Why a firewall is never enough

Firewalls are a well-known security essential, and we’re certainly big fans, but did you know a firewall alone is not enough to keep your business safe? It’s like building a fence around your city to keep the burglars out: You feel safe, private and secure… but the reality is, anyone with a ladder, enough motivation or ninja skills poses a real threat. That’s why despite every networked business having a firewall in place, security breaches are increasing at an alarming rate – further protections are still needed.

A few strategic, well-planned measures can provide all the protection your business needs to keep operating without costly downtime. While it’s cool to imagine a system so secure you’ll be opening doors with retinal scanners, using synchronized keys to activate the server and dodging pressure-triggered plates around the storage drives, the reality is infinitely more usable and affordable. In fact, we’ll help you choose the perfect measures that blend invisibly into your existing processes, boosting security without affecting productivity. Take a look at some of our managed service inclusions:

Proper firewall configuration

While not enough by itself, your firewall is still your first line of defense like the wall around your city. However, there’s a huge difference between the generic firewall that comes standard with your Windows installation, and one specifically chosen for your business and set up properly. Without properly locked doors and monitored gates, your firewall may as well not even be there. Our technicians will work with you to identify which traffic should be allowed, eg remote employee access, and which should be automatically blocked.

Workstation antivirus

Like a bouncer standing at the door to your building, it is the job of antivirus software to check every file being downloaded to your company’s computers and watch every program that runs. So, even if a bad guy gets past the perimeter defenses they will likely be spotted by the antivirus software. Without this layer of protection, it is easy for an attacker to have their way with your files.

Web Filtering

What’s better than detecting and stopping malicious files on your computer? Preventing your users from even downloading them from the internet in the first place! Web filtering acts as a middle-man while you are browsing the web and stops users from being able to even visit a site with known issues. We can also restrict websites based on categories like adult material or social networking if desired.

Patch Management

Keeping with the analogy of a firewall is like a wall around your city and an antivirus is like a bouncer at the door, software patching is like having someone fixing newly found holes in your walls that could potentially let the bad guys in. Instead of counting on your employees to update to the newest version of Java or Adobe Reader, automated software can take care of this for you.

Access restrictions

It is best practice to give employees access to only the files they need to do their job. It’s not a matter of trust, but rather one of security. If they were the one to accidentally let the attackers through the firewall, perhaps by clicking an email link, you’re then able to minimize the damage. Without this added layer of protection, it’s relatively easy to access (and damage) any and all files on the network.

Encrypt confidential files

More secure than simply password locking a file, encryption uses a secret ‘key’ to scramble the files and their contents so that when anyone else tries to view them all they see is incomprehensible nonsense. This way, if an attacker does manage to access or steal vital files, they don’t get anything useful! Encryption is especially useful on mobile devices that can easily be misplaced or stolen when traveling.

Backup Backup Backup!

As a final layer of defense, when all other protections have been circumvented, it is important to be able to recover from a disaster. If an attacker does manage to access and hold your network for ransom, with the proper backup in place we can simply wipe the slate clean and restore to the way it was before the attack.

No one type of protection is 100% perfect. Something (or someone) will inevitably get through. That’s why computer security works best when it’s multi-layered. When one protection fails, the next layer kicks in to keep your business safe. And then the next, and the next…but that doesn’t mean you need CIA level security that gets in your way. Most of the above protections are easily affordable for small businesses, we use all of the above ourselves!

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