Ransomware Attack: East Texas, Is Your MSP at Risk?

by

June 22, 2020

IT is getting more complex, and many small to medium-sized businesses are turning to MSPs to handle their IT services in East Texas. Ransomware targets businesses on an alarming basis, taking down state government agencies and even MSPs as it spreads; how can a small to medium-sized business fight back? Ransomware attack? East Texas needs to be prepared.

Ransomware Evolves

Ransomware used to primarily target consumers who were easily duped into believing they needed to pay a “fine” or purchase software for non-existent computer issues. These early attacks were “cast a wide net and see who we catch” in nature, much like phishing attacks are now for emails. As consumers caught on to the game, anti-malware in privately owned devices became a new “norm” and these attacks became less effective and less profitable for the bad guys.

For a while, it seemed ransomware was fading into obsolescence. It reared its ugly head again, however, and began spreading throughout 2018 and 2019 in ever-increasing numbers. Ransomware was back, with a new face, new tactics, and new targets.

Ransomware, East Texas, targets businesses just like yours to the tune of 365% more over the past two years then in the years prior. While these bad actors are upping the ante on businesses they are decreasing their attacks on consumers.

That’s great news for your customers, but bad news for your business.

Since 2014, the very companies that protect businesses like yours have been quietly under attack themselves. In 2018, the CISA released an alert for IT services in East Texas warning them to be aware of the increasing threat to MSPs.

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2020 was a Heck of a Year for Ransomware East Texas Targets

In 2019, twenty-two cities were victims of a coordinated ransomware attack throughout Texas. In February of 2020, the Nacogdoches School District was targeted, along with a ransomware hit in Garrison. As recently as May of 2020, both TXDOT and the state’s judiciary system were hit with ransomware.

To quote Jerry Seinfeld, “What’s the deal with that?”

East Texas is becoming a hot spot for ransomware attacks, with one spate of attacks appearing to originate from a hacked Texas-based MSP (read the Press Release here).

Ouch.

What do you do when even the company you depend on to protect your data can be breached?

Integris Provides Reliable IT Services East Texas Needs to Fight Back

Integris (formerly Wood Networks) understands that there is still risk for clients who choose MSPs for their IT needs. The mindset driving ransomware attacks East Texas needs to remember for MSP targets is a simplistic one: why would you rob the store for a gallon of milk if you can rob the farm and get the whole herd of cows?

Matt Lee, Integris’s Director of Technology, refers to this as a “multiplication of force,” explaining, “Rather than spend time and effort on many smaller attacks with lower yields of information, why not target the companies who protect them?”  In other words, the amount of data stolen during the breach of an MSP is far greater than an individual attack on the companies the MSP serves.

You should be aware of the responsibilities the MSP that provides your IT services in East Texas has to your business, and make sure to ask them how protected they really are in the face of increasing attacks.

Ryan Weeks, Chief Information Officer at Integris’s partner, Datto, explains: “There are steps that MSPs can and should take today to shore up defenses against such future attacks.” He goes on to clarify, “Scrutinizing their own credential management and authentication as well as network connectivity and remote access by all users is the first place MSPs must start.”

Your MSP must protect itself before it can protect your business. Integris takes its responsibilities to its small to medium-sized businesses very seriously.

Integris has a mindset that MSPs should always be on a state of “high alert.” As Matt Lee says, “We need to live in a world that believes we are already compromised, and act accordingly.” Integris isn’t surprised by the attack on MSPs and had already been taking steps to protect clients before the IT service providers themselves started becoming targets.

Integris protects its clients with a multi-layered approach.

End to End Encryption

Integris practices what it preaches. We make sure every device our employees use is encrypted, as well as teaching our clients the high-value security factor of device encryption.

We Build Our Own Toolsets

By building our own toolsets, we remove the risk of unintentionally introducing infected software to our clients.

Third-Party Security

It’s like that old rhetorical question, who delivers the mailman’s mail?  Who protects the companies that protect you? Integris outsources its company-wide cybersecurity to an outside MSSP for an extra layer of protection for us and all the clients we represent.

Geofencing

Integris services in East Texas uses geofencing, a virtual perimeter that limits access to all digital assets.

Separation of Powers

At Integris, we believe the best way to avoid single-source infiltration is by separating powers. In other words, the person who is creating accounts will not be the same person who protects them. This ensures that a hacker would only get “half the story” rather than the entire book.

Improving and Seeking Compliancy

Integris is constantly striving to meet and exceed all compliancy standards and expectations.

Multifactor Authentication

Another practice what you preach standard, Integris requires the same multifactor authentication that we recommend for our clients.

Simulations

We not only perform simulated attacks for our customers, we do them for our own personnel to gauge our network’s readiness for a real-world attack. We send randomized phishing attempts to our employees to make sure they are on top of their game, able to spot and avoid the most common source of malware attacks, phishing emails.

Security is Our Top Focus:

We know that ransomware targets providers of IT services in East Texas, and we also know that ransomware is just one of many attacks our clients face. At Integris, we think the best defense against any malware attack is to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. We offer constantly evolving cybersecurity platforms and strategies, like our two-tiered endpoint detection & response (EDR) security solution.

Always Looking for the Next Step of Security Evolution

Integris has established itself as a thought leader in the industry, having a voice in the way third-party vendors create and provide services. Iconic’s biggest question every day is, “How can we be better?”

We understand that our third-party vendors must work in a close partnership with our company to provide protection not only for our clients but for ourselves.

Matt Lee is proud of the steps Integris is taking to protect itself in a world of threats to MSPs. “We are doing more than any other IT company in the industry to protect ourselves, and our clients, to date.”

Integris Services East Texas Offers Reliable Services for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

How much do we believe in our services? We are the home of the no-contract, 30-day money-back MSP guarantee.  Integris services East Texas would like to introduce our self to you with a free, no-risk, no-obligation consultation (including a dark web scan). Let us show you how protected can really be.

Integris services East Texas, including Tyler, Longview, Kilgore, Whitehouse, Flint, Bullard, Lindale, Brownsboro, Athens, and Mineola.

 

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