Learning From 2021
Just after the MSP business was starting to recover from ransomware attacks launched in 2020 through MSP platform providers ConnectWise and SolarWinds, the year 2021 brought fresh attacks at the channel via another key platform, Kaseya: the July REvil ransomware attack launched by Russian attackers, and the December Log4j exploit which attacked a wide swath of the IT industry, including via Kaseya.
While the impact to Kaseya and its MSP partners from Log4j was limited, the REvil attack caused issues for over 50 Kaseya customers. However, Kaseya was able to do something few have successfully done: fight back. The company brought in the FBI and other government entities and helped not only recover much of the ransom that was paid out, but also helped catch at least one Russia-based suspect.
Fred Voccola, CEO of Kaseya, told CRN that his company, and the MSP business as a whole, saw the value of transparency and of working with authorities to combat hackers, despite what he said were pressures from so-called experts to keep the FBI out of the loop.
“There were experts that were telling us, ‘Don’t engage with the FBI,’” Voccola told CRN. “Like that’s the dumbest [reaction]. Literally, a playbook from a lot of experts we engaged with, whether they’re law firms or other types of organizations, said do not bring the FBI into your four walls. My advice to every company in the world, if something happened from cyber, is, the FBI’s the best friend you could ever have.”
As a result of the experience from the attacks of the last couple years, Voccola said, MSPs and their customers are now much more secure. However, he said, there is much work to be done, especially for smaller MSPs who have been late to make security a core competency, he said. “Every MSP is now an MSSP (managed security service provider), or else they’re going outta business,” he said.
There is much work to be done to secure the small and midsize businesses that are by and large served by MSPs. Click through the slideshow to see what Kaseya is doing, and what Voccola says MSPs need to be doing.