As business owners, we wear many hats. One of those hats is protecting our assets. We hire a lawyer to draw up contracts to protect us from bad deals. We hire a CPA to oversee our financials. But, who is overseeing our network security? Who’s protecting our clients’ information that they’ve entrusted to us?
The fact of the matter is we live in very threatening times. Every day we are inundated with news about cyber breaches. It’s become so commonplace that we stop listening and go about our business, not sure what to do.
- You have doubts that recent cyberattacks pertain to you.
- You want to protect your technology environment against cybercrime, but you’re unsure of the steps you need to take.
- You fear that your team won’t be able to manage a security program.
- You question if there’s room in your budget for security measures, and if there is, are they worth the investment?
Consider, what is the cost of not doing anything? In some cases, it could mean being put out of business or being noncompliant, which could land you in a world of trouble.
If you’re not sure if your most valuable assets are protected, or the information of your clients is protected, it’s time to take action. Take that first security step. Do it in bite size pieces. Just do something. Because guess what, a firewall is no longer adequate security.
We know security can seem overwhelming. We get it. And, that’s why we developed an expert team of certified security professionals, offensive and defensive solutions to simplify and make security affordable for you.
Now, where should you begin? At the perimeter. Why? Because the perimeter is a major entry point for cybercriminals and is the first line of defense for your network.
Let’s begin by defining the perimeter. The word perimeter, in military terms, defines a fortified boundary that protects a troop position. If we apply that definition to your network, the perimeter is protecting your users, workstations, and servers, and it is important to fortify that perimeter against a variety of attacks. One of the most common ways to protect the perimeter is with a firewall. But, take caution, not all firewalls are created equally.
Though you may have a firewall installed, it doesn’t make your network impenetrable. In fact, most hackers are familiar with the firewalls you see on the market today. Although the firewalls are better than nothing, it isn’t a huge challenge for them to slip through. With that being said, it is recommended to install a robust next-generation firewall with advanced UTM (Unified Threat Management) capabilities designed to inspect all incoming and outgoing network traffic. At Twinstate, we strongly encourage implementing a next-generation threat management engine to strengthen your perimeter’s security.
If a next-generation firewall is one of the advised first layers of defense, then what comes next? Endpoint security.
To start, think about all of the devices that you personally use daily. Perhaps they include a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, mobile device, printers – the list goes on! Each of the devices you use is an endpoint, and the average person uses seven different devices a day between their personal life and business. That is a lot of different devices working within your network and integrated with one another. All of these endpoints can offer gateways for cybercriminals to enter into your business network and potentially your personal life if left unprotected. From centralized monitoring, management, logging and alerting, to antivirus, antimalware, host detection and patching, there are a number of ways to bring layers of protection to your endpoints.
Another prime way to reduce your exposure to malicious attacks is to implement a patch management program. Cyberattacks are often successful through low-difficulty vulnerabilities, such as a hole, or open portal, in your environment. These weaknesses can be caused by not patching your system on a continuous basis, which is fundamental to cybersecurity. Keeping up to date on your patches ensures that these vulnerabilities do not present an opening into your environment. Although patch management is one of the most basic and effective security measures you can take, it can also be one of the most grueling and time-consuming. That’s when engaging a third-party provider such as Twinstate to oversee your patching can greatly – and affordably – boost your cybersecurity.
These are critical places to start to protect your network. We understand that to those who do not live in the cybersecurity world, it can seem like a lot of information. Luckily, our experts are here to help as your third-party partner and guide you every step of the way. Having these security measures or even just one of them put in place can greatly reduce your network’s vulnerability and save you time, headache and money in the long run.
Recommended read: IT Security Isn't Only an Enterprise Problem
Originally published on 03/03/2017