Top Managed Service Providers and Internet Security
Through an incredible rush to enable work-from-home due to COVID-19, the world’s leading businesses and top managed service providers (MSPs) have instantly transformed internet security agility and resiliency from a nice-to-have to a necessity. The transformation happened at a time when the geopolitical threat to cybersecurity has never been more elevated and tensions continue to rise.
Last week FBI Director Christopher Wray gave a dire warning regarding the Chinese government-led espionage and cyberattacks on US businesses. In his address to the Hudson Institute, Wray warned,
“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property and to our economic vitality is the counter-intelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It’s a threat to our economic security and by extension to our national security.”
The FBI is currently opening a new counter-intelligence case against the Chinese government every 10 hours and they are currently monitoring over 5,000 open cases — one half of which are related to China. Wray’s comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to ban TikTok and other Chinese social media apps over the fear that Chinese owned tech companies are collecting too much data on Americans. Amazon and Wells Fargo recently took steps to ban TikTok although Amazon quickly reversed its ban.
At the same time, users of Microsoft Office 365 were targetted in a massive phishing campaign attempting to defraud users in 62 countries. The attack “targeted business leaders across a variety of industries, attempting to compromise accounts, steal information and re-direct wire transfers,” Microsoft reported via a blog post. The phishing attack had recently changed their targeting efforts towards COVID-19 related email subjects such as “COVID-19 Bonus” as opposed to the more common financial statement type subjects such as “Q4 Report – Dec19.”
According to FireEye, Coronavirus themed phishing attacks are still on the rise and have more than quadrupled as the pandemic has spread. There is no doubt the pandemic has seriously affected the health of small businesses across the country through shutdowns and economic disruption. The pursuant rise in cybercrime is only adding to the burden placed upon our small businesses. In a recent op-ed, Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, who serves as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, stated:
“The long-term consequences of falling victim to a cyberattack can be severe for small businesses seeking to regain their footing after the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, a single data breach cost businesses an average of $200,000, and studies show that 60% of small business victims go out of business within six months of experiencing such a breach.”
“It has perhaps never been more important to develop and implement a strong cybersecurity strategy, and small businesses should take quick and decisive action. Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, published chapters one and two of a six-part series designed to provide business leaders with recommendations and guidance for strengthening and cultivating a culture of “cyber readiness” across their organizations.”
It is a good idea to review the first two chapters of the CISA toolkit with your MSP to ensure your security and continuity plans are robust enough. At a time when businesses are under incredible pressure and forced into a constantly changing cybersecurity landscape, MSPs can be an incredible resource in planning and response to keep your business functioning. MSPs are in the trenches working with many businesses facing these challenges together. Your MSP knows what is currently working and what isn’t which can save you critical time and money.