Managed Service Providers

How Ransomware Sneaks In

Ransomware has officially made the mainstream. Dramatic headlines announce the latest attacks and news outlets highlight the staggeringly high ransoms businesses pay to retrieve their stolen data. And it’s no wonder why – ransomware attacks are on the rise and the...

An MSP and SMB guide to disaster preparation, recovery and remediation

Introduction It’s important for a business to be prepared with an exercised business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plan plan before its hit with ransomware so that it can resume operations as quickly as possible. Key steps and solutions should be followed...

Podcast: Cyber resilience in a remote work world

The global pandemic that began to send us packing from our offices in March of last year upended our established way of working overnight. We’re still feeling the effects. Many office workers have yet to return to the office in the volumes they worked in pre-pandemic....

5 Tips to get Better Efficacy out of Your IT Security Stack

If you’re an admin, service provider, security executive, or are otherwise affiliated with the world of IT solutions, then you know that one of the biggest challenges to overcome is efficacy. Especially in terms of cybersecurity, efficacy is something of an amorphous...

How Cryptocurrency and Cybercrime Trends Influence One Another

Typically, when cryptocurrency values change, one would expect to see changes in crypto-related cybercrime. In particular, trends in Bitcoin values tend to be the bellwether you can use to predict how other currencies’ values will shift, and there are usually...

Your 6-Step MSP Guide for Stopping Ransomware

 

While a lot of the hype around ransomware paints it as daunting and virtually impossible to combat, there are several very straightforward steps for managed service providers to dramatically reduce the risk that their clients’ will fall victim to ransomware.

  1. Proven endpoint security backed by industry-leading threat intelligence.

    Security shouldn’t just spot and quarantine threats that have already infiltrated a system. It should prevent threats from infecting the endpoint in the first place. Be sure to select a solution that protects web browsing in real time, secures system settings, controls outbound traffic, provides proactive anti-phishing, and continuously monitors and reports on individual endpoints.

  2. Get your house in order with backup and business continuity.

    If any of your clients do become ransomware victims, the only real course of action is to restore their data as quickly as possible to minimize business downtime. These days, there are a fair number of automated, on-premises and cloud-based business continuity solutions that will back up data and get your clients’ business back on track after a breach.

  3. Implement strong Windows policies. 

    As part of your ransomware defense strategy, you can use Windows policies to block certain paths and file extensions from running. If you need varying levels of access, you can set up policies in groups. Some useful policies include blocking executables in temp or temp+appdata and the creation of startup entries. For instance, .SCR, .PIF, and .CPL file types should not be run in the following in users’ temp, program data, or desktop directories.

  4. Block volume shadow copy service. 

    Windows uses the VSS copy service to create local copies of files. CryptoLocker and other ransomware variants will encrypt this area because it holds VSS copies for the local (C:) drive. By setting Windows policies to block access to the service, you can help stop ransomware like CryptoLocker from erasing local drive file backups. Make sure that policies point to the VSSAdmin executable. Attempts to access or stop the service will be blocked.

  5. Get rid of macros and autorun. 

    Numerous kinds of ransomware use macros to infect systems, but you can easily disable them in the Trust Center of every version of Microsoft Office. You can also enable individual macros, if they’re necessary for a particular task, while disabling all others. Additionally, autorun might be a handy feature, but many types of malware use it to propagate. As an example, a USB stick uses autorun, but so do Visual Basic Script (VBS) malware and worms. As a general rule, we recommend disabling autorun.

  6. Keep clients in the know about ransomware. 

    It’s no secret that human error is a large part of successful cybercrime. As long as staff members remain relatively unaware and undereducated about the risks of the internet, malware will continue to be a viable business. Make sure clients understand the basics and what to watch out for so they stay safe both at home and in the office.

The first step to securing endpoints against ransomware is deploying a next-generation security solution. Take a free 30-day Webroot trial, no risk, no obligation to buy. In less than five minutes you can install Webroot SecureAnywhere® Business Endpoint Protection with Global Site Manager and see first-hand how it delivers superior malware protection while lowering your costs and boosting your bottom line—without conflicting with your existing security.

 

 

Maximizing MSP Profits with Cybersecurity Partnerships

 

Managed service providers are tasked with serving a broad range of markets, from construction to healthcare; accounting to legal; staffing firms to manufacturing; media and advertising to technology. But the day-to-day MSP challenges, even across so many diverse verticals, remain the same. Let’s break it down: modern technology changes fast and keeps gaining momentum, so how do you stay current and relevant? Providing quality goods and services gets complicated and pricey fast; how do you give your customers the value they expect without your own margins taking a hit? As the managed services sector continues to grow, how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

Let’s switch gears a little and talk about cybersecurity. It’s no surprise that MSPs often think of endpoint protection as a “necessary evil.” MSPs have to supply endpoint cybersecurity services that satisfy their clients’ demands, but most solutions involve time-consuming infection remediation, awful system performance, mountains of malware-related downtime, not to mention the resulting customer frustration.

Staying Relevant and Seizing Opportunity

Because SMBs typically lack the internal resources needed to effectively manage complex systems, cybersecurity is an ideal avenue for putting the managed services model to use. Faced with modern threats and the hassles of traditional endpoint protection products, most users feel overwhelmed by security awareness and management, so offering next-generation protection that’s easy to manage, won’t conflict with other software, and won’t slow users down as it keeps them safe is an excellent way to stay relevant and build customer loyalty.

The High Cost of Living

As you well know, providing services isn’t sustainable if your solutions don’t amplify your profitability. But you can drive down operational costs by selecting an endpoint cybersecurity vendor that uses a cloud-based architecture and requires no infrastructure investment, thereby enabling faster deployment and less intensive management. If the vendor offers highly responsive support, automatic remediation, and low resource usage, you can improve customer satisfaction while reducing time spent repairing systems—without having to skimp on quality.

Looking to the Future

When choosing a cybersecurity partnership, be sure to look for a vendor whose solutions foster predictable, recurring revenue to help quantify future revenue for business decisions, and who provides marketing resources and sales enablement to boost MSP margins. And keep your options open—find a partner who offers flexible billing to lower your overhead and enable easy scalability (and won’t lock you into a contract you’re unhappy with in the long run.) Finally, pick a partner with a strong reputation, so you can leverage their proven protection to increase your customer loyalty and generate more referrals.

Proving the Point

Ultimately, these tips are just hearsay. Until you can properly vet a solution in a real-world environment, it’s hard to determine what will and won’t work for your business. Try to find solutions you can trial easily, and look to industry experts and your peers for their experiences and advice.

Read this case study to find out how SWAT Systems, an MSP managing over 3,300 endpoints, drastically improved their customer satisfaction, reduced time spent remediating infections by 75%, and increased profitability an average of 10-20%—just by switching cybersecurity vendors.

Or, take a free, no-risk, no-conflict 30-day trial of Webroot SecureAnywhere Business Endpoint Protection with the Global Site Manager to see the solution SWAT Systems chose in action.