Tip Tuesday: Identity theft, password protection, and data loss aren’t a joke

This week’s tip comes from our recent webinar with Brent Fairbanks from Electronic and Computer Specialties Inc., and Dan Wensley from Passportal. With customers and their end-users dealing with so many passwords that are constantly expiring, Brent has capitalized on this pain point by using password management as a gateway to onboarding more SMB customers to managed services contracts. Dan Wensley is the current president of Passportal, a company designed to ease today’s password woes. Based on their webinar, How Password Security Paired with Data Backup Can Help Your Business, here is our advice:

Starting the conversation about managed services with prospects can be challenging. However, password management is a good way to get your foot in the door with hesitant prospects. Today, everyone has so many passwords to manage, and taking on that responsibility for SMB companies can help you alleviate some of their password pain—especially if you have customers on the healthcare industry. In February, a Miami hospital was penalized with a $5.5 million HIPAA fine due to a breach using a terminated employee’s credentials, something proper password management could have helped them avoid But, storing passwords for your SMB customers isn’t enough, especially with today’s looming threats.

We suggest taking Brent’s approach and using password management to introduce customers to managed services. After they get on board, you can pair password services with more robust security and data protection solutions, such as a next-generation firewalls and a backup and recovery solution. It’s in your best interest to keep your SMBs safe, and employing robust solutions like this is will help you and your customers in the long-run. After all, when it comes to threats like ransomware, no business is immune. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ransomware attacks target small businesses.

3 Password musts

Whether you decide to put a password management product in place or simply educate your current customers on password best practices, here are three steps you can’t overlook.

1. Always change the default password. One of the biggest password mistakes any business can make is forgetting to update the password on a single device. A simple Google search can bring up default passwords for routers, computers, and other devices—and one missed device can lead to an intrusion into the network.

Learn more from Brent in his post on SmarterMSP.com, or replay the webinar to see How Password Security Paired with Data Backup Can Help Your Business.

2. Eliminate role-based accounts or accounts shared by multiple users. The more people using an account, the easier it is for the account to get compromised. So, try to eliminate multi-user accounts. Not doing so increases the likelihood of an intrusion because of passwords end up being saved on the network, and there’s always the possibility of a disgruntled employee acting out.

Get in the mindset of an experienced hacker, and arm your SMBs up with password beset practices by checking out this MSP’s Bookshelf post featuring Kevin Mitnick’s book, The Art of Intrusion

3. Put technical safeguards and password best practices in place. While it’s important to educate your SMB customers on password best practices, it’s also critical to put the right tools in place. Run up-to-date security software and have an intrusion-prevention system on your customers’ machines—including antivirus, firewalls, and spam filters. This can help prevent hackers from entering your customers’ networks in the first place.

Read the MSP’s Complete Guide to Cybersecurity to get an in-depth perspective on how you can beef up your cybersecurity efforts for your SMB customers.

It’s important to talk with both your prospects and your customers about what separates a good password from a bad password. And, using the above resources can help you navigate these conversations with ease.

To help you effectively grow your business, one step at a time, we are introducing Tip Tuesday. This is a weekly feature designed to show you one area of your business that you can improve.

Photo Credit:  Nata-Lia / Shutterstock

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