The latest edition of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risks Report once again highlights cyber threats as one of the greatest risks worldwide: 19.5% of respondents identified cybersecurity failure as a "critical short-term threat" to the world. The report specifically points out that the growing dependence of organizations' physical systems on the digital realm could jeopardize the continuity of many businesses or services.
These views reflect the situation that our Watchguard Threat Lab team has outlined for this year. Organizations are clearly facing risks that are increasingly dangerous and numerous. In this regard, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) must be prepared to offer managed services to their customers to prevent and mitigate these threats, preferably in a scalable, simple and effective way. Therefore, MSPs need to consider several aspects of customer relations and the offering they provide as part of their goals for 2022.
The first resolution is taking good care of their customers. The current situation leaves many organizations that lack internal resources or expertise in cybersecurity widely exposed to threats. This means MSPs are a lifeline for them, as without them they would not be able to maintain a cybersecurity infrastructure because it can be very expensive. It is not simply a matter of MSPs complying with the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) they have established previously, as customers need to be confident that they will help them deal with any challenges that arise. Aspects such as scalability are important in order to meet the specific needs of each organization.
The second resolution for 2022 is to foster a sense of trust. MSPs should aim to provide customers with the greatest possible facilities, so that they not only have efficient protection, but use the minimum number of resources. This covers several areas, such as offering seamless integration with APIs and an ecosystem of useful programs, giving them fully automated tools based on artificial intelligence that provide constant monitoring of their endpoints and corporate networks, or helping them to keep all their programs and operating systems updated through patch management. These are tasks that make it easier for IT organizations to do their jobs and spend more time on processes and tasks to improve their business.
But all these resolutions are futile unless they are accompanied by the most important factor, which is to give customers the best possible cybersecurity tools, aligned with their resources and needs. This includes having a broad range of advanced tools that cover diverse protection capabilities: protecting corporate networks with physical and Cloud-based firewalls, management of secure Wi-Fi networks, the best endpoint protection, detection and response (EPDR) technologies, and other aspects such as identity management for members of the organization through multi-factor authentication (MFA). All without losing sight of remote work, which will continue to be widespread over 2022, so VPNs must be present.
Finally, it is essential that all these tools and the services provided by MSPs are based on a Zero-Trust approach, as cyber threat actors are increasingly using apparently legitimate users or programs to move laterally within organizations. It must therefore be assumed that even the smallest piece of code must be analyzed before it is executed.
If these resolutions are fulfilled, managed clients’ trust in MSPs will grow and, above all, they will be better placed to prevent and mitigate the threats that will continue to generate incidents over the next twelve months.