MSP in the crosshairs of cybercrime By Top Trade Editorial Team Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Attacks targeting MSP and its customers have nearly doubled in the past 18 months, while security remains a major growth opportunity, according to independent research commissioned by N-able

N-able, the solutions partner that helps IT service providers deliver remote security, backup, monitoring and management services, announced the results of a research into the rapidly evolving security landscape for partners; the study was conducted by a research company and was commissioned by N-able. According to the research, managed service providers (MSPs) are rapidly outpacing their customers as the primary target of cybercriminals. Research results also reveal that while 90% of MSPs surveyed experienced a cyber attack in the past 18 months, the number of attacks these MSPs are thwarting has nearly doubled, from 6 to 11. The report, Market situation | The new threat landscape includes responses from 500 participants from the US and Europe administered by an independent research team and covers security experiences before and after the COVID-19 pandemic to illustrate what has changed. It was assumed that the increase in hybrid work has led to a change in the way hackers operate. N-able research analyzes this change and its impact on MSPs. "MSPs worked tirelessly throughout the period of the pandemic to ensure that the companies they support remained active and connected as circumstances changed," said Dave MacKinnon, Chief Security Officer, N-able. "But even the cybercriminals they protect their customers from are doing everything they can to exploit these changes of direction to the detriment of the recipients of the attacks. MSPs need to understand how the threat landscape continues to evolve and make the necessary changes to protect themselves and their customers as well as make the most of the enormous opportunity offered by advanced security. " Here's what the research reveals: • Almost all MSPs (90%) have experienced a successful cyber attack of some kind in the past 18 months, and the same percentage has seen an increase in the number of attacks thwarted each month. On average, the number of thwarted attacks went from 6 to 11. • 82% of MSPs also reported increased attacks on customers, although not all at the same rate, with an average of 14 thwarted attacks per month. • While some progress has been made in the context of important security procedures, such as the automation of backups, many basic practices have not yet been implemented. For example, while nearly all MSPs offer two-factor authentication to customers, only 40% of them have implemented it in their business. • DDoS and ransomware are among the main attacks detected by MSPs, but phishing remains in the lead. • The effects of cyber attacks are many. More than half of MSPs report having suffered financial losses and business disruption following a cyber attack, but many say they have lost business (46%), suffered reputational damage (45%) and even loss of trust from customers (28%). While MSP budgets are increasing by only 5% on average, managed service providers are making additional investments in key areas, such as data security, cloud security, and infrastructure protection. • But there is good news. The majority of SMEs (70%) are considering increasing their safety budget. For MSPs this translates into great opportunities. • Automation of key functions is essential to keep cybercriminals at bay. Automatic backups are the most common form of automation used by MSPs to keep customer activities safe and are used by 85% of survey respondents.