The UK phone and broadband company TalkTalk was recently hacked by a seventeen-year-old, compromising 157,000 data pieces. The total bill? Around $49 million dollars. As technology progresses, cyber-attacks are largely becoming the norm in business.
Small businesses are far from immune to such threats—a recent report showed that three in five cyber-attacks targeted small and mid-sized businesses, who oftentimes make themselves vulnerable by not dedicating the requisite staff or budget to their internet security.
A secure firewall is a key defense against cyber attacks. It’s imperative that your business remains current with the latest updates and tools to implement a successful Internet security strategy. Here are a few suggestions to make sure you remain protected.
Understand Your Options
There are four levels of firewalls that businesses can employ: packet-filtering, circuit-level and application-level categories.
Packet-Filtering: This firewall accepts or rejects IP (Internet Protocol) packets based on basic rules. These are their relatively simple, cheap, and easy to deploy.
Circuit-Level: This type not only vets packets, it also decides whether a connection is valid according to a given set of configurable rules—allowing only traffic from an authenticated source to flow. This offers a higher level of security, yet requires more expertise to install and maintain.
Application-Level: With this approach, the firewall supplies all data exchanges with the remote system, making the server behind the firewall invisible to the remote system. It can also accept or reject traffic based on a specific set of rules. This works well for businesses who require detailed traffic monitoring and logging on the host.
Multilevel: This approach combines the best attributes of multiple firewall types, and is designed to perform network-level packet filtering while recognizing and processing application-level data. These firewalls provide superior network protection, but can be very expensive.
No two business networks are the same, thus one can mix-and-match the different firewall approaches given the needs of your business. Take the time to find out which works best for you.
It’s important to make sure that all your devices are fully up-to-date. Install anti-virus and malware software and continue to check that the definitions are up-to-date (check your vendor’s website to ensure they are). Also don’t forget to install any operating system security patches as they become available. Patches are temporary updates between full releases of software packages—they fix bugs, install new drivers, and upgrade the software).
Partner with a Professional
It’s important to have qualified people managing your security to stay on top of the latest technology trends and threats. Consult with professionals to develop an IT security scheme before implementing it.
At eMazzanti, we provide small and mid-sized businesses with speedy, consistently effective IT security strategies. We’ll keep you informed on the latest technology and requirements so you can protect your data, employees, and clients—because keeping you safe is what’s most important to us. Contact us today.