Unlocking Business Growth: Top 9 Benefits of Managed Services

Unlocking Business Growth: Top 9 Benefits of Managed Services

In the era of the technological boom, there is constant growth and inevitably change in the IT infrastructure which often businesses are unable to manage due to lack of knowledge or resources. Staying ahead of the digital growth requires more than just innovative products or services. It demands a strategic approach to managing your IT infrastructure, and that’s where managed services play a crucial role. Managed services offer a multitude of benefits that can help drive business growth in a cost-effective and efficient manner. In this blog, we’ll explore some of these advantages and how they can empower your organisation.

Summary Lead:
1. Cost Efficiency
2. Access to Expertise
3. Focus on Core Competencies
4. Scalability and Flexibility
5. Enhanced Security
6. Predictable Budgeting
7. Compliance and Regulations
8. 24/7 Support
9. Competitive Advantage

1. Cost Efficiency

Managed services allow businesses to shift from a traditional, reactive IT support model to a proactive one. Instead of waiting for issues to arise and incurring costly downtime, managed service providers (MSPs) use advanced monitoring tools to identify and resolve potential problems before they impact operations. It is estimated that the successful deployment of managed services will help in reducing IT costs by 25-45% and will increase operational efficiency by 45-65%. MSP’s also implement proactive maintenance programs to reduce the likelihood of unexpected outages. This not only reduces IT-related costs but also prevents revenue losses due to downtime.

2. Access to Expertise

With managed services, you gain access to a team of skilled professionals with diverse expertise. 59% of IT services are addressed under a managed services model instead of the older break-fix model. MSPs are well-versed in current technologies and industry best practices, ensuring that your IT infrastructure is always up to date and aligned with your business goals. This expertise can help businesses make informed decisions and implement innovative solutions to drive growth.

3. Focus on Core Competencies

By outsourcing IT management to a trusted MSP, your internal teams can concentrate on what they do best—innovating, delivering value to customers, and growing the business. This shift in focus can lead to increased productivity and a competitive edge in your industry.

4. Scalability and Flexibility

Managed services are highly scalable, allowing your IT infrastructure to grow alongside your business. Whether you’re expanding to new markets, onboarding more employees, or launching new products, MSPs can adapt to your changing needs without the hassle of managing additional in-house resources.

5. Enhanced Security

Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, and protecting your business from these risks is paramount. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) registered a staggering 76,000 cybercrime reports in the latest annual report, marking a substantial increase of nearly 13% compared to the previous fiscal year. Managed service providers employ robust security measures and keep abreast of the latest threats and security technologies. This proactive approach ensures that your sensitive data remains safe, preserving your reputation and customer trust.

6. Predictable Budgeting

Managed services typically operate on a subscription-based model, providing predictability in IT expenditure. This makes it easier for businesses to budget effectively and allocate resources where they are needed most. It also eliminates the surprise expenses that often come with managing IT internally.

7. Compliance and Regulations

Many industries are subject to strict regulatory requirements concerning data privacy and security. Some MSPs specialise in navigating these complex landscapes and can help your business maintain compliance, reducing the risk of fines or legal issues.

8. 24/7 Support

Managed service providers offer around-the-clock support, ensuring that any IT issues are addressed promptly. This level of availability minimizes downtime, keeping your business operations running smoothly.

9. Competitive Advantage:

Embracing managed services can give your business a competitive advantage. It allows you to leverage cutting-edge technologies and stay ahead of industry trends, enabling you to provide better services and solutions to your customers.

In conclusion, managed services are not just about outsourcing IT tasks; they are a strategic investment in the growth and success of your business. By harnessing the benefits of managed services—cost efficiency, expertise, scalability, security, and more—you can position your organization for sustainable growth in today’s dynamic business environment. So, why wait? Consider partnering with a trusted managed service provider and take your business to new heights.

Finding a Top Managed Services Company for You 

  1. Expertise and Experience: Assess the Managed Service Provider’s knowledge and experience in your industry and their experience with the specific technologies your business relies on. Look for an MSP with a proven track record.
  2. Service Offerings: Review the range of services the MSP provides, such as IT support, cloud management, cybersecurity, network monitoring, and more. Ensure their services align with your current and future IT needs.
  3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Review the SLAs and monthly service inclusions to understand the level of service and support you can expect. Pay attention to response times, uptime guarantees, and the procedures for resolving issues.
  4. Scalability: Ensure the MSP can scale their services to accommodate your business’s growth and changing requirements over time.
  5. Security and Compliance: Evaluate the MSP’s approach to cybersecurity and data protection. Check if they have experience with industry-specific compliance standards that apply to your business.
  6. Customer References and Case Studies: Ask for references from existing clients and review case studies to gauge the MSP’s performance and customer satisfaction.
  7. Proactive Monitoring and Maintenance: Look for an MSP that offers proactive monitoring and preventive maintenance to identify and address issues before they become significant problems.
  8. 24/7 Support: Verify that the MSP provides around-the-clock support to ensure assistance during emergencies and off-hours.

These factors encompass the critical aspects of selecting a managed services provider that aligns with your business goals and IT needs. They help ensure that you choose a partner who can effectively manage and support your IT infrastructure.

Why Choose Oreta Managed Services?

Oreta’s Managed IT services aim to be an extension of your IT team, committed to providing you with the support, knowledge, and confidence that you have the best services at hand to manage your technology systems so that you can focus on growing your business.

Backed by our key vendor relationships and certifications including Cisco, Meraki, Fortinet, Palo Alto, Microsoft and Telstra.

Scale your business more effectively, be more responsive to changes in technology and gain greater insights to your users’ experience with Oreta’s managed services.

Navigating the Australian Cybersecurity Talent Shortage: Impact on Businesses

Navigating the Australian Cybersecurity Talent Shortage: Impact on Businesses

In today’s threat landscape, cybersecurity is paramount for any business operating in Australia or around the world. With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, having a skilled cybersecurity workforce has become a necessity. However, a critical issue looms large over the Australian business landscape – according to the ASCS report the shortage of cybersecurity talent is predicted to be approximately 17,000 by 2026. In addition, there is over 7,500 unfilled cyber security roles as of August 31, 2023. From a global perspective, over 3.5 million Cyber Security positions unfilled with a workforce shortage of 3.4 million. In this blog, we will delve into the consequences of this shortage and how it affects businesses operating Down Under.

Summary Lead:
1. Escalating Cyber Threats
2. Increased Costs
3. Delayed Incident Response
4. Compliance and Regulatory Risks
5. Innovation and Competitive Disadvantage
6. Outsourcing Concerns
7. Education and Skill Gap

1. Escalating Cyber Threats

One of the most immediate and apparent impacts of the Australian cybersecurity talent shortage is the escalating number and complexity of cyber threats faced by businesses. As the demand for cybersecurity professionals far outstrips the supply, Australian companies are left vulnerable to an array of cyberattacks, from ransomware attacks to data breaches, the shortage of skilled Cyber Security professionals means that Australian companies will struggle to defend against these threats effectively.
ACSC -Annual-Cyber-Threat-Report-2022-2023
ACSC -Annual-Cyber-Threat-Report-2022-2023

2. Increased Costs

The scarcity of cybersecurity talent also translates into higher costs for businesses to attract and retain skilled professionals in this competitive field, companies often find themselves offering substantial salaries and benefit packages. Due to the complexity of cyber-attacks, according to Deloitte Insights, businesses spend 10.9% of their IT budget on cybersecurity. This expense can strain budgets, especially for smaller businesses, diverting resources away from other essential areas of operation.

3. Delayed Incident Response

In the event of a cybersecurity incident, a swift and effective response is crucial to mitigate damage. This can include preparation, detection and analysis, containment and mitigation, investigations and forensics, communications and reporting, recovery and future protection. However, with a shortage of qualified experts, Australian companies may experience delays in identifying and responding to threats. This delay can result in increased data loss, extended downtime, and even reputational damage. Australian businesses are uniquely vulnerable to compliance risks due to our complex and increasingly regulated landscape.

4. Compliance and Regulatory Risks

Many industries in Australia are subject to strict cybersecurity regulations and compliance standards, APRA, SOCI ACT 2018 to name a couple, failing to meet these requirements can lead to severe penalties and legal consequences. The shortage of cybersecurity talent makes it challenging for Australian companies to stay compliant and can expose them to unnecessary risks.

5. Innovation and Competitive Disadvantage

Innovation often goes hand in hand with digitalisation, and businesses that lack cybersecurity expertise may hesitate to adopt new technologies. This hesitation can hinder growth and put companies at a competitive disadvantage in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

6. Outsourcing Concerns

Some businesses resort to outsourcing their cybersecurity needs to third-party providers. While this can alleviate the talent shortage problem for there organisation, it also comes with risks related to data security and privacy. Entrusting sensitive information to external entities requires meticulous vetting and management. Demand for cyber security workers is set to remain strong in coming years, meaning the skills shortage will not ease without consistent efforts to increase supply. The sector could require up to 16,600 additional workers by 2026.

7. Education and Skill Gap

Addressing the Australian cybersecurity talent shortage is a long-term challenge that involves nurturing a pipeline of skilled professionals. TAFEs and universities around the country have rapidly expanded their cyber security program offering in recent years, often in close partnership with the cyber – security industry. Approximately half of universities across Australia offer IT or computer science qualifications. Although the growth of cyber security presence has grown in the Australian education system, they take time to yield results. In the meantime, businesses continue to face the immediate consequences.


The Australian cybersecurity talent shortage is a critical issue that impacts businesses across the country. From heightened security risks and increased costs to compliance challenges and delayed incident response, the consequences are far-reaching. To navigate this landscape successfully, businesses must adopt a multi-pronged approach that includes talent development, strategic partnerships, and a proactive cybersecurity strategy. Only by addressing this shortage can Australian businesses hope to protect their digital assets and thrive in the digital age.
Multi-Factor Authentication in Microsoft 365: What You Need to Know

Multi-Factor Authentication in Microsoft 365: What You Need to Know

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a widely accepted security measure, but it is not foolproof. Even when MFA is enabled, organisations can still be vulnerable to attacks if their MFA policies are misconfigured.

Oreta has found that many organisations misconfigure MFA policies in their Microsoft 365 cloud environments. This can allow attackers to bypass MFA and gain unauthorised access to sensitive data.

Here are some of the most common MFA misconfigurations:

  • Enabling MFA for only some users. This leaves users who are not required to use MFA vulnerable to attack.
  • Allowing users to bypass MFA for certain applications or devices. This can make it easier for attackers to gain access to sensitive data.
  • Not enforcing MFA for all sign-in attempts. This can allow attackers to gain access to an account by simply guessing the user’s password.

Organisations should carefully review their MFA policies to ensure that they are properly configured. They should also regularly test their MFA policies to ensure that they are working as intended.

Conditional Access Policies (CAPs) are a powerful tool for controlling access to Microsoft 365 and Azure AD resources. However, CAPs can be complex to configure and manage, and misconfigurations can lead to security vulnerabilities.

We have observed several CAP issues that can be used to bypass MFA. These issues include:

  • Using the wrong conditions in a CAP rule. For example, a CAP rule that only applies to users in the United States could be bypassed by an attacker who logs in from another country.
  • Excluding certain users or devices from a CAP rule. For example, a CAP rule that requires MFA for all users could be bypassed by an attacker who uses a device that is excluded from the rule.
  • Not enforcing MFA for all sign-in attempts. For example, a CAP rule that requires MFA for all sign-in attempts could be bypassed by an attacker who uses a compromised password to log in.

Permitting Mobile Devices

Whether intentional or not, Oreta often finds mobile devices exempted from MFA CAP. This exemption is often made to reduce friction for users who need to check emails or documents on the go. However, the source of a device can be easily spoofed by changing the “User Agent” request. This means that an adversary on a Windows device could pose as an iPhone, bypassing MFA.

To mitigate this risk, it is important to enforce MFA for all users, regardless of the device they are using. Additionally, organisations can implement additional security measures such as Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Mobile Application Management (MAM) compliance.

Unintentionally Permitting Linux Devices

Only relatively recently (Burrage, 2022) has Microsoft added Linux as a device platform for rules to be applied against. Organisations are often surprised to find that Linux has been retroactively applied to rules in the “bypass” state. Review old rules to ensure Linux devices are not granted unexpected additional rights.

Exempted Service Accounts

Service accounts are not designed to interact with users, so they cannot respond to multi-factor authentication (MFA) requests. As a result, administrators often disable MFA for these accounts. However, this can leave them vulnerable to attack.

During penetration tests, Oreta consultants have found service accounts that have been in use since 2010 and have passwords like “Password1.” This is a major security risk.

To mitigate this risk, organisations should use Conditional Access Workload Identities (CAWI) to block untrusted external authentication events for service accounts. CAWI allows organisations to define policies that require service accounts to only authenticate from trusted locations.

In addition, organisations should use a privileged access management (PAM) solution to ensure that service accounts are secure. PAM solutions can help to manage service account passwords, enforce least privilege, and audit access to service accounts.

Opt-In Selective Enforcement

When configuring a conditional access policy (CAP), one of the variables that must be set is “to which groups should this apply to?”. Many organisations have an ALL-STAFF group that new users are added to as part of the onboarding process. This group is then used to enforce MFA for all new users. However, if an old user is not retroactively added to this group, or slips through the onboarding process, they will not be subject to MFA. This leaves these users in a vulnerable state.

To mitigate this risk, MFA enforcement should be set to opt-out by default. This means that all users will be required to use MFA, unless they are explicitly exempted. Any exemptions should be carefully considered and audited.

By setting MFA enforcement to opt-out by default, organisations can help to ensure that all users are protected, regardless of when they joined the organisation.

Exempted Applications

Sometimes, MFA may be implemented for users and devices on a wide scale, but it may not cover all applications within an organisation. Software as a Service (SaaS) applications within a given tenancy can also be subject to exceptions in terms of conditional access policies (CAPs). For instance, one organisation enforced MFA for the Microsoft suite but neglected to include Confluence. Upon closer examination, it was discovered that this Confluence instance contained sensitive information, which allowed Oreta testers to gain remote access to the internal network without MFA. It is essential for organisations to regularly review application exemptions and ensure that users do not store their credentials in easily accessible knowledge bases.

Trusted Locations

Organisations typically have an MFA exemption policy for users originating from “trusted” networks, such as their VPN or offices. However, these network ranges are often broad and sometimes overlap with guest Wi-Fi networks. This creates a potential security vulnerability where threat actors could walk past an office, obtain an authentication token without MFA, and then continue to use that token remotely. To mitigate this risk, it is important to ensure that the designation of “trusted” locations is minimal and that these locations are genuinely trustworthy.

Oreta ran a red team/blue team exercise on a client in the finance industry. In a red /blue team exercise, the red team is made up of offensive security experts who try to attack an organisation’s cybersecurity defences. The blue team defends against and responds to the red team attack. On a red team, Oreta obtained username and password credentials via a password spray. On authenticating to Microsoft 365 it was found that MFA was enforced through the browser. Typically, the tool MFASweep (dafthack, 2022) is executed to find low-hanging fruit in CAPs – by mimicking a mobile device – but this did not result in a bypass on this test. What is important to remember is that CAP is evaluated holistically. Many rules may be evaluated during a given authentication event. As a result, Oreta testers were able to brute-force combinations of known devices, applications, and Microsoft login endpoints to find the combination of CAP to obtain access. Upon authenticating with a Linux user agent and a spoofed “Windows Config Designer” source application ID to the Microsoft Graph API endpoint, the CAP were satisfied and provided the consultant access to the organisations cloud without the need for MFA.


Microsoft Conditional Access Policies, when properly implemented, offer organisations powerful capabilities for granular control and auditing of authentication events, aligning with the principle of defence in depth. However, the complexity of these policies can lead to nested issues that may result in unexpected or unintended outcomes. Conducting a static review of policies is always recommended, but it is also beneficial to evaluate effective policies from an offensive perspective to verify that what is defined in theory aligns with actual practice. When defining Conditional Access Policies, it is important to ensure that they are:

  • Exclusive by default
  • Clear in purpose
  • Properly labelled
  • Consistently applied with minimal exceptions
  • Regularly audited to detect abnormal login flows.

Contact us now to evaluate your MFA policies.

The Importance of Network Services in the Age of Remote Work

The Importance of Network Services in the Age of Remote Work

The landscape of work has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with remote work becoming an integral part of the professional world. This shift has highlighted the crucial role that network services play in ensuring the success and efficiency of remote work setups. As we navigate the complexities of a digital age, the reliability, security, and accessibility of network services have emerged as fundamental pillars supporting the modern workforce.

1. Reliable Connectivity:

In the age of remote work, a stable and high-speed internet connection is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Network services provide the backbone for seamless communication, collaboration, and data sharing. From virtual meetings to cloud-based applications, the ability to connect reliably enables remote employees to perform their tasks without the limitations of traditional office spaces.

2. Enhanced Collaboration:

Collaboration lies at the heart of productive remote work, and network services facilitate this collaboration by enabling real-time communication and sharing of resources. Video conferencing, instant messaging, and file-sharing platforms rely on strong network infrastructure to ensure that team members can work together despite physical distances. The ability to collaborate effectively enhances creativity, innovation, and teamwork, fostering a sense of unity among remote teams.

3. Data Security and Privacy:

With the rise of remote work, concerns about data security and privacy have intensified. Network services play a critical role in safeguarding sensitive information by implementing encryption, firewalls, and other cybersecurity measures. Ensuring that remote employees can securely access company resources, databases, and applications requires a robust network infrastructure that shields against potential cyber threats.

4. Flexibility and Accessibility:

Remote work empowers employees to balance their professional and personal lives, and network services are pivotal in enabling this flexibility. Cloud-based services allow remote workers to access files and applications from any location, making it easier to stay productive while traveling or working from home. The accessibility offered by network services promotes a healthy work-life balance, ultimately leading to increased job satisfaction and employee retention.

5. Scalability and Adaptability:

The demands on network services have evolved rapidly with the surge in remote work. Businesses need network solutions that are scalable and adaptable to accommodate changes in workload and user numbers. The ability to adjust network capacity ensures that remote teams can continue to function optimally, even during peak usage periods. This scalability also future-proofs businesses against evolving technological needs.

6. Challenges and Solutions:

While network services offer immense benefits, they also present challenges. Network outages, bandwidth limitations, and cybersecurity threats can disrupt remote work operations. To mitigate these challenges, businesses must invest in redundant network setups, regular maintenance, and cybersecurity training for employees. Collaboration with reliable network service providers can help address these concerns effectively.

In the age of remote work, network services have proven to be a linchpin for successful and efficient operations. They provide the foundation for reliable connectivity, enhanced collaboration, data security, flexibility, and scalability. As businesses continue to embrace remote work as a permanent part of their operations, the importance of robust and dependable network services cannot be overstated. By recognising and investing in the critical role that network services play, organisations can ensure that their remote teams thrive in an interconnected and digitally empowered world.

The Rising Significance Of Australian Signals Directorate 8 In Cybersecurity

The Rising Significance Of Australian Signals Directorate 8 In Cybersecurity

Frequently, we encounter headlines about yet another organisation succumbing to a cyber-attack. Despite the abundant news coverage and the industry’s clear emphasis on cyber security, 48% of Australian executives still expressed low confidence in their organisation’s capability to subjectively evaluate cyber risks. To enhance your organisation’s cybersecurity stance and shift towards a proactive rather than reactive approach, it is imperative to adopt the ASD Essential 8. By doing so, you can be assured that your confidential data remains secure, and your reputation remains intact.

What is Essential 8?

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) Essential 8 is a set of eight security controls that organisations can implement to protect themselves against cyber threats. The Essential 8 was first published in 2016, and it has since become a widely accepted benchmark for cyber security best practices.

The growing importance of the Essential 8 stems from various factors, primarily driven by the rapidly evolving threat landscape. In recent years, attackers have adopted highly sophisticated methods to infiltrate organisations’ systems and compromise data. The ACSC received over 76,000 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year. This equates to one report every 7 minutes, compared to every 8 minutes last financial year. In response to these escalating threats, the Essential 8 offers a comprehensive set of controls that empower businesses to effectively counter and mitigate such risks. Consequently, the following reasons highlight why the Essential 8 has emerged as a crucial component in bolstering cybersecurity:

  • Empowers businesses to remain current and proactive in countering emerging threats.
  • Encompasses an extensive array of controls, effectively mitigating diverse security risks.
  • Endorsed by multiple government and industry organizations, lending it unwavering credibility and legitimacy.
  • Effortlessly implementable and maintainable, rendering it an ideal solution for organisations of any scale.

While the Essential 8 does not function as an impenetrable titanium shield and cannot ensure absolute immunity to cyber-attacks for organisations, its implementation can significantly raise the bar for attackers, making their success far more challenging. For those seeking to enhance their organisation’s cyber security posture, the Essential 8 serves as an excellent starting point. By adopting the Essential 8 practices, organisations can substantially bolster their defences against potential attacks.

Implementation of the Essential Eight Maturity Model

The Essential Eight Maturity Model comprises of four maturity levels (0 to 3). The higher levels of maturity protect entities against moderate-to-high degrees of sophistication in adversary tradecraft and targeting. As of July 2022, it is a core requirement of the PSPF that entities implement the Essential Eight strategies to at least Maturity Level 2.

The Essential Eight Maturity Model comprises the following eight strategies:

  • Application control: ensures only corporate approved software applications can be executed on a computer, protecting against the execution of malicious applications.
  • Patch applications: applying vendor patches or other vendor mitigations prevents known vulnerabilities in applications from being exploited.
  • Configure Microsoft Office macro settings: limits macro programs embedded in Microsoft Office files from executing, thereby preventing potential malicious activity.
  • User application hardening: limits the use of potentially exploitable user application functionality to only what is required and removes particularly vulnerable software altogether.
  • Restrict administrative privileges: limits the unnecessary provision of administrative privileges, reducing the potential for these to be exploited by adversaries to gain full access to computers and data.
  • Patch operating systems: applying vendor patches or other vendor mitigations prevents known vulnerabilities in operating systems from being exploited.
  • Multi-factor authentication: requires users to present multiple authentication credentials to log in, rather than just using a passphrase, thereby preventing adversaries logging in as a user if they know the user’s passphrase.
  • Regular backups: making a copy of data, software, and configuration settings, storing it securely and periodically testing the ability to restore it, enables data and computers to be restored after an incident such as ransomware or computer hardware failure.

The Essential Eight Maturity Model recommends that organisations implement the Essential Eight using a risk-based approach. Where the strategies cannot be implemented, these exceptions should be minimised, and compensating controls should be used to manage the resulting risk. If the gap is effectively mitigated, the entity may self-assess their maturity against that strategy.

The Essential 8 is a valuable set of security controls that can help organisations protect themselves against cyber threats. By implementing these controls, organisations can make it much more difficult for attackers to succeed.

If you are interested in learning more about the Essential 8 or would like a no obligation chat contact us now.

Find out more about Oreta’s cybersecurity services here.