As mobile security threats rise, managed services providers (MSPs) work to stay ahead of cyber criminals, implementing tougher restrictions, measures and solidifying procedures. However, some MSPs may overlook certain security threats because these threats are so rare. IT management software developer SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) has provided some new insight to help. Here's a look at six security threats that SolarWinds have reported to be brushed off by many IT professionals in the channel and how to protect against them.  

Don't be sideswiped by a security threat just because it's not as well known as other threats. Keep the following threats in mind as you monitor the networks of your customers:

  • Targeted espionage  -- Customers are vulnerable to targeted espionage, despite what some may think. Many businesses have sensitive and personal data saved on their networks, including credit card and social security numbers;
  • Unintentional or accidental loss of that data -- The proliferation of mobile devices among employees, and the reality of employees taking data and access to data beyond the company walls when the leave work at the end of the day has heightened this threat. 
  • Denial of service attacks (DoS) -- There are hackers out there looking to shut networks down and make them unusable, inhibiting user access and business continuity;
  • Understaffed IT team -- While this may pertain to businesses with internal IT departments, it also applies to MSPs. Adequate professional staff to address the needs of your customers is a must ;
  • Phishing attempts -- Cyber criminals are attacking both individuals and businesses with phishing attempts. An organization becomes vulnerable when they gain a false sense of security and rely only on junk mail filters for protection; and
  • Malware exploiting common vulnerabilities in Java and Flash runtimes -- Do not assume that the most recent version of Java and Flash is secure.

SolarWinds recommended that MSPs remember to "lock the front door" (before "booby trapping the permeter" ) by following these steps:

  • Define and establish security policies and rules;
  • Document your network, policies, and access;
  • Continuously track and monitor activity and behavior with real-time alerts and reporting;
  • Automate with software tools where you can;
  • Regroup after an incident to ensure appropriate actions have been taken to mitigate risk in the future; and
  • Use operational management tools to gain insight into suspicious behavior.

SolarWinds recently reported its quarterly earnings, including revenue of $72.9 million, a 22 percent increase in revenue for its first quarter year over year, with license revenue of $30.7 million for the quarter, a 12 percent increase year over year.