Most companies invest significant resources into furnishing their offices and purchasing the right computer and business systems to run their operations smoothly. In order to protect their investments, they will often place sophisticated locks on their doors and equip their office with an advanced security system. Even more, companies will often purchase insurance to protect themselves against property loss.
Your Internet hardware isn’t enough
In spite of how much companies invest in all of the above, they rarely protect two of their most important assets -- their computer network and customer information. When it comes to protecting the company against cyber attacks and viruses, managers typically ignore the risk and spend the minimum amount of effort and money as possible. In addition, most managers seem to think that hardware, such as routers and other utility devices supplied by Internet service providers, are sufficient enough to protect them from viruses and network attacks. Unfortunately, this type of equipment contains firewall programs that are either not activated or simply do not have the capacity to stop a serious attack.
The cost of cyber attacks
Historically, cyber attacks were primarily intended to interrupt business operations or steal industry data. In recent years, however, cyber attacks are being used to extort money from companies. The most well-known form of cyber attacks is called Ransomware, which is a virus that targets a company’s server(s). Once in the system, the virus places a lock on the business data. The company then receives a message from the hackers demanding a ransom payment. At this point, the business is faced with two options -- either pay the ransom or shutdown business operations. Unfortunately, the ransom payment can be very costly, upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, as stated in a recent article on Ransomware by Forbes Magazine.
How firewall systems provide security
We know that businesses are vulnerable to cyber attacks and that the attacks can cripple the operations of an organization. But what can a business do to protect themselves? Firewall systems are a widely used and effective way of protecting your company from these attacks. Here’s how it works:
- A firewall system is a piece of hardware that acts as a “first line of defense” to filter Internet traffic.
- Firewall hardware connects directly to your ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) modem and sits between your Internet and your network (regardless of the size of your network).
- The firewall system you select must be able to provide “Deep Packet Inspection” (not available on most Internet firewall/routers). This functionality inspects the content of the “data packets” (i.e. full set of data) being sent to the network.
- The firewall should perform a bidirectional (or incoming and outgoing) data scan to ensure the network is not used to distribute malware to other computers or to targets outside of the network.
- You can add another layer of security that decrypts and inspects SSL packets that come into the network. This prevents viruses and malware from hiding behind the encryption.
- Your equipment should also receive daily software and security updates to include newly found viruses and malware signatures.
Although the firewall system is effective in blocking most malicious cyber activity, we highly recommend taking the following additional security precautions:
- Install Anti-virus and Anti-malware programs on each computer on the network with the ability to receive daily updates.
- Perform a daily computer data backup to a server in the cloud.
- Obtain a cyber crime insurance policy to protect your company.
Setting up a firewall system can be easy and inexpensive
In the past, purchasing the software and hardware to perform the above procedures was very costly, and only large companies could afford the investment. Today, however, this software and hardware can be provided as a service by many Telecommunications companies and are included as part of their monthly service plan. There is no need to spend a significant amount of money up front or manage this process yourself. As a result, a relatively low monthly fee can save your business from losing large sums of money or even preventing your business from shutting down.
How GTB can help
For the past twenty five years, GTB has provided a variety of managed voice, data and security services. Our services allow small to mid-sized companies upgrade to the newest technologies without a significant cost. Rather than find multiple providers for each service, we provide a “one- stop- shop” experience that includes all technology services required to run your business with increased value, efficiency, and local customer service.
Get your free assessment by emailing or calling us at 1 (877) CALL-GTB
Related articles: Ransomware: What Is It and How to Reduce the Risk for Infection?, When a Traditional Firewall Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Best Cloud Backup Service, and The Ultimate Guide to Selecting a Business Phone System.