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Now more than ever, small to medium-sized businesses are turning to managed service providers to fulfill their cybersecurity needs, and they have good reasons to. Since the pandemic, businesses of all sizes underwent a digital transformation. Some may even call it a digital revolution. In 2021, 83 percent of companies adopted to work-from-home with the global SaaS email users eclipsed 270 million. With more organizations migrating their infrastructure to public cloud, the market had surpassed $380B in 2021.  

The digital revolution was a much-welcomed change, but it did bring on challenges. It has created a global cybersecurity talent shortage. This was well observed by cybercriminals who have been capitalizing by increasing the speed and sophistication of their attack tactics. While the social engineering of the attacks has become harder for traditional security products to detect, security vendors are catching on and have advanced their defense tactics with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral based threat detection.  

Most cyberattacks, even the zero-day attacks, operate very similarly once deployed. Below are the 3 common stages of cyberattack anatomy. It is important for MSPs to recognize these stages because, although it is impossible to prevent every cyberattack, but as the saying goes: knowledge is power.  

Anatomy of an attack

Infiltration: through social engineering tactics, hackers trick users into visiting a phishing website and sharing their log in credentials, providing hackers access to infiltrate their infrastructure. 

Reconnaissance: once hackers have access to an organization’s network, they rarely launch their attacks right away. Using compromised accounts, they monitor and track the activity of the victim’s company. They look for ways for lateral movements to maximize their attack.  

Attack: hackers launch their attacks either by executing malware, exfiltrating data, or encrypting the victims’ files and holding them ransom. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Here’s the good news, by applying best practices to cybersecurity, you can help prevent and manage a cyberattack. Download the MSP Guide to Combating the Cybersecurity Problem Infographic to learn more about the best practices to cybersecurity hygiene.  

Cybercriminals don’t discriminate. No matter the size of your customers’ business, cybersecurity must always be top of mind. By understanding the anatomy of cyberattacks and applying best practices to protect your customers will help protect them from the increasingly intense cyberthreat landscape.

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Photo: Black Jack / Shutterstock


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Posted by Amber Montgomery

Amber Montgomery is a Content Marketing Associate at Barracuda MSP. With a sales background, Amber intends to bring what's worked in the past into creating content that can help MSPs grow their business. In her role at Barracuda MSP, she will focus on creating assets to enable MSPs in sales and marketing.

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