This week's Technology Today is all about Firewalls, and why they are essential in defending your data from cybercriminals.
WHY IMPLEMENT A FIREWALL?
Lets start with the basics - are your computers and servers connected to the internet? If so, you need a firewall; now, more than ever. With cybercrime on the rise, and the popularity of cryptocurrency fueling the fire; cases are becoming more and more prevalent. Hackers are penetrating networks through unpatched security holes that exist due to a lack of firewall implementation. If you think you are safe, you're not - it's only a matter of when, not if, you will get hacked.
WHAT IS A FIREWALL?
A firewall is a barrier between a company's physical and/or cloud-based infrastructure and cyber space. When connected to the internet, you continuously receive 'packets'. Packets are small units of data. When a firewall is in place, it screens said packets - if they do not meet certain criteria, they are blocked and unable to enter your infrastructure. This drastically decreases the amount of potential threats to come into your environment. That being said, it's important to remember that any network, no matter how well protected is susceptible to foul play. So, the more protection, the better.
The most common technique hackers use, are phishing emails. These emails are sent containing an attachment, usually appearing to be an invoice. Once clicking on said document, the system is infected and mined for data. After mining and encrypting take place, the cybercriminal(s) will ask for a ransom, to be paid in cryptocurrency. They promise, once you pay their ransom, they will bestow you a key to unlock the stolen data. The FBI warns, you should NEVER pay a ransom. Why? You could end up paying and the hacker will only decrypt half or NONE of your data. When you flag this for them, they will ask for you to pay even MORE, in order to retrieve the rest of the data.
You can avoid the entire mess, by having a BDR System (Backup & Disaster Recovery System) in play. With a BDR, you can retrieve data, that was synced daily to your drive; allowing you to be up and running in no time at all. Without a BDR in place, you can incur steep costs associated with an outage.
FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
Some companies think they are secure, when in reality, they're not. It is commonly assumed, Windows' firewall, is enough to protect data. However, a Windows' firewall only monitors data coming in, it does not monitor data leaving an environment. Therefore, data going out, i.e. bank credentials, credit card information, sensitive company data, social security numbers, etc., are all susceptible.
You may think this will never happen to you - that nobody would want your company's data. False. Cyber crime towards small to mid-sized businesses is on the rise. Hackers believe it is easier to infiltrate, steal data and receive payment from these businesses, because 1) they lack proper security measures and 2) they are not educated what to do, when hacked. Large corporations with lackadaisical security are also being hit, hard. In lieu or in addition to ransom, cyber criminals are spewing companies consumer data on the dark web, to flip a profit. This disables a company's credibility and faith customers have in said company's security measures. Leading to decreased sales and plummeting bottom lines.
Make sure to have a firewall or FaaS (Firewall-as-a-Service) in place. What is a FaaS? FaaS is an economical, convenient and overall easier way to implement the security of a traditional firewall, in order to safeguard your data, without having to purchase a firewall for your office. Instead, it would be managed remotely by an MSP (Managed Service Provider), such as Circulent. Saving you time, money and providing you with peace of mind.
It is paramount to use several points of security, in conjunction with a Firewall. For instance, you should employ a BDR, anti-virus, anti-malware and intrusion detection software.
Did you find this blog informative? Do you have a firewall in place? If not, will you instate one? Do you have a subject you would like for us to cover next? Sound off below and be sure to subscribe to our emails!
Until next time, Techies!