MSPs must not forgot to address the following common data security threats if they are to keep their clients protected from cyberattacks.

Failure to prevent malware & ransomware installation can be an expensive business. Multi-million-dollar liability lawsuits may follow if insufficient security measures have been implemented to prevent a cyberattack.

Unfortunately, all too often too little is done to keep networks protected from these common data security threats.

Common data security threats MSPs must address!

Listed below are five common data security threats that must be addressed by MSPs, yet they are all too often overlooked.

Anti-phishing protection is essential

Employees have long been known to be a major security risk. There will always be at least one employee in an organization who is a little green when it comes to protecting themselves and their work computer from hackers.

Any organization that fails to adequately protect against the risk of employee errors compromising the network will suffer a network security incident sooner rather than later. One of the biggest mistakes made is employees responding to phishing emails.

Employees must be made aware of the high risk of phishing. Hackers are now targeting individual employees with highly sophisticated campaigns. Targets are researched via Facebook and other social media networks, the senders of emails have their names and addresses spoofed, and clever campaigns are devised to get end users to download malware or visit malicious websites. Regular training on basic security such as phishing avoidance and scam email identification is therefore essential.

Take control of mobile devices used to connect to the network

Phishing is far from the only employee security risk. Employees are now bringing their own devices to work, and these devices pose a major security risk if not effectively managed. If a single employee manages to get their own personal device infected with malware, the infection could all too easily spread to a corporate network.

It is therefore essential not only to limit the individuals who are able to use personal devices for work purposes, but to ensure that any device used for work purposes is routinely monitored.

If employees are permitted to use personal devices for work, or remove laptop computers from company premises, it is essential that sensitive data stored on those devices is encrypted. Mobile devices are frequently lost or stolen and represent a considerable data security risk.

Prepare for a wave of malware attacks on Macs

Over the past few years, using a Mac meant you were protected from malware and viruses; however, last year new malware started to appear that specifically targeted Apple devices. While anti-malware protection for Macs was something that could previously be ignored, that is now no longer the case.

The volume of malware targeting Macs is expected to continue to increase this year as Apple’s market share grows. It is now important for all organizations to start preparing for a new wave of Mac attacks.

Implement a robust web filtering solution

Cybercriminals are increasing using legitimate websites to serve malware to website visitors. Recently, the MSN home page was discovered to be hosting malvertising, showing that even some of the biggest internet sites may not be entirely safe. It is therefore essential to implement a web filtering solution that can block malvertising, as well as malicious websites known to deliver drive-by malware payloads.

To keep users and networks protected, it is essential to implement safe search, block pharming URLs, malware and phishing sites, tunneling software, and malicious adverts. To avoid negative impact on the business, use a web filtering solution such as WebTitan, which offers a high degree of granularity. This will allow different individuals and users to be assigned different privileges to maximize protection and minimize the negative impact on the business.

Develop patch management policies and plug security holes promptly

Zero-day security vulnerabilities are being discovered on an almost daily basis. Once identified, exploits are rapidly shared via Darknet communities. If security vulnerabilities are allowed to remain, it is only a matter of time before they will be used for an attack. It is therefore essential that software is kept up to date and patches are installed as soon as they are released.

However, due to the sheer volume of devices, applications, operating systems, and plugins now in use, keeping on top of all of the upgrades and patches can be overwhelming. Patches must be found, installed, and tested, and all procedures must be documented for compliance purposes. Due to the security risk posed by out of date software, if the task of managing patches is becoming unmanageable, it may be time to consider using an automated patch management solution.