The Security Leaders’ Guide to Managing Shadow IT Risks

In today’s cybersecurity environment, guaranteeing data privacy is an integral part of enterprise risk management.

Corporate executives and stakeholders used to think of enterprise risk purely in terms of investments, competition, and unit economics. Now, cybersecurity policies and intrusion detection capabilities have earned a central place in the discussion.

According to IBM, it takes an average of 280 days to find and contain a cyberattack. The average cost of a successful attack is just under $4 million. Enterprise leaders rely on their cybersecurity teams to identify and address these risks as part of their broader responsibilities to protect the organization and its users.

But this is easier said than done. Integrating best-in-class security technology is only the first step on the way towards operational security excellence. Information security leaders must also develop policies that promote a security-conscious culture throughout the organization.

IT Security is a Balancing Act

Corporate information security typically revolves around policies. Security leaders draft policies that tell employees how to interact with enterprise systems and IT infrastructure. They instruct users how to find and process files, and how to send processed files further down the production line securely.

As enterprise IT infrastructure expands, the complexity of these policies must also grow. A complex multi-cloud deployment can boost productivity significantly, but it also demands changes to security policy. As those policies become more complex, employee and user compliance may suffer.

This situation creates a balancing act between security and usability in the enterprise space. Improving security often comes with a tradeoff cost in usability, making productivity applications harder to use on a daily basis.

“Shadow IT” refers to employee-level resistance to overly complex security policies. When employees deliberately sidestep secure processing and transmission protocols, they expose valuable data to severe risk. If security leaders don’t have a solution for endpoint risk discovery, the exposed data may go entirely undetected.

Shadow IT is More Disruptive Than You Might Think

Let’s imagine your security policy stipulates sales team members have to use a specific messaging app to communicate with customers. This ensures customer data is accessible from your enterprise resource planning software, and it guarantees the security of the data involved.

Now, let’s say your policy-mandated messaging app disrupts the employee experience with frequent authentication requests and verifications. Some employees will try to get around those disruptions by using alternative apps. They might simply use their personal phones to contact customers on Messenger or WhatsApp, for example.

If those alternatives are not part of your policy, then whatever happens on them is essentially invisible to your security team. Critical sensitive data may be scattered across different endpoints and shadow IT applications without anyone’s knowledge. 

Paradoxically, if new security policies push employees to start using shadow IT capabilities, you might end up making security worse instead of better. Where you might have had limited or inadequate visibility before, now you have no visibility at all.

Shadow IT Complicates Compliance

Security leaders operating in a regulated industry need to be able to provide clear and consistent audit trails showing how sensitive data flows throughout the organization. Regulators need to know that there’s a robust information governance solution in place.

If personally identifiable information (PII), personal health information (PHI), or payment card industry (PCI) data ends up on an unsecured endpoint, the responsibility to explain how that happened falls on security leaders’ shoulders. This can be exceptionally challenging when the corresponding logs are missing or otherwise not available.

Every US state has its own set of data breach incident report regulations. In some cases, exposing sensitive data to the public by storing it on unsecured endpoints can be interpreted as a violation of users’ trust, requiring a report. Some states will let organizations avoid filing a report if the breach is “not reasonably likely to cause substantial harm to affected individuals.”

That means that if you detect exposed data early and mitigate the risk it represents to users, you stand a decent chance of maintaining compliance and avoiding damage to your reputation.

The Solution: Address Shadow IT Head-On

In order to address shadow IT risks, you must first shed light on what employees and users are doing to bypass security policies. Gaining visibility is the first step towards meaningfully securing alternative communications and apps throughout the enterprise.

This is a great opportunity to demonstrate empathetic leadership. Threatening or punishing employees for using unsecured applications is likely to backfire. It may simply encourage them to be more secretive about their shadow IT practices, further endangering the enterprise.

Instead, leaders will usually achieve better outcomes by opening up an empowering dialogue about the utility and value of security policies. Encouraging employees to give honest feedback on their user experience can help security leaders build better, more productive solutions.

At the same time, it gives IT security professionals a chance to educate employees and users on how security policies work and why they are in place. Employees are far more likely to demonstrate compliance with these policies when they understand the motives behind them.

This process will take time, but it is a critical step towards establishing a security-conscious office culture that values data privacy. Users and employees must feel empowered to self-police their use of IT infrastructure and achieve secure results.

Automatically Secure Your Data with Actifile

Cultivating a security-conscious office culture is a noble achievement, but it won’t happen overnight. Even once it is fully established, security professionals will need to consciously maintain it by educating employees and securing at-risk data points wherever they occur.

Actifile provides security leaders with automatic risk discovery and data encryption services through a cloud-based airbag-like protection system. Actifile detects unsecured data residing on non-compliance endpoints and remediates data breach risk by encrypting those files. This provides immediate value to security teams and grants much-needed visibility into shadow IT devices and systems currently in use throughout the enterprise.

Top 10 Enterprise Security Technologies You Need in 2022

The cybersecurity tech stack has been spiraling out of control for years now. Even before the rise of industrialized ransomware-as-a-service providers, enterprise security leaders had too many vendors in their tech stacks. Now, the average enterprise deploys an average of 45 different security solutions at any given time.

In the world of information security, more does not necessarily mean better. Having many different cybersecurity solutions working together can easily create gaps in your overall security posture. In many cases, these gaps are nearly invisible – it would take a full audit to uncover them. But that doesn’t mean cybercriminals are equally unaware of them.

Today’s most secure enterprises concentrate their limited time and resources on implementing best-in-class solutions from reputable, trustworthy vendors. Quality, not quantity, is vital for adequately protecting your organization from cyberattack.

For enterprise security leaders, navigating dozens of different technologies is a steep challenge. Finding a set of security solutions that don’t interfere with one another is easier said than done. To that end, we’ve collected a list of high-performance security technologies that work in complementary ways, giving IT leaders a clear reference point for building out their stack.

Top 10 Security Solutions on Enterprise IT Leaders’ Radar in 2022

1. Exabeam SIEM

Security information and event management is a core functionality in the modern enterprise security framework. In order to accurately keep tabs on an increasingly complex attack surface, analysts need to be able to collect and interpret log data from across the entire organization. Early SIEM solutions evolved to meet this need, providing valuable insight on external threats and risk factors.

