For many companies, the need for a tightly secure business network is high, but the budget for making a secure network happen is low. Often times business owners and upper management have to make hard decisions about who they hire to manage these decisions. Seasoned CISOs are not cheap to employ. The software and hardware involved in network security are not cheap, either.

Many businesses struggle with a computer network with more vulnerability gaps than a colander, usually because they did not have a seasoned security expert to start with. Others have great network administrators. However, good administrators are often up against circumstances where their requests for network-securing funds get passed over for other competing budgetary concerns. Network security demands can lose out to investments deemed more targeted to turning potential profits.

The truth is, there are also many business decision makers out there who have trouble understanding the reality of the pending threats against business survival that network vulnerabilities pose. Many CISOs feel frustrated when their network security funding requests are ignored. They know how real the threat is, and they know they will get blamed when that day comes. Meanwhile, many business owners don’t have confidence in understanding what network security requests are critical for their business and what are merely wish-list-worthy.

As a network security firm, we are perpetually in the mode of educating customers for all the above reasons.

Whether your business is one that struggles with having adequate network administration personnel and security insights, or if you are a business owner or decision maker trying to discern what is truly mission-critical with network security (and what is not), here is the list of what is most important to know so that you can make better decisions that will protect your business network and information.

Defending Your Business Against Ransomware and Malware

This one is simple. We strongly recommend you prioritize security over insurance, but do both as you can.

Businesses have made a bad habit of thinking they would save money by putting their dollars into cyberinsurance instead of network security, but it simply leaves the networks vulnerable. Because so many networks remain vulnerable, ransomware incidents have gone through the roof. In fact, ransomware has become such a lucrative business, that cyberinsurance premiums are skyrocketing. As a result, the ransomware business is putting legitimate businesses… out of business.

To protect your business from ransomware and malware, your business cannot do without:

 

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Cybersecurity Concepts: Malware Defense

  1.   Full data backup
  2.  A next-generation firewall
  3.  A complete disaster recovery plan.
    (Free Guide to how to set one up)
  4.  Have a properly configured network that is built to withstand and isolate attacks when they hit. This may include:

Virtual LANs

Network Visibility.
For an introduction to what steps you have to go through post-ransomware attack when there is no visibility, read this.

Defending Against Intrusion

Every time your network users access the internet, they interact with websites and software and servers that are susceptible to be traps, meant to attract intrusion into your system. This is true if…

  1. If you are using public cloud for your business.
  2. If your users have internet access and latitude to Google their way to random sites.
  3. If you utilize Remote Desktop Protocol.

Be aware of this. Learn how to protect your network with:

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Cybersecurity Concepts: Intrusion Defense

Email Is The Most Successful Attack Vector for Malware

Email disguised as being from legitimate senders, but are actually from threat sources, deliver messages with infected attachments. They are sent in hopes to catch an unsuspecting or distracted employee to open it up. Or click on a link. Once that file opens, the infection is unleashed.

Because about 80% of threats come to businesses through email, one would think that all businesses would have their email security locked down tight. But many are not aware of the technology that helps to secure email. To protect email from spoofing and phishing, email systems must be protected with email security that features:

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Cybersecurity Concepts: Email Defense

DKIM – This stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. It is an email authentication method designed to detect forged sender addresses in emails.
SPF – This stands for Sender Policy Framework, a record used to indicate to mail exchanges which hosts are authorized to send mail for a domain.
DMARC – This stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance. One of the primary jobs of this protocol is to match the header and envelope domain names, preventing “header from” spoofs. It works with the SPF and DKIM authentication processes. Brands protected with DMARC as part of their email security measures are unattractive to Spoofers, so having an email security solution with this feature is well worth it!

Having an email system protected with these measures will help prevent many human error moments. This will thwart a vast number of malware attack attempts. Educating employees about spoof spotting is also important.

Do you need an IT department but cannot afford your own?
Hire an MSSP.

MSSP stands for “Managed Security Service Provider.” An MSSP is a business that provides computer engineers and desktop support specialists for hire, and provides the service of monitoring and managing the security devices and systems for a company. As an MSSP, we provide firewall management, virtual private network and private cloud access, intrusion detection, anti-viral services, as well as penetration testing and vulnerability scanning that provides the ongoing detection needed to stay ahead of new threats as they develop.
If you are in the market for an MSSP, we highly recommend you shop around. Some MSSPs are better than others, so ask for references. A good MSSP will also be able to furnish you with a capability statement that will give you a full comprehensive view of their areas of expertise and  also information on a couple of clients.

Final Thoughts About the Importance of Cybersecurity

Whether your business decides to go with an MSSP or if you choose to hire your own dedicated staff, it is wise to regard your business network security like a football coach regards his defensive line. Understanding cybersecurity concepts and implementing a strong defense strategy is foundational to a strong business or organization. As Vince Lombardi once said, “I’ll put the Packers’ best players on the defense. It’s best for a team and good for its morale.” In short, you can put forward your best offense in the business world if you have confidence in the strength of your defense. Knowing that your are well-defended from all