An ineffective cybersecurity strategy is like putting out a welcome mat for hackers. With remote work proliferating and cyber threats on the rise, it’s critical that MSPs educate and support their clients with effective cybersecurity plans. But that’s sometimes easier said than done. Clients may not understand the various strategies and tools, they may not implement best practices, or they may be deterred by cost.
As an MSP, one of the most important things you can do to support your clients effectively is to provide the resources, training, and tools to help them keep their data safe. Understanding client pain points and presenting solutions in terms of cost vs. benefit can go a long way toward helping them prioritize risk mitigation.
Here are 6 cybersecurity tips to help your clients build a powerful, effective cybersecurity strategy.
- Conduct a Security Risk Assessment
A security risk assessment helps you determine each client’s security baseline so you can identify gaps and create an effective strategy. The assessment gives you the context you need to ensure sufficient protection, and it is an important way to reduce your liability in the event of an attack.
The risk assessment should:
- Identify threat sources and vulnerabilities
- Identify potential threat events
- Evaluate current security tools and technology
- Examine cybersecurity policies
- Create a Client-Specific Cybersecurity Strategy
Most MSPs have a well-developed tech stack with a wide variety of tools. Each tool has a unique value and specific function. However, in practice it’s not always efficient to monitor and maintain every tool for every client. Instead, use the client’s risk assessment to determine which tools will fill their security gaps and deliver the greatest impact for their needs.
Taking this approach can also be a unique selling point as you interact with prospective clients. Demonstrating that you not only have an impressive set of tools and tech available, but also that you will take time to understand their unique needs and make custom recommendations will set you apart as a provider of choice.
- Implement Multiple Layers of Protection
Far too many organizations rely on just one or two cybersecurity methodologies to protect their critical resources. For example, a client may have a firewall and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and think they are covered, or they may think they have MFA, when in fact they are just using Microsoft security defaults. MPS can help clients enhance security by educating them about the nature of cybersecurity risk as well as why they need multiple layers of protection.
For example, a well-rounded cybersecurity strategy should include continuous threat monitoring, strong password policies and best practices, access management tools, MFA, and appropriate risk management technology tools. Clients need to understand the different goals and uses of each of these factors so they are as protected as possible.
- Implement Privileged Access Management
Privileged Access Management (PAM) goes beyond MFA and password management by ensuring access to privileged only when it is necessary. Once the required task has been completed, a PAM tool will automatically remove access. Additionally, this prevents unauthorized access through password sharing, weak passwords, or other human errors.
All things considered, PAM has become a gold standard requirement for insurance companies that provide cybersecurity liability coverage. It is the best way to ensure least privilege access and protect critical resources.
- Enforce Password Best Practices
Weak or stolen passwords are one of the most common causes of data breaches. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of breaches involve a human element such as choosing a weak password, sharing a password, or not following password policies. MSPs can help their clients address this issue by encouraging them to build as well as enforce strong password policies. Password best practices include:
- Using multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Changing passwords regularly
- Requiring complex passwords
- Using unique passwords for each application
- Using a password manager
- Educating about the risks of password sharing
- Automate Software Updates
Out-of-date software can proliferate vulnerabilities and give cybercriminals an easy foot in the door. Luckily, MSPs can help their clients mitigate this threat by using a patch management tool to automate monitoring, patch deployment, and version updates.
Finally, the best thing MSPs can do to protect their clients is to educate them. Many organizations don’t understand the complexity of cybersecurity and the variability of risks and threats. By teaching these clients about the importance of creating an effective cybersecurity strategy, training their employees, and enforcing policies, MSPs can reduce the potential for a security incident or data breach and keep their clients’ data safe. Try sharing these cybersecurity tips with clients.
Take the Next Step
Do you have a reliable PAM tool in place to protect your privileged accounts as well as a password manager? If not, we can help! Contact us today to learn how we can help you take the next step in building your cybersecurity strategy.
Discover more cybersecurity tips on our blog.
- Does Your PAM Solution Conform to CIS Critical Controls?
- Top 5 Things to Look for in a PAM Tool
- Guide to Understanding Least Privilege for MSPs and MSSPs