Exabeam takes the SIEM concept one step further. Instead of comparing log activity to a static set of security rules and policies, it uses user entity and behavioral analytics to verify authenticated users against an internal baseline of authorized activity. This enables Exabeam to identify insider threats and malicious activities that static rules-based SIEMs cannot see, making it a valuable addition to any complex enterprise.  

2. Anomali ThreatStream

SIEM vendors typically include a generic set of threat indicators in their software’s default configuration. These provide the indicators of compromise that analysts match against observed activity on the enterprise network. The more accurate and comprehensive they are, the better.

Anomali ThreatStream is a threat intelligence service that integrates real-time threat activity data with SIEM log capture and analysis capabilities. Instead of matching user activities against hundreds of well-known threat indicators, you can match those activities against a timely, curated list of tens of thousands of indicators collected from across the world.

3. Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) goes beyond the limitations of traditional endpoint detection and response systems. It provides proven endpoint protection that can block sophisticated malware and prevent fileless attacks while extending that coverage using behavioral analytics and valuable investigative toolsets.

Analysts can use Palo Alto Cortex XDR to quickly investigate threats and gain a comprehensive understanding of the tactics and techniques used. They can orchestrate coherent responses to these attacks while maintaining compliance with applicable incident management regulations. Cortex is a powerful and accurate tool for orchestrating and executing successful incident response playbooks in the enterprise IT environment.

4. OneMorePass

Security doesn’t always have to come at the cost of usability. OneMorePass is a technology that updates one of the most overlooked aspects of enterprise security – the password. Even if your password policies are up-to-date, that’s no guarantee that employees and users are adequately taking care of their password habits. They may still reuse passwords across devices, write them down on paper, or share them between account holders.

OneMorePass secures enterprise systems from many of the weaknesses associated with bad passwords. It uses the Fast Identify Online (FIDO) framework to establish dual-factor authentication mechanisms that continuously validate users without interrupting the user experience itself. These authentications typically use a mobile device to register fingerprint, voice, or facial recognition data to ensure a secure environment.

5. Resec CDR

Content Disarm and Reconstruction is one of the most successful prevention-based technologies available to the modern enterprise. Instead of allowing incoming files to move throughout the network, Resec CDR scans the incoming file and rebuilds a perfectly identical one in the same format as the original. If there are malicious scripts included in the original, they are automatically left out by the rebuilding process – even if they’re undetected.

Previous generations of CDR technology created “flattened” files with significantly reduced usability – essentially image files of the source document. Resec provides a fully functional sanitized copy of all incoming files that matches the content and format of the original. With Resec, an incoming spreadsheet will retain its internal structure and metadata and remain fully editable, the way it should be.

6. DeltaForce

Robust security architecture relies on high-quality development and maintenance routines. In an enterprise environment, that means keeping track of multiple languages and technologies through an increasingly complex knowledge base system. Keeping that system up to base is not easy, especially if you have to do it manually.

DeltaForce is a solution that streamlines the process of updating and maintaining enterprise knowledge base content. It automatically imports source files and database schema, then identifies the object-level dependencies they share. This eliminates the need to manually manage object dependencies and build knowledge base data from scratch, making it much easier to identify and secure enterprise vulnerabilities.

7. Microsoft PowerBI

Data visualization is a critical aspect of data-driven enterprise culture. Security leaders can’t achieve results if they’re unable to demonstrate the value of the tasks they undertake and influence others to become more conscientious about their own security habits. Microsoft PowerBI is a data visualization tool that helps security leaders motivate users and other stakeholders to play their part achieving overall security goals.

Real-time analytics enable security leaders to show executives and shareholders how their decisions impact the company’s bottom line. They provide ample data into how security decisions impact productivity, and help make a clear case for continuing security investment to successfully protect against new and evolving threats.

8. DataHawk

Data lineage is critical to effective governance. In order to ensure data flow throughout the organization follows local and national regulation, you must be able to track how that data actually moves through each step in the enterprise workflow. DataHawk gives security leaders insight into how data moves between enterprise departments and what kinds of transformations it undergoes in the process.

This enables the enterprise to break down organizational silos, increase productivity, and simplify compliance management. It also reduces the risks associated with change management, and ensures low-quality data doesn’t interfere with high-level decision-making.

9. Wazuh 

Wazuh is an open-source security platform that has an important role to play in the modern enterprise. Remote work has become a hallmark of the post-pandemic workplace, and many security leaders are still working through the impact remote-enabled teams have on security operations.

Remote log management is one of the key use cases for Wazuh’s open-source security platform. Organizations with a highly diverse, distributed team of employees spread out across the globe can use Wazuh to standardize data collection and curation so that analysts have access to ready-made logs that are easy to interpret without delay.

10. CheckPoint CloudGuard 

Cloud-enabled workflows are becoming increasingly common among large enterprises. While cloud infrastructure is notably more secure than most on-premises solutions, it does present several unique vulnerabilities that information security leaders must address. Relatively few vendors focus specifically on containerized workflow security, which makes it attractive to ambitious, technically proficient cybercriminals.

CheckPoint CloudGuard provides threat prevention capabilities specifically suited to containerized applications common to DevOps pipelines. Agile enterprises need a solution like CloudGuard to prevent unsecured DevOps workflows from impacting production environments and creating avoidable vulnerabilities in their security posture.

Select Your Security Tech Stack With Care

Optimizing your tech stack is one of the greatest responsibilities a security leader must shoulder. A robust, well-integrated set of solutions will reliably prevent cyberattacks and mitigate data disasters. An ill-chosen selection of technologies will have the opposite effect, and it’s hard to predict exactly how a dozen different technologies will interact with one another in a given environment. Take care to select and test high-quality technologies you can rely on to work together seamlessly. Contact us today to implement the best enterprise technologies with ease.


FIDO Explained: How Fast Identity Online Authentication Works

Don’t let bad passwords become the Achilles’ Heel of your organization’s security posture.

Passwords are by far the most common way to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive systems and data. 

It’s easy to understand why passwords have been the security status quo since the earliest days of computing. A good password is nearly impossible to break using conventional brute force attacks, where attackers attempt to guess a password by repeatedly checking millions of possible combinations in sequential order.

