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Cybersecurity—Beyond the Firewall

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It’s happened again. Someone—and you will get to the bottom of who—clicked on a phishing email, and now your company is dealing with another ransomware attack. Fact is, the email probably didn’t come from some teenage hacker. These days, cybercriminals are actually part of sophisticated organized crime rings. They’re thugs, but with brains and plenty of backing.

We know what you’re thinking: We’re just a mid-sized business. They’re not after us. Sorry, but that kind of thinking is dangerous. Cybercriminals can and will go after businesses of any size. And here’s something that’ll really make you cringe: A whopping 67% of SMBs got hit with a cybersecurity attack last year.1

Keeping the Outside … Well, Outside

Firewalls are great. For one thing: guarding your network perimeter. That means they can be incredibly good at stopping intrusions that originate outside your network. But they can’t help you once an attack has already made its way into your network.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Think of the Internet as a cold, dark place where the bad guys lurk around every corner. You wouldn’t go there without bundling up. Security that’s layered across data, websites, devices and email provides the strongest line of defense.

Protect Your Assets from Your Assets

Sometimes, and we hate to say it, cybersecurity attacks are an inside job. Employees unknowingly click on a link—or try to get access to an area of your network where they don’t have privileges—and next thing you know, there’s a virus spreading. Well, you can’t fire everyone. So, what can you do? Put security in place that can block website categories such as social media, gambling and music streaming sites or specific URLs. We’re talking to you, PayPal.

Amp Up Authentication

We know. We know. Every one of your users has a password that’s 15 characters long and contains at least three symbols, capital and lowercase letters, doesn’t spell their name, and could never be detected by a gang of Russian thieves. Hate to break it to you: That’s not good enough. Two-factor authentication is where it’s at today. Factor 1 is generally the password. Factor 2 is something harder to steal. We’re talking about unlocking a device with a thumbprint or facial recognition, or by authenticating according the user’s keystroke patterns, location or login time.

Don’t Forget to Cover Alllll Those Devices

If you’re like most companies, and you’re BYOD all the way, good for you. Just make sure you’ve got strong authentication—and malware protection—across all your peeps’ PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.

Take Up the Welcome Mat

Of course you want guests in your business to feel welcome. Offer them a bottle of water and a public WiFi password—but not the password to your back-office WiFi. That’s the equivalent of your granny’s silver cutlery; you need to hide it.

Down with Stale Software and Router Firmware

Letting your software and router firmware dangle listlessly in the wind isn’t doing your network any favors. Both need regular updates to close security loopholes.

Back Up! We Said, “Back Up!”

When your network is slammed with a cybersecurity attack—and we don’t mean if—your present self will thank your future self when you’re able to recover your precious data. Because you, being highly intelligent, scheduled regular backups. 

Overwhelmed Yet?

We don’t blame you. Cybersecurity can seem like a big game of Whack-a-Mole. You knock one of those suckers down, and three more pop up in places you don’t expect. Take heart. There is an option we haven’t mentioned yet. Managed Network Security can take care of all those moles for you, with things like detection and mitigation of network attacks in real time, firewall management, content filtering, antivirus protection, and intrusion detection and prevention. Whew! So you can go back to wearing all those other IT hats you’re sporting.

2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium Size Businesses, Ponemon Institute, November 2018.