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When clients hire you as their managed services provider, it means they have trusted you with the most important asset in their business – their data. This is a trust that if breached can never be recovered. Just one attack could damage your reputation and cause you to lose clients and revenue.

You know it is of the utmost importance to ensure that your clients’ data remains safe and secure, but fighting against hackers can be a constant challenge. With new technology coming out every day and armies of people working to exploit that technology, what threats are out there and how can you fortify your systems against them?

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The Rising Threat of Ransomware

One of the biggest modern threats is ransomware. As you may know from recent news stories of large companies enduring this type of attack, ransomware is a special type of threat in which hackers will lock businesses out of their data or threaten to release sensitive data if they are not paid a specified ransom by a certain time.

While large attacks tend to make the news, this threat is not limited to large corporations and multi-million dollar ransoms. Sometimes, ransomware attackers will intentionally perform smaller attacks on many different small to medium sized companies in order to avoid publicity or jail time.

In 2017, hackers held a ski resort’s key system hostage and demanded just two bitcoins (around $1800 value at that time) for re-entry. Hotel guests could not access their rooms, and the resort had no choice but to pay quickly. In a more concerning incident around this same time, a hospital was locked out of their own computer systems until they paid a ransom of $17,000.

As you can see, even a small attack can wreak havoc on a business, and no one is immune. Any one of your customers could be compromised, and they would likely point the finger at the person they are trusting to protect them. In addition, what if a vulnerability in a customer system caused yours to be infiltrated? I’m sure you can imagine how any attack could prove devastating.

Unfortunately, data has shown that cyber crime in general and ransomware specifically will do nothing but rise in the future. Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein has stated that he predicts the cost of cybercrime will double from $3 trillion in 2015 to $6 trillion in 2021, and the US Department of Justice has shown that ransomware attacks have quadrupled from 1,000 attacks per day in 2015 to more than 4,000 attacks per day in 2017. Damage costs from ransomware are forecasted to be $11.5 billion by 2019.


Office 365 – A Prime Target

As Microsoft’s fastest growing and most widely used solution, Office 365 is a prime target for these attacks. Just one vulnerable inbox can provide hackers with access to an entire corporation’s information, and hackers live to exploit this.

Even as little as a few months ago, a security flaw called “baseStriker” was uncovered by a private corporation searching for holes in the system. While Microsoft patched this hole two weeks later, if someone with malicious intent had found it first, as many as 100 million email users could have been compromised.

While Microsoft does have security measures in place to protect users, at the end of the day, it is up to you to ensure that your customers are protected from these evolving attacks.

A recent study shows that almost half of security incidents in small and medium businesses (the normal size of business that would outsource their IT to a MSP) were due to user error. Some specific threats include unauthorized administrator access, users unknowingly clicking on malicious links, and users continuing to work on outdated software.

So how can you ensure no human error causes a security incident in your customers’ environment when you often do not have direct control over employee behavior and security compliance? Just one employee not doing their updates or ignoring a security alert could prove disastrous. You have a responsibility to your customers to protect them, yet often do not have the ability to baby-sit their employees or even provide appropriate training.


The Solution – Office Protect

Office Protect can help you to overcome these obstacles to keep your customers safe. It is designed as a single pane of glass solution that utilizes several key features to help you ensure valuable data is safe.

Monitoring and Alerts

With 24/7 monitoring, you never have to wonder what is happening in your customers’ environment again. Office Protect will alert you to any suspicious activity, administrator abuse, unusual sign-ins, or alterations to your security policy. As soon as something suspicious happens, you can react to it, preventing disaster even in the case of non-compliance.

Threat Protection

You can stop threats before they occur with Office Protect’s Threat Protection service. Audit logs are always-on, and you can enable multi-factor authentication either for all administrators or all users, ensuring that only the right people have access to the system. You can even set outbound spam notifications to make sure no one accidentally sends out a malicious link to their entire organization or even to another organization.


Finally, Office Protect has built-in reporting to provide you with valuable insights about each of your customers’ environments. Easy to read activity dashboards and automatically generated reports reduce time spent digging for information, and everything is easily exported to PDF or CSV for record-keeping and analysis.


Helping Navigate Ever-Changing Cyber Security Threats

The world of cyber security can be scary and the thought of going up against thousands of attacks every day is surely daunting, but Office Protect can provide you with peace of mind.

It returns the power to prevent security threats to your hands and allows your team to be proactive in stopping threats instead of constantly reacting to threats that have already happened.

Want to learn more about how this Office Protect can help you keep your customers safe? Contact a Sherweb representative today.

Written by Alexandre Painchaud Marketing Strategist @ Sherweb

Alex is always searching for new ways to help partners crush their marketing and sales goals. Previously a marketing content specialist at Sherweb, he’s well-versed in how to engage both existing partners and their potential clients in products, tools and solutions to help them succeed. When he’s not in the office planning new initiatives to drive partner revenue, Alex enjoys playing basketball and listening to true crime podcasts.