However, the definition of a “good password” is constantly changing. During the dot-com era, security professionals set the 8-character password as a viable standard for enterprise security. 

In some industries this is still the case today, despite the fact that hackers can now successfully break even the most complex 8-character passwords in less than an hour. For comparison, an equally complex password with double the number of characters would take 92 billion years to crack.

The problem is that it’s not easy to create and remember such long, complicated passwords. Everyone understands how to make a perfect password using a random sequence of numbers, punctuation marks, and capital and undercase letters. Yet when prompted to create one for themselves, very few actually take time to create and memorize a good password. Instead, they choose one that’s simple, memorable – and easy to crack.

Despite this fact, the average employee is expected to create and remember hundreds of different passwords throughout their career. It’s easy to understand why people tend to reuse passwords, write them down, and generally undermine password effectiveness in their day-to-day operations.

Ultimately, this means passwords tend to fail in their role protecting sensitive data and accounts from unauthorized access. Security leaders constantly try to update and enforce good password policy, but they fail whenever that policy conflicts with employee productivity and ease of use.

FIDO Authentication Techniques Go Beyond Passwords

Passwords are not the only way people can authenticate themselves. Any unique characteristic that a person has can be used to validate their identity. 

Passwords rely on information that only an authorized user is supposed to know. Other authentication methods rely on behaviors or qualities that only authorized users have.

Fast Identity Online is not one specific technology, but a collection of technical standards that push credential security beyond simple passwords. These protocols work together to provide robust credential security without disrupting the user experience or inhibiting productivity.

Many of these authentication processes rely on identifying who users are, instead of testing them on what they know. Examples of FIDO-enabled authentication processes include:

  • Speaking into a microphone
  • Touching a fingerprint scanner
  • Looking into a camera

These authentication factors are much harder to break than even the best passwords. This is especially the case when using multi-factor authentication to validate users using more than one.

Unlike passwords, these factors can undergo periodic validation without interrupting the user experience. In some cases, there is no need to stop authorized users from doing whatever they’re doing when verifying their identities, and it’s possible to verify them multiple times during a single session.

FIDO Protocols Treat Privacy Seriously

Facial images, fingerprints, and voice recordings are examples of highly sensitive biometric data. One of the most important characteristics of the FIDO authentication protocol is how it treats this data to ensure security and user privacy.

Before sending any data for validation, FIDO-enabled devices establish an encrypted communications channel with the verifying server. The private key that secures this channel never leaves the user’s device, reducing the risk it gets intercepted by opportunistic hackers. Similarly, the biometric data itself is stored on the user’s device instead of the validating server.

Before people can start using FIDO authentication protocols, they must register and select the authentication method they feel most comfortable with. FIDO protocols do not generally favor one method over another, so users can simply choose not to provide biometric data they don’t want to share.

In most cases, the data itself comes from a paired mobile device. This way, anyone who uses facial recognition on their smartphone can easily extend that authentication factor to any FIDO-enabled application they have access to. The same goes for fingerprint scanning and vocal identification.

There are additional FIDO-compliant authentication methods that don’t require biometric data at all. For example, users who do not wish to be recorded or scanned can choose to enter a PIN code into their smartphone or press a specific button. This ensures the user is in possession of their mobile device and capable of unlocking it.

FIDO Addresses Password Policy Shortcomings

By challenging users to prove their identity based on biometric data or activity data, FIDO-enabled applications avoid forcing users to remember complicated passwords. When users no longer have to periodically set and change their passwords, they are better positioned to focus on their work without worrying about security policy.

The practical benefit of FIDO-enabled security is that it lifts security responsibility off employees’ shoulders. Instead of prompting them to create, remember, and periodically change a complex password, FIDO requires only that they have a compatible mobile device ready.

There are even FIDO-compliant solutions that don’t require users to validate with their personal smartphone. Universal Second Factor (U2F) devices are secure USB dongles that play the same role, validating user identities and transmitting authentication data to a secure server without disrupting the user experience.

When taken together, these technologies and policies provide strong authentication security without relying on passwords. They address many of the critical weaknesses that come from bad password policy.

Almost 70% of employees admit sharing their passwords with co-workers. FIDO-compliant authentication data cannot easily be shared the way passwords are. The authorized user must be physically present and aware of the session, and may periodically have to renew it. This has a profoundly positive impact on enterprise security compliance.

Implement Best-in-Class Authentication Policies Today

Enhancing your organization’s authentication policies is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve operational security without disrupting the user experience. Implement a FIDO-compliant technology like OneMorePass and benefit from a flexible, secure authentication solution that puts the user experience first.

5 Steps to Improve Enterprise Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a widespread issue across multiple industries. Cyberthreat reports indicate that many companies have been targeted by hackers or been subject to data breaches. One report states that 68% of all organizations in the education industry reported being subject to a data breach over the last year, and 67% of schools had reported being attacked by phishing scams.

Nearly 40% of businesses in the US experienced cyberattacks in 2021. With the cost of recovering from these attacks rising (nearly $3 million on average) and the frequency and complexity of these attacks also increasing, it’s more important than ever for enterprise organizations to create a plan and prepare for these issues.

In this article let’s look at the need for enterprise cybersecurity and how to get started.

Why do enterprise companies need extra security?

Today’s enterprise IT solutions are much more complicated than traditional security. You can’t just put a firewall around on premise hardware, because it is complex and there are many different ways hackers can get in.

While people outside of the company are still the primary cause for much of the attacks, 25% of breaches are now caused by careless employees or even malicious insiders and most companies have an IT infrastructure that’s a mix of old systems, new applications and either public or private cloud-based solutions.

What enterprise cybersecurity really means

Enterprise cybersecurity is used to protect data on the cloud, and old cybersecurity tactics weren’t designed to protect data on the cloud.

To ensure a company’s security, protection must be across on-premise and cloud-based infrastructure as well as vetting third parties. Another important part of cybersecurity is protecting new connections coming to your network.

Why is enterprise cybersecurity such a difficult challenge?

IoT devices like smart cities and connected factories are quickly becoming a norm. Many businesses that rely on IoT networks will experience data hacks without proper security measures in place.

