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MSP Security Made Easy: IP PBX – Your One-Stop Shop for Secure Communications

Post 2020, Cyberattacks on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) increased by leaps and boundaries, as in keeping with reports. In December of that year, Russian hackers infiltrated Orion the community tracking platform of Solarwinds and installed malware inside several MSPs and groups to get the right of entry to sensitive statistics and facts.

 The cyberattack was severe enough to affect the supply chain of a wide range of sectors including telecom, IT, government, and consulting.

 

The most serious one occurred in July next year, when Revile, a ransomware gang, devised a malignant cyberattack that affected more than 1,500 organizations and 40 MSPs all over the world. A majority of the organizations suffered the consequence due to their connections to the MSPs.

 

Apart from the two of many incidents, let’s take a look at some shocking stats. As per MSP cyber attack statistics released by Kaspersky, after the SolarWinds incident, 98 percent of the MSPs that were affected took some action to prevent more attacks. The most common actions were:

 

  • 44 percent of them switched to other IT security software providers
  • 42 percent of them updated contract terms and liability with suppliers
  • 39 percent of them hired additional security experts
  • 35 percent of them realized the need to hire an expert in risk management

 

Among all the actions, switching to another IT security software provider was the clear winner. And it makes sense. That’s because MSPs cannot defend themselves from the ever-rising cyber threats by relying on outdated tech stacks and communication systems.

 

When it comes to the latter, they need to leverage sophisticated communication systems such as IP PBX software. That’s because IP PBX stands at the forefront of advancements in communication technology. And as noted cybersecurity expert Neil Rerup rightly said “True cyber security is preparing for what’s next, not what was last.”

 

This blog post explores why MSPs are increasingly targeted by hackers and cyber criminals and how IP PBX can play a huge role in keeping MSPs secure. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the blog post and understand the role of IP PBX in MSPs’ security.

 

Why are MSPs targeted by cybercriminals?

As discussed in the introduction, cyber attacks on MSPs increased considerably after 2000. Here are some possible reasons:

 

1. Access to Multiple Clients

MSPs serve multiple clients and their infrastructures are designed to give technicians easy access to those clients. In case of any problem, the technicians can access the systems and troubleshoot, deploy software, perform maintenance, etc. 

 

When cybercriminals manage to hack into only one MSP, they can access sensitive data and information of many clients in one go.

 

2. Wealth of data and resources

MSPs handle valuable and sensitive client data such as:

 

  • Intellectual property
  • Financial information
  • Confidential organization data

 

Apart from that, MSPs have considerable infrastructure and resources. That makes them a soft target for cybercriminals who look to leverage the available resources for malicious activities.

 

3. Limited Security

It may sound strange but many MSPs don’t strengthen their cybersecurity. A majority of small and medium MSPs carry out their operations with limited resources and staff. Some don’t invest in the minimum things that can secure their systems. This allows cyber-criminals to target MSPs more often and makes them an easy target of cyberattacks and data breaches. 

 

As American national security expert, novelist, and former government official Richard Clarke once said, “If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserved to be hacked.” 

 

4. Easy Extortion Money

Cyber attackers attack MSPs to get easy extortion money. When MSPs have their clients’ sensitive data and information they are willing to pay a hefty price as ransom to prevent the misuse of the data. 

 

Most MSPs also pay the extortion money as soon as hackers demand ransom to de-escalate the matter and prevent the news from spreading.

 

Role of IP PBX in Securing MSPs

IP PBX systems can play a huge role in mitigating security risks and strengthening MSPs’ communication networks. Here are some ways IP PBX systems do that:

 

1. Robust Encryption

Swiss investor and journalist Esther Dyson rightly said, “Encryption is a powerful weapon for free people.” And sophisticated IP PBX systems have strong encryption protocols in place to secure voice and data transmissions. MSPs can leverage the robust encryption of sophisticated IP PBX systems to protect their client’s confidential information and sensitive data from hackers. Even if someone intercepts the information, it remains unreadable and confidential.

 

2. Access controls and authentication

“When an employee logs in to access an application or service, there needs to be absolute certainty that it’s the employee and not an attacker.” This quote pretty much sums up what access controls and authentication are all about. It’s all about ensuring that the authorized personnel access the communication systems. That’s because security lapses and data breaches mostly happen because of unauthorized access. MSPs can leverage IP PBX systems that are equipped with robust access controls and authentication mechanisms.

 

3. Firewall Integration

Firewalls are indispensable for cyber security. You can think how important firewalls are when renowned hacker, computer security consultant, and author Kevin David Mitnick said, “Use a personal firewall. Configure it to prevent other computers, networks, and sites from connecting to you, and specify which programs are allowed to connect to the net automatically.” When MSPs integrate firewalls, they can easily create a strong barrier between potential hackers and the communication networks of their clients.

 

4. Regular Software Updates

Cyber threats are evolving at a breakneck pace and MSPs need to stay one step ahead. For that, they need to update their software regularly. That’s where reliable and sophisticated IP PBX can be useful. Trustworthy and reputable IP PBX software providers release software updates regularly. By doing so, they eliminate any potential vulnerability and protect MSPs’ clients from security threats.

 

5. Multi-factor Authentication

Would you be surprised to know that multi-factor authentication (MFA) is far better than passwords? A study by Microsoft found MFA blocks 99.9 percent of modern automated cyberattacks. But when it comes to its usage across industries, it remains quite low.

Apart from BFSI (banking and financial service institutions) and healthcare and pharma sector, where the usage rate is 60 percent and 56 percent respectively, the adoption of MFA in the government, retail, as well as transport and warehousing remains less than 50 percent, reveals a data. Prove Identity’s State of MFA 2023 report found that less than half (48 percent to be exact) of employers mandate that employees use MFA at work. IP PBX systems support multi-factor authentication and MSPs can leverage that to verify the identity of users.

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All in All,

When it comes to ensuring the cybersecurity of MSPs, this quote can be a powerful food for thought. “Prepare and prevent. Don’t repair and repent.” 

In a time when cyberattacks are at an all-time high, MSPs must bolster their network security by leveraging robust and cutting-edge communication systems such as IP PBX solutions.

If you own an MSP business, you must do whatever it takes to find the right IP PBX software in such a highly crowded market. You need to do thorough research and handpick a reputable and reliable IP PBX solution provider with a proven track record of deploying high-quality IP PBX software.

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