January 21, 2015
Cybersecurity Tips for SMBs (Firewall Solutions)
Part II : Why a Managed Firewall is So Important
This is the second post in a series of cybersecurity tips. Here is the first post.
Cybersecurity Tips for SMBs : Part I (Anti-Malware Software)
What is a Firewall?
A firewall establishes a barrier between a trusted, secure internal network and another network, like the Internet, that is assumed not to be secure and trusted. They are designed to do the security heavy-lifting in one centralized device.
Why do I need a Firewall?
It’s important to use a firewall solution to protect your business because:
- PEOPLE CAN RARELY TELL WHAT IS SAFE – Let’s be honest. When you are surfing the internet can you tell whether that picture you click on takes you to a local news site or a web site in China? That’s ok, because the firewall can. So even if you click the bad link, the firewall can block that traffic from going out or coming in.
- HACKER ATTACKS, MALWARE INFECTIONS, & INTERNET MISUSE CAUSE YOUR INTERNET TO BE SLOW – When a hacker gets in your network, they either want to use your computers and internet connection to do their dirty work or use them to install malware that will most likely stop your work. And then you wait until it’s fixed. In addition, without a firewall, people in your office stream music, watch movies, share your data with anyone they want. They can also download any software they want, legitimate or not. This slows people down that are trying to work.
- WITHOUT A FIREWALL, YOU ARE PUTTING YOUR REPUTATION AND YOUR CLIENTS AT RISK – We got a call last week from someone that clicked on a link that was sent in an e-mail. That e-mail was sent from an organization that had been hacked. The company that got hacked called our client to tell them and set off a chain reaction of fear and stress. Imagine the embarrassment, time involved, and loss of trust that occurs after that company made all of those phone calls. And then their next steps are to figure out how they were hacked. A firewall can quickly give you the ability to investigate the traffic history. “I don’t know” in IT usually means more frustration and higher costs.
What To Do
It’s easier than you think.
Get help from a experienced security professional and create a comprehensive security strategy and stick to it. Many businesses or IT departments put a security plan in place, get to the point that things are performing smoothly, and then make the mistake of deviating from the plan since “nothing is happening” or “some web sites are being blocked”. Security is not static. Adjustments need to be made.
Protections are happening behind the scenes and some web sites are blocked because that’s what the firewall is designed to do to protect you from yourself. Your security reports schedule should be in place and should be reviewed so you know you’re getting your money’s worth. Contact Us if you need help. Our managed firewall solutions are part of our Security component of our Managed IT platform and is very affordable, easy to implement on a small or large scale, and won’t interrupt people’s work.
There are 4 parts to a Great Security Strategy
- Anti-Malware Software
- Managed Firewall
- Ant-Virus Software
- Cybersecurity Tips for SMBs : Part IV (Security Patches & Updates)
We will discuss the last two parts (out of 4) of a great security plan over the next couple weeks so stay tuned.
Cybersecurity Resources for Small Business
The descriptions and links below are provided for informational purposes only. The FCC does not endorse any non-FCC product or service, and is not responsible for the content of non-FCC websites, including their accuracy, completeness, or timeliness.
The FCC’s Cybersecurity and Small Business page provides links to information about government agencies and private that ave educational resources and tools related to cybersecurity. If you would like information about your organization included in the Clearinghouse, please send an e-mail with a brief description and Internet link toyour organization’s resoruce along with your contact information, to email@example.com.
- Protecting Your Small Business, Entrepreneur Magazine
- 2011 Awards for best computer security tools, SC Magazine
- Free training materials, security configuration guides from Internet Security Alliance
- Symantec Security Solutions for Small Business
- McAfee Security Solutions for Small Business
- Microsoft Small Business Guide
- Security Tips from Securing our eCity
- Small Business Solutions form StopBadware
- Internet Security Essentials for Businesses 2.0
U.S. Government Resources and Activities
President Obama has identified cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, but one that we as a government or as a country are not adequately prepared to counter. Read about the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative.
- Cybersecurity for Small Business Fundamentals by the NIST
- SBA, NIST and FBI partnership on Cybersecurity for small businesses
- Federal Trade Commission – Identity Theft Information
- NIST Small Business Information Security
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cyber Security Resources
- DHS testimony before the House on Committee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies
- NIH Free Online User Training (non DOD version)
- NIH Free Online User Training
- NIST Guide to Selecting Information Technology Security Products
- National Cyber Security Alliance for Small Business Home Users
- Free online security check ups
- FCC Cybersecurity Roundtable: Protecting Small Businesses
- National Initiative for CyberSecurity Education
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
This is the second post in a series of cybersecurity tips. See Part I : Why Anti-Malware Software is So Important for last week’s post.