Last year was a terrible year in so many respects, so it’s not overly surprising that there were a number of historic hacks.

Some of these were so vast and so all-encompassing, it could make you feel like you can’t protect your client’s system no matter how careful you are. But take a deep breath and remember that keeping your systems secure usually isn’t ever about one thing. While there will always be bad actors on the internet, security is often about controlling the little things that fall within your sphere of authority.

Security has always been a shared responsibility. In fact, when you use cloud services the company is responsible for controlling the security on the infrastructure, but individual companies are responsible for securing their own data on those services.

Keep calm and control on

We’ve all heard stories of a company leaving an Amazon S3 storage service open to the internet, and in the process exposing the data stored there. That is eminently preventable with some security auditing. It’s about controlling the things you can control.

While you can’t prevent what happens inside of the infrastructure of the services you use, or the massive hacking activities of powerful nation-states, you have your role and you have to do it as best you can.

As an MSP, you’re just part of a chain of individuals and companies. You can’t do everyone’s job, but you can do yours. Find that leaky S3 storage bucket. Patch those open source vulnerabilities and do regular updates.

Practice good password hygiene, educate your clients on how to regularly change them and what makes a good one.  Teach them to recognize phishing scams, work with them to avoid clicking on bad links, and help them do the small stuff that adds up to a more secure environment.

You can’t stop a country from attacking a key piece of software because that’s well beyond your control, but there are lots of little things you can do to stop or at least minimize the damage that occurs in the event of an attack. If you do those small things, you’ll be controlling your realm and reducing your client’s attack surface.

Photo: gerasimov_foto_174 / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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