Businesses need data to both engage with their customers and automate their internal processes. But cybercriminals understand exactly how valuable data is, so crimes like ransomware and phishing are increasing. You want to train your employees of the most common mistakes that will lead to cybersecurity issues.

When security breaches occur in a company, the results are costly and devastating. In order to protect your company, you need cybersecurity that goes beyond simply creating a perimeter. With the growing threat, new needs arise for robust enterprise cybersecurity.

5 Steps to Improve Enterprise Cybersecurity

Now that you understand the difference between enterprise cybersecurity and traditional cybersecurity, let’s look at the the top 5 things you can do today to improve it.


You must have a set of boundaries for your assets; each object is protected by information safeguards, such as your data on a local hard drive or the cloud.

Mirroring the changes in cloud computing and the Internet of Things, boundaries have become a more significant issue. Before, local IT staff would safeguard valuable information assets through on-site storage and copying.

When you’re sharing data with a third-party cloud server, there needs to be boundaries in place. Every type of transferable data must have a boundary and, for example, when your company is using different devices for downloading, editing, and uploading, those must also be protected from all possible methods of interception.

Software policies

The second component of enterprise information security is the software environment. Define the purpose and policies for each form of software within your company system. If a software program falls out of use or is old, it should be removed from the system.

When you are defining your environment, you can choose what type of software is allowed to contact the network. If your organization has a lot of employees who come from various devices and have various levels of access to computers and the company’s systems, be aware that any accessible software might pose a threat to your company’s computer system.

To constantly update your software security, you need to make sure you are installing updates and patches, and scanning your devices regularly. These programs are essential to keep your company up to date with the latest trends in technology.

Network security

Step 1: Identify the network environment and boundaries. Step 2: Harden any assets that connect to the network.

To harden your system, scrutinize and test every device for vulnerabilities. If a third party can break one of the devices, reprogram or remove it from the system. Likewise, fix software or cloud protocols which expose private data.

If your network is more secure, it may be less functional. One possible solution is to take the safest steps possible while still maintaining the functionality of your company’s operations.

Plan for vulnerabilities

Although endpoint cybersecurity is often good, there are target vulnerabilities in software programs. Cyber thieves exploit new program patches and updates – it’s important to ultimately stay ahead by staying updated on new methods that cyber thieves use.

Ensure that a security risk or system hole is patched up as soon as it’s discovered. This will prevent your company’s computing network from being vulnerable and unsecured.

You don’t know a data breach is happening until it takes place for a long time. If you want to speed up the process of discovering and correcting a breach in your system, then use an effective remediation plan. Hackers can access your sensitive data for months before someone notices the danger.

Controlled access

Once you have determined who is supposed to have administrative access, you can then cut off their entrance point and prevent hackers or cyber thieves from getting in that way. It is crucial to review the current level of access and determine who has authorized levels of access.

Take a look at the credentials of your employees assigned admin privileges. If they don’t require these abilities, remove them. There should be an exception for someone who plays an important administrative function and requires limited access to this area.

Ready to take the next step?

We-Bridge curates the best enterprise cybersecurity products that will keep your company protected from cyberattacks and breaches. Take a look at our product offerings on our website or schedule a demo today to learn more.

Top 5 Cyber Security Threats of 2022

Recent high-profile cyberattacks have catapulted cyber security into enterprises’ biggest concern in 2022, even more than supply chain disruption or the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Beta News tech report, cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of company networks. This alarming statistic has companies reeling on how to protect their networks from the latest cyber security threats. 

We’ll examine the top five cyber security threats for 2022 and offer some strategies to fortify against these types of attacks. By taking a proactive stance toward cyber threats, you reduce your risk and mitigate these more common types of attacks.

Top 5 Emerging Cyber Security Threats for 2022

Corporate cyber attacks increased by 50% in 2021, but it wasn’t just large enterprises. Many small to medium-sized companies also saw an increase in attacks because of their lack of security expertise and resources. Regardless of your business’s size, your security team needs to be vigilant against these growing cyber security threats:

1. Denial of Service

A Denial of Service (DoS) cyber attack floods a node or network so that it can’t respond. A more complex DoS is a distributed DoS (DDoS) that utilizes a computer network to initiate an attack. These attacks overwhelm the system and make it difficult to trace, allowing the hacker to launch other malware attacks within the targeted network.

The best way to fortify against a DoS or DDoS is to be proactive:

  • Fortify your architecture as much as possible by geographically dispersing servers and assets so that they aren’t in the same location, network, or data center.
  • Set up hardware specifically designed to deter or protect against DoS and keep it updated on system upgrades and patches.
  • Scale your network bandwidth to absorb the larger traffic associated with an attack. 
  • Outsource to third parties that have a scaling infrastructure that has cloud scrubbing services and can remove DoS traffic as soon as it is detected. 

Related Link: Why a Cybersecurity Policy is a Must-Have for your MSP in 2022

2. Internet of Things (IoT)

As more devices and things become smarter and connected to business networks, they will become more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Because the technology is still in its infancy, IoTs create more exposed entry points for hackers to exploit through weak security measures. GovTech predicts that we will see tons of high-profile IoT breaches in the headlines in 2022.

How to Fortify Your IoT:

  • Use high-level encryption. Zero trust end-to-end encryption is an intelligent model.
  • Use unique credentials for every IoT device.
  • Create a separate WiFi network for your IoT to safeguard the mainnet.
  • Disable features you are using to block as many entry points as possible.
  • Update your IoT operating systems as soon as possible.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication.
  • Utilize next-generation firewalls (NGFW) for additional security.

Need a better management system for handling cyber threats and risks? Check out Actifile, the best risk management platform for MSPs.

Related Link: Top 10 Cybersecurity Software Solutions for MSPs in 2022

remote work having a zoom meeting.

3. External Remote Services

As more employees work remotely, it opens the door for hackers to attack remote access services. If not properly secured, they can compromise a VPN, steal RDP credentials, target Virtual Network Computing (VNC), and enter through your mobile device. The hackers use credential pharming to infiltrate the enterprise’s infrastructure. These types of attacks will really accelerate in 2022. 

To fortify your external remote services:

  • Enforce group policies for specific allowed and blocked applications.
  • Disable setting tabs in Internet search engines. 
  • Disable mounting local drives for remote connections.
  • Restrict access to local drives on a remote device.
  • Remove admin privileges.

