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NSA Warns Managed Service Providers Are Now Prime Targets for Cyberattacks

International cybersecurity authorities issue guidance to help information and communications service providers secure their networks.

The National Security Administration (NSA), along with a coalition of international cybersecurity authorities, today issued an advisory warning managed service providers (MSPs) of an escalating threat of attack from both everyday cybercriminals and state-sponsored threat actors. 

MSPs provide or operate information and communications technology services. 

With input from cybersecurity leaders from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, the NSA provided recommendations to help bolster their cyber defenses, including: 

  • Finding and disabling dormant accounts.
  • Implementing and enforcing multifactor authentication on accounts.
  • Ensuring contracts clearly map out who owns and is responsible for securing data. 

“This joint guidance will help MSPs and customers engage in meaningful discussions on the responsibilities of securing networks and data,” said NSA cybersecurity director Rob Joyce in a statement announcing the new cybersecurity guidance. “Our recommendations cover actions such as preventing initial compromises and managing account authentication and authorization.”

The NSA added it partnered with the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-UK), the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS), New Zealand's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-NZ), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to develop the MSP cybersecurity recommendations.