for the MSP
The days of email scamming has evolved into something far more effective and profitable. One of the earlier and well-known email scams were the Nigerian Prince emails. As I’m sure you recall, these emails would offer you something along the lines of $20 million dollars in exchange for transferring funds out of Nigeria. Today’s attacks are much more sophisticated, as state sponsored and organized crime syndicates use spear phishing, invoice scams, employee payroll direct deposit changes, along with a host of others. These threats, often called Business Email Compromise (BEC) have resulted in $12 billion dollars of loss from December 2017 to May 2018, according to the FBI. The losses continue to rise year after year. The attacks are conducted by very organized and disciplined criminal organizations. They target just about anyone who has money to pay and have zero remorse over those who they victimize.
Today’s attacker is well-trained and experienced. They are more likely to be patient and take time studying an organization’s core business systems, vendors, and key personnel. Many of these criminal organizations have organizational structures, operational goals, financial records, and more. They employ techniques that make it very difficult to trace their whereabouts. They often launch their attacks using impersonation techniques when it comes to wire fraud.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are not immune to these attacks either. Large and mature providers have recently been in the news as they have been victims of cyberattacks ranging from ransomware to Office 365 tenant compromises. As an Incident Response and Forensics organization, we have been called into a number of these cases and they are not pretty. Emotions run high and the victim sees its days numbered as it is completely crippled by an attack. There are some basic steps that all MSPs should be doing internally and absolutely doing with their customers. Some of the blocking and tackling tasks come down to:
The MSP continues to be a target. It has a multiplier effect for the cybercriminal as the MSP is a gateway to countless other victims (i.e. A single point of failure). By ensuring you have sound and secure practices in place within your organization, you can help ensure you are not the attacker’s doorway to victimize your customers.