4. Evolving Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks account for 36% of all network breaches. But the phishing landscape is evolving. While these attacks still primarily happen through email, hackers target their phishing campaigns to reflect current news events to spark better click-through.

To fortify against phishing attacks:

  • Set email filters. It seems basic, but it is effective.
  • Set your email server settings to utilize all email security protocols.
  • Most importantly: Stay informed on new phishing schemes and educate your employees on these new attacks. 

5. Ransomware

Ransomware is not a new cyber threat, but it is effective—making it the preferred method of attack in 2021. Utilizing 120 different types of malware, hackers can extract sensitive data and hold it hostage until the business pays in cryptocurrency. They are using higher-pressure tactics of escalating infection to ensure payment. Ransomware costs are expected to grow to $265 billion by 2031.

To fortify against ransomware:

Hackers look for soft targets with weak security measures, resulting in 37% of all organizations being hit by ransomware. To prepare for the next attack, businesses need to follow the White House’s five-point plan for bolstering security:

  1. Regularly back up all data in a secure data center. 57% of companies prefer a cloud-based backup solution to recover data.
  2. Patch and update all systems and software swiftly.
  3. Test and simulate an incident response plan to identify weaknesses.
  4. Use third-party security tests to validate your security system’s strength.
  5. Segment your network to minimize operation disruption.
VPNs are essential for network security.


To combat these trending cyber security threats, global business spending on cybersecurity will reach $1.75 trillion cumulatively from 2021 to 2025. To avoid being part of the breach statistic, security experts need to think like hackers and develop strategies to deter attacks. 

You can protect your network from cyber attack by following the strategies we’ve mentioned coupled with an emphasis on data privacy, sovereignty, and compliance. We Bridge is a turn-key SaaS solution for helping cloud-centric enterprises fortify their data privacy from cyber-attack through robust assessment, monitoring, and remediation. Our platform employs zero trust encryption and secure data backup for optimal security.

Need third-party security for your network and critical data? Learn more about our data privacy risk platform.

Related Link: Stop using VPN! Why Zero Trust is a Better Solution

12 Difficult Questions MSPs Must Answer

Customers ask questions, and that’s a good thing. It’s even better when you have the answer they need at the ready.

As an MSP, there are many challenging questions that customers and prospects will present to you. Today’s customers are more concerned about cybersecurity than ever.

A startling 70% of consumers will stop doing business with a company after a cyberattack which means it’s a safe bet that some of those questions will be related to security. MSPs need to provide answers that boost consumer confidence, particularly in this area.

Let’s look at a dozen tough questions that dig deep at the underlying cybersecurity skillset of your organization.

Being prepared with answers to these questions directly impacts how your organization presents and might make the difference in closing the deal. 

Spoiler: Number 10 is ESSENTIAL. Not having an answer to this question may put you out of business.

Question 1: Do you have trained, certified subject matter experts in cybersecurity?

This question speaks to the core competency of your MSP organization concerning cybersecurity.

Many MSPs have expertise in areas of technical support and administration but are woefully unskilled in cybersecurity. With how critical cybersecurity is in general IT operations, this is a dangerous oversight.

This also plays a role in whether your business can achieve security accreditation by an organization like CompTIA for their Security Trustmark + rating. 

Question 2: Are you using best-of-breed tools to monitor their systems and yours?

The quality of your toolset speaks loudly about the quality of your service.

To a customer, if you are using substandard or low-quality tools for monitoring, you are likely not observing everything. This can lead to outages and downtime that you could have avoided. 

Question 3: Do you reasonably limit access of their personnel to only those tasks you are required to complete?

This question directly targets whether your organization understands and implements the principle of least privilege. This is highly important for any organization that deals with sensitive data.

With the advent of general data protection regulation (GDPR), sensitive data is no longer limited to healthcare or financial data but includes personal information. 

Question 4: Do you continuously monitor and patch their tools to the latest versions so hackers cannot exploit security holes?

Automated patch management processes are part of “Systems Administration 101,” and whether you have formalized processes or automation in place tells a customer about your MSPs maturity level. 

Question 5: Do you implement Multi-Factor Authentication across their entire network?

The utilization of MFA is no longer just a recommendation. According to Microsoft, it is a critical piece of security infrastructure as it can prevent 99.9% of account attacks.

Customers interested in protecting their data understand this and know that you will provide this for them. 

Question 6: Does their internal security provide multiple layers to thwart hackers who may have made it through one layer?

The layered approach to security is considered a foundational piece of cybersecurity. It is assumed that attackers will break a control at some point, so having multiple layers is crucial.

Whether your company understands this and delivers on it conveys a strong message to customers about your ability to secure their data. 

Question 7: Do you create enough isolation of their systems so a compromised system cannot affect others?

Much like the previous questions, answering this requires showing that you understand it and have delivered on it in the past for other customers. It is also intended to gauge your security maturity as an MSP. 

Question 8: Do you have a formal process in place should an incident occur?

It is straightforward as an MSP to simply answer yes and move forward, but this is an opportunity to show your capabilities.

Have a prepared explanation for what steps are in your process, what types of incidents you address, and data or systems are included. This can help customers feel confident that their data will be protected and recoverable. 

Question 9: Do you have a security training program for your personnel?

Much like the certification question above, this question is meant to determine how ingrained security is in your MSP culture.

It can convey that you take the time to improve the security skills of your technicians so that their skillset is current.

Question 10: Do you work for clients that require compliance under HIPAA, NIST/CMMC, SOX, GDPR, and PCI?

This is a question that is not to be answered without thoroughly examining your MSP capabilities. Even basic customer endpoints are likely to contain sensitive data and have to adhere to compliance mandates.

Saying yes to this means that your MSP has technicians with security skills and, as an organization, can deliver on data security measures for the customer.  

Question 11: Do you have an accredited third party test their security from outside and inside attacks?

Even though many customers will not require this, having an established relationship with a third-party tester that you have worked with before is essential, especially for showing Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI/DSS) compliance.

It shows the customer that you have the experience to liaison with a penetration testing team throughout the engagement if needed. 

Question 12: Do you have a complete set of security policies that your organization follows consistently?

