients’ businesses are the first line of defense when it comes to ransomware and other cybersecurity risks, so it’s crucial they’re educated on the risks and best practices on avoiding them.

Encourage your clients to hire experts in the field of cybersecurity to share their knowledge amongst the SMBs’ employees, whether that be you as their MSP, a managed security service provider (MSSP), or another expert. With educated employees, your clients will be on their way to being more cyber resilient.

Processes

Equally as important as arming the people with the know-how in identifying risk, MSPs can help their clients improve their processes to mitigate risk. Auditing an SMB’s cybersecurity posture can identify where there may be gaps or room for improvement in preventing an attack.

Identifying where there is room for improvement enables you to make recommendations on how to improve, which may fall into the People or Technology categories.

Technology

Once your clientele is on board with prioritising cyber resilience, help them understand (from a high level) the technology that helps build that resilience.

  1. Firewall. The first line of defense against an attack.
  2. VPN. With many still working from home, it’s crucial employees are using their workstations while connected to a virtual private network to increase security.
  3. Anti-malware. An essential piece in the cyber resilience puzzle, but not the only piece.
  4. Patching and firmware. Software patching can and should be automated to prevent bad actors from exploiting known vulnerabilities.

How Datto helps MSPs build cyber resilience

Datto partners with MSPs to build cyber resilience and deliver peace of mind to the world’s SMBs.

Purpose-built for MSPs, Datto’s solutions can help you build your clients’ cyber resilience while also building your business as you work to protect your SMB clients. To learn more about cyber resilience and how we can help you deliver it, check out recordings from our recent MSP Technology Day, focused solely on cyber resilience and the opportunity for MSPs to better serve clients with reliable, easy-to-use technology.

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