School Ransomware Attacks Highlight Immediate Opportunities for Service Providers to Secure their Clients Files

April 10, 2017  By Frederick Drennan
Recent ransomware attacks in the education sector highlight criminals’ increasing sophistication, presenting complex risks that nonetheless represent strong opportunities for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) looking to increase their Managed Security Service revenues.

This trend, as outlined by IT Governance, is towards multi-stage attacks, increasingly utilizing social engineering to gather information (or ‘vish’), followed up by exploitation with a spear phish attack. As outlined by Action Fraud, in the education sector criminals have been impersonating Department of Education officials to gain access to Head Teacher’s direct email addresses, with potentially catastrophic consequences in terms of compromised personal information, not to mention demanding a ransom in return for the data.

An alert issued by Action Fraud, part of City of London Police, focused on the importance of endpoint backup as a reactive level of security, in conjunction with traditional preventative methods such as user-training and anti-virus solutions. Security is never perfect, and therefore a comprehensive security solution should include both preventative and reactive elements to provide the best protection from a threat and its consequences – such as business-grade endpoint backup and file sync and share (FSS) solutions

For MSPs, this clearly outlines growing opportunities to provide endpoint backup tools, specifically those that can be provided with low operational overhead. Key features of this might include; automated provisioning, deployment, monitoring, and billing. Not only this, there is the opportunity to also provide tools which combine the protective elements of backup and versioning with other benefits (such as enabling improved collaboration and mobility). 

Increasingly, unified solutions make providing these valuable services possible at a lower operational overhead. Sophisticated business-grade FSS and Endpoint Backup solutions such as Autotask Workplace and Autotask Endpoint Backup, in conjunction with Autotask Endpoint Management, provide the above automated functionality. This enables MSPs to not only provide a keystone capability profitably, but also in the case of Autotask Workplace provide adjacent benefits in improving collaboration and mobility for customers.

If this is something you do not currently offer – or perhaps it’s something your competitors now offer – please take a look at our solution pages for Autotask Workplace (FSS) and Autotask Endpoint Backup. 

Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Frederick Drennan
Product Manager

As a Product Manager, Frederick researches and validates market problems, liaising closely between partners worldwide along with engineering and other internal stakeholders to develop new features and updates to Autotask Workplace (AWP) and Endpoint Backup (AEB). Previously, Freddie worked in partner development for Autotask, developing AWP and AEB partners across the UK & EMEA region.

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