This question again looks at the maturity of your organization and ability to provide on the customer’s day-to-day security needs.

Answering yes to this can assure the customer that your company has taken the time to consider the security implementation related to your business practices and delivers in a repeatable manner rather than one-offs.

Being Prepared

By thinking about these questions in advance, you may have discovered some details about your service that you had not considered before.

Taking the time to consider whether your MSP can deliver on these questions allows you to make improvements before a customer asks you a difficult question.

Even if the answer is that you cannot provide, being prepared for it will enable you to shine rather than stumble in your response.

Do you provide the best cloud-based cybersecurity solutions to your customers? Click here to book a 15 minute call to learn about Ananda and Actifile.

Why a Cybersecurity Policy is a Must-Have for your MSP in 2022

Does your MSP have a consistent way in which it implements and manages cybersecurity? If not, you are opening yourself and your customers up to a lot more liability than you realize.

Failing to have good practices in place opens your business to risk and liability that can directly affect your bottom line. Security breaches cost an average of $3.83 million to resolve.

Any breach involving your customers that they can link to your security practices spells out major liability concerns for your MSP.  

In this article, we explore why an MSP cybersecurity policy is a must-have in 2022 and how it reduces risk and improves operations.  

Why Cybersecurity Policy Matters to MSPs

Policies are simply a set of rules that outline how an organization manages its operations. These rules are important as they create a baseline for the overall operation.

This is even more important for MSPs as the security policies created to apply to the security of the MSP’s data and the customer’s data.

Having these policies in place expresses that your MSP is doing due diligence in protecting customers’ information, which is essential for reducing potential liability. 

Risk of Lax Policy

Failure to implement strong security policies can cost MSPs. In a recent lawsuit, an MSP was sued by a customer that had fallen prey to a phishing scam.

The attack cost the customer $1.7 Million in damages, and the business sued the MSP because the MSP’s security policies were too relaxed, which led to the breach. 

By creating and following strong security policies, MSPs do not leave any room for customers to place the blame on them for security failures.

This is important for MSPs to consider as any customer data they fail to protect might be covered under compliance regulations such as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These regulations all have strong penalties for failure to comply. Recent studies have shown that the cost of non-compliance can run over $14 million, which is a significant liability that MSPs will want to avoid. 

Benefits of Cybersecurity Policy

Cybersecurity policies prevent one-off solutions for organizational security. Rather than re-developing the wheel every time your organization must address a security need, security policies instead outline the baseline rules that you must follow to meet it.

It creates an overriding vision of security that drives consistency and improves security across your MSP and customer base.  

A good cybersecurity policy that is strictly adhered to can also reduce potential liability for your organization. It is not enough to have a good security policy in place, but it also needs to be adhered to consistently.

This makes it harder for customers to argue that any security failures are the fault of your MSP rather than failings on their part. 

Developing Good Policies

Developing good policies is a combination of art and science. Some prescriptive items should be in all policies, and other factors about how things are stated require a bit of thought for their development.

An example of this is that policies should be developed with high-level guidance about controls and processes so that they are evergreen.

Rather than listing specific technologies to manage a control such as “Actifile for encryption,” they should instead list all sensitive data to be encrypted up to FIPS 140-2 standards.

This way, the baseline of what needs to be done is understood, yet if the technology changes, it does not force a rushed update of policies.

What Should be Included?

Fortunately, the prescriptive items are more of a check box for policy development. For example, all policies need an objective statement and a listing of strategies to meet the objective.

When developing new policies, it’s easy to include sections for this information before defining the steps, so it is never missed.

Other template details are that policies need to be formally accepted by business leadership. This is usually done by including a signature portion at the bottom for key stakeholders such as the COO or Director of Information Security.

This signature is to denote that they had a say in the development of the policy. 

Templates For Rapid Implementation

Regarding templates, even MSPs that have never developed security policies have resources to get them started.

There are several existing security templates available online that are sufficient to get you started.  SANs offers examples of these standardized cybersecurity policy templates.

Templates are divided up by security domain, and they range from generic acceptable use policies to more targeted removable media policies.

These templates have been used widely throughout the industry and will form a solid baseline for your MSP business and its customers. 

A Partner Who Can Help

We-Bridge has the experience to help your organization with solutions that can help grow your organization and secure your clients. Schedule a demo today to learn how We-bridge can help your organization evolve its security posture.  

Top 5 Revenue Streams for MSPs to Explore in 2022

With ransomware on the rise and cyber attacks happening every 39 seconds, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) face a golden opportunity. With the addition of a few key services, MSPs can increase their revenue and improve their clients’ security – it’s a win/win.

Existing MSP customers are woefully under-equipped to handle a full-scale cyber attack. With bad actors installing malware, stealing data, and leaving environments crippled in their wake, customers need protection capabilities that only MSPs can provide. 

Kaysea has found that 90% of high-growth MSPs have added four to five new service offerings to their catalog in the last two years. These services directly target customers’ security gaps – providing anti-virus (AV), patch management, disaster recovery, and data protection. 

In this article, we explore how MSPs can increase their revenue by selling software solutions to meet their customer’s unmet needs and installing and running these solutions for them. 

Top 5 Revenue Streams for MSPs

To Cash Flow!

Endpoint Management

Endpoint management expands the core services of many MSPs by adding on an additional layer of service for the customer. Endpoint management is a value-added service that brings together anti-virus, patch management, and configuration management.

Often, MSP customers either do not have endpoint management solutions or the ones they do have require additional setup and configuration beyond the customers’ capabilities.

MSPs get an additional revenue stream by selling, installing, and managing these software solutions. Still, they are also helping to make the customer environment more secure, which decreases support needs.

Many of these solutions come with a convenient dashboard where MSPs will sell to multiple customers and monitor them all through one cohesive dashboard. This allows the tracking of patch status, inventory, as well as delivering remote support.

Example Products include:

  • Exosphere is a unified threat management solution for small businesses to protect themselves against viruses and malware. Unlike legacy anti-virus systems, this modern software uses multiple techniques to defend against advanced forms of malware. 
  • Manage Engine is a comprehensive endpoint management solution for MSPs to help efficiently manage customer endpoints from a centralized location. It incorporates patch management, asset management, and remote control into one easy-to-use interface. Leverage predefined configurations and scripts to better baseline and manage all varieties of customer environments

Backup and Disaster Recovery Services 

When disaster or ransomware strikes, customers need to get back their data quickly and efficiently. But without solid infrastructure, they could be left high and dry.

Many customers either have no disaster recovery (DR) or legacy DR in place that is insufficient to meet the needs of backing up and recovering all of their essential data quickly and efficiently. 

MSPs can offer disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) to their clients to help them bridge this gap. As a DRaaS provider, MSPs deliver their process and implementation expertise along with a software solution to the customer.

This added service helps elevate an MSP from simply a service provider to a trusted advisor opening the door for customers requesting future services. 

Example products include: 

  • Exosphere is a multi-purpose solution for your customers. Going beyond simply AV and offering the ability to backup and restore customer endpoint files to rapidly and efficiently recover as a last line of defense against corruption by malware or ransomware. 

User Access Review Solutions

Protecting customer data requires taking a data-centric approach to security. To do this, a customer has to ensure that the right people have the proper access.

This includes making sure that they adhere to the principle of least privilege and only have access to the data they need to complete their jobs.

Doing this requires conducting organized access reviews, identifying existing users’ access, and validating whether that is still necessary through the data owner. 

There are multiple solutions that MSPs can provide to help customers assess their user access and help them meet their compliance needs. Products such as Saviynt, SailPoint, SecureEnds, and ClearSkye offer in-depth identity governance and administration capabilities that extend from on-premise to the cloud. 

Data Protection

Not to be confused with backup and DR (though there is some overlap), data protection ensures that organizations know where their data is being used. Part of this is covered in data loss prevention and partially in data leak prevention.

One helps in cases of ransomware and accidental (or malicious) deletion, and the other ensures that sensitive data does not leave the organization. 

Example products include:

  • Actifile helps organizations find and protect their most sensitive data. It automates data risk assessments, monitors sensitive data, and applies direct protection and encryption against internal and external threats.
  • Stealthbits protects not only an organization’s sensitive data but also the credentials that supply access to it. Stealthbits discovers where data lives and then classifies, monitors, and secures it. It integrates governance into the process, so security, compliance, and operations work as one.

Compliance & Assessment Services

MSPs can help their clients achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. Many clients cannot attain this independently, and MSPs can provide solutions that help them meet these goals.

Each solution listed brings capabilities required for different compliance frameworks such as vulnerability assessment, Zero Trust, and AV/DR functionality. 

Some products to help achieve compliance:

  • BeSecure is a vulnerability assessment and management tool for networks, hosts, and web apps. It helps organizations cover major compliance mandates such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO-2700x, and more. 
  • Ananda connects users, devices, and cloud services using a secure Zero-Trust model. Zero Trust offers in-depth monitoring, access control, and implementation of true least privilege. Each of these can help meet compliance mandates such as HIPAA, SoX, and PCI.

One-Stop Shop for MSP Software


Increasing revenue as an MSP requires going beyond your existing services and providing additional solutions to meet your customer’s needs.

By selling and implementing software solutions that cover customer gaps, you increase revenue and improve the customer experience. 

We-Bridge partners with only the best companies to serve you a complete and curated platform of cyber security solutions. Our offerings are trusted solutions with scalable resale models to help meet your customer’s needs no matter their size. Contact us today for a short demo.

Stop using VPN! Why Zero Trust Is A Better Solution

Though Virtual Private Networking (VPN) has been used for many years by businesses to keep proprietary information and sensitive communications secure, it’s more used in 2021 than ever before with the new-age of remote work. 

Once the de facto standard solution for allowing end-users to access internal network resources from remote locations securely, they can no longer keep up with modern security needs. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 60% of enterprises will phase out VPNs in favor of Zero Trust Network Access. Driving this change is the rise of internal threats and the fact that 37% of all breaches are credential theft. 

Organizations need to take control of what resources are accessible via remote access. An essential part of doing this is to narrow the scope of access to the least privileges. Applying least privilege is a double win because it reduces the attack surface and meets compliance mandates like HIPAA, PCI, and SoX. Then even if attackers do happen to get in, the overall 

In this article we take a look at the weaknesses of a VPN and why companies should switch to a Zero Trust model of security.

The Problem With VPN


With an increasingly global market and widespread remote work still being the norm, more traffic than ever is going over VPN. This added traffic makes it harder to detect malicious actions of bad actors. Attackers use credential stuffing and stolen credentials to access internal networks because the controls are often weaker once they’ve gotten inside the secure perimeter. 

A VPN provides only basic protection for an organization. It allows access from a remote location while masking a user’s IP address by tunneling traffic through a 3rd party data center. This creates multiple points of failure: 

Failure #1: VPN Data Center

When you connect to a VPN, all of your data goes through a 3rd party data center. VPN providers claim they do not keep user logs or data, however there are little to no laws or regulations in place to protect your data. 

Failure #2: One key to access everything

Once you log into a VPN, you can access everything. It assumes everything inside the network is secure and everyone accessing it should have the same level of access as if they were physically in an office building. If a hacker gains credentials to the network, there’s no additional protection for your data once they are inside the network. 

Failure #3: Assuming hackers aren’t inside your organization

We’d like to assume our employees aren’t out to harm us – but it’s not safe to assume. When using a VPN, there is no way to limit access. Your data may be at risk even inside your organization and your network should be completely secure and monitored. 

What is Zero Trust?

A Zero Trust Network does exactly what its name suggests – never trust. Instead of one authentication method to access everything, zero trust offers multiple authentication requirements for every operating system no matter where the request comes from. 

Let’s look at the problems with VPN listed above, and how a Zero Trust Network solves those problems. 

Failure #1: VPN Data Center – no data center used here. All data is authenticated, authorized and encrypted without the use of a 3rd party data center. 

Failure #2: One key to access everything – even if a hacker gains access to a network they will not have access to other data without further authorization. Everything is also constantly monitored for potential breaches. 

Failure #3: Assuming hackers aren’t inside your organization – users can be assigned different levels of access. A CFO and an account executive don’t need the same level of access to your organization’s data. 

Ananda Networks – The Best Zero Trust Network 

Ananda Networks

There are many Zero Trust Network providers – the majority of which will come with additional hardware, hidden fees, no integration capabilities and complex deployment processes. That’s where Ananda Networks is different.

Unlike other solutions, Ananda is 100% software based. There’s no additional hardware you need to purchase, and no complicated setup. This keeps your overhead low and lets you transition from your VPN in just 15 minutes. 

Integration with your SaaS applications and identity provider is easier than ever using SAML and cloud connectors to set up a direct connection. This makes it even easier to deploy a zero trust network. 

Ananda also uses machine learning to bypass cloud protocols and offer bandwidth optimization by continuously searching for the fastest connection route. No bandwidth or protocol limitations means up to 25x faster than what you’re experiencing with a VPN.

If you’d like to learn more about what Ananda Networks can do for you, click here to schedule a demo with us today. 

Top 10 Cyber Security Software Solutions for MSPs in 2022

Managed services providers (MSPs) that deal with sensitive data on behalf of their customers face many challenges. To stay competitive, they must stay up to date with emerging technologies and offer only the best cybersecurity software for their clients. 

In 2022, MSPs need to offer solutions for a multitude of complex security problems – including risk assessment and management, network security, ticket and asset management, and more. 

We’ve created a list of the top 10 cybersecurity products that MSPs can offer their customers. To make the list, the software must meet the following strict criteria: 

  • Software only – When added hardware is involved it makes the solution complicated and expensive to set up. 
  • Extremely secure – The product must be the most secure offering compared to its competitors. 
  • Affordable – Products on this list must be low-cost compared to other solutions.
  • Reliable – Both the product and the company must be reliable so your customers can stick with it long term. 

2022 is sure to bring a number of challenges for your MSP—here are some of the best tools on the market today that will make your MSP business stand out from the competition.

Top 10 Cyber Security Software Solutions for MSPs in 2022

Here We Go


beSECURE is a vulnerability assessment and management tool for networks, hosts, and web apps. It runs continuous or periodic scans, automated attacks, and compliance scans. 

This tool is safe to run in production environments. It helps organizations cover major compliance mandates such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, ISO-2700x, and more. It’s fast to deploy and can be used on internal and external resources.

beSECURE is an excellent tool for helping take a proactive approach to secure your customer’s digital environment. Identifying and closing security gaps makes your client a more challenging target for attackers – decreasing the risk of an attack and minimizing the time your organization will need for remediation and clean-up after a cyber attack.


NinjaRMM is an IT Service Management (ITSM) tool that helps MSPs manage their customer infrastructure. Get up-to-the-minute statuses on customer endpoints to quickly see what needs attention. 

Growing your MSP requires efficiency, speed and automation wherever possible. Tools such as NinjaRMM enable your organization to streamline most tasks, freeing up time for your staff to handle more critical jobs.


Actifile helps organizations find and protect their most sensitive data. It automates data risk assessments, monitors sensitive data, and applies direct protection against internal and external threats.

Actifile is about more than simply encrypting data to protect against threats. By identifying where sensitive data lies, you can take additional measures to protect it. Doing this also helps you help your customer meet compliance requirements such as HIPAA, SoX, and PCI.

ConnectWise Command

ConnectWise Command helps MSPs efficiently scale. It uses intelligent monitoring and alerting to consolidate events into single tickets. It also streamlines patch management and deployment with automation. 

Your staff has more important things to do than sit in front of a management console waiting for tickets to appear. ConnectWise Command’s automated alert system allows them to go about their day-to-day tasks while still being aware of problems as soon as they happen. 


Exosphere is a unified threat management solution for small businesses to protect themselves against viruses and malware. Unlike legacy anti-virus systems, this modern software uses multiple techniques to defend against advanced forms of malware. 

Ransomware is on the rise and getting more complex. MSPs today must be able to protect their clients beyond basic attacks. Exosphere can catch existing malware and new varieties as they are created. This gives you an edge on bad actors and helps protect against tomorrow’s attacks today. 

Logic Monitor

LogicMonitor monitors everything in your IT stack, in one platform, automatically correlating data to provide answers on how to model, avoid issues and optimize your IT environment.

More and more customers are leveraging the cloud every day. Not every solution can handle this dynamic environment where nodes are continually created and destroyed when scaling. LogicMonitor gives you the ability to watch the cloud without constantly reconfiguring to track changes. 


VPNs are an outdated solution for allowing remote access to digital environments. Zero Trust Networks are the modern and most secure way to solve this problem. Ananda connects users, devices, and cloud services using a secure zero-trust model. 

Ananda enables businesses to create their own private, high-performance, low-latency network that allows them to connect their distributed workforce with unparalleled speed, security, and simplicity.

Ananda also uses machine learning to bypass cloud protocols and offer bandwidth optimization by continuously searching for the fastest connection route. No bandwidth or protocol limitations means up to 25x faster than what you’re experiencing with a VPN.


Confluence helps your workforce connect and share information no matter where they may be located. Confluence is a centralized information repository to create a single source of truth for your organization. Document solutions and projects with easy templates and share securely with group-based permissions. 

With proper documentation, MSPs can avoid having to solve the same problems twice. Using groups and role-based permissions lets you provide customers with self-help documentation targeted toward their organization while keeping internal notes and data private.  


DeltaForce provides deep insight into applications to solve a wide range of issues. Automatic code documentation, pinpointing changes in application or source code, mapping dependencies, and inspecting code quality all lead to a drastic improvement in productivity. 

DeltaForce has documented productivity improvements of as much as 75% with customers who have integrated it. 


ITGlue helps your organization control the information sprawl of documentation. It maps relationships in documentation to make it easier to find information related to what is being accessed. 

It also integrates an easy-to-use password management tool to simplify access for teams without having to store shared passwords in easy-to-steal documents. This increases security tenfold.

Choosing MSP-built solutions


When evaluating products to offer as an MSP, don’t discount the importance of choosing solutions designed with MSPs in mind. Unlike standard businesses, MSPs need to manage multiple customers simultaneously. Cyber security software must have this ability baked into their product for it to be useful.

We-Bridge partners with only the best companies to serve you a complete and curated platform of cyber security solutions. Our offerings are crafted specifically for the needs of MSPs and their clients. Contact us today for a short demo.