Anyone that has spent any time in my company in a professional capacity (or indeed a personal capacity) will know that I like to talk about ransomware a lot.
I remember doing a presentation a few years ago about the history of computer viruses. I went through the timeline, from Elk Cloner up to the latest and greatest ransomware threat and the emergence of Ransomware as a Service on the dark web. It was actually quite a good presentation, but alas I can’t find it so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Ransomware threats were the reason I signed my MSP up as a partner with Zenith Infotech, and shortly after that, I saw Datto at an event in the US and I was sold. This was the tool we had been looking for to help protect our clients, so as soon as I came home, we became one of their first partners in EMEA.
I would go on to join Datto eventually to work with my friend Andrew Stuart, but also as I 100% believed in the goal behind Datto, from Austin McChord down.
I was still talking about ransomware a lot. I was talking about it several times a week at presentations all over the world, I was speaking to MSPs about it, I was speaking to end-users about it, and I was talking to bar staff about it, probably.
But who was listening? MSPs were for sure, but they were sometimes having a hard time explaining it to their clients. MSPs didn’t want to be fearmongering, and it certainly didn't help that their SMB clients also had a mentality of “it won’t happen to us”.
So then imagine my surprise when I see that the most powerful man in the world and his White House aides are now talking about it.
The White House issued an open letter to business owners where Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger stated:
"All organizations must recognize that no company is safe from being targeted by ransomware, regardless of size or location. We urge you to take ransomware crime seriously and ensure your corporate cyber defense match the threat."
This is huge news and a very good point for MSPs to bring up when speaking to clients.
Protecting against ransomware requires multiple solutions. Backup and Business Continuity play a part for sure, but so do more basic MSP services, like Patch Management. Additionally, Password and Identity Management provide another layer of protection to clients.
The letter states the need for complex passwords and multi-factor authentication, which can prevent a major route of infection. It’s very much something you can help your clients with by deploying a password manager, like MYKI for example.
So at last, now is the time. Speak to your clients, show them the White House letter, explain that regardless of size or location, everyone is a target, and you may finally be pushing against a slightly more open door.