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The Economic Cost Of Not Having Multi-Factor: MSP Lawsuit Edition

You are a small service company. You do work for your customers, you bill them for it. Suddenly, some miscreant sneaks in through your lightly secured infrastructure, sends them a change in billing information. Who is at fault? You for not securing? The customer for not checking? Well clearly the criminal owns some of the blame 🙂 These are the questions a judge in Mahoning County is being asked to solve in this lawsuit.

In BOARDMAN MOLDED PRODUCTS INC v INVOLTA LLC, the case is based on Boardman’s claim that Involta (their MSP) insufficiently secured its own (Involta’s) network, allowing a bad actor access to customer lists, and to send email with invalid invoices.

This plastic’s fabrication company then paid the invoices, totalling ~ $1.8M USD.

Involta was notified through a trouble ticket (and closed it as Fake News!).

So, where does the blame lie? Is Boardman responsible for overseeing all of their risk, including suppliers? Is Involta responsible for overseeing their own risk to their customers? Both?

Boardman hired Involta to handle complex technical matters, running a network, patching, etc, and thus relied on the advice and best practices of their supplier.

The details suggest there was no multi-factor authentication used, which is indeed a table-stakes best practice.

Interestingly, Boardman is sueing for the costs of dealing with the attack, but not the costs they paid out, so $25K rather than $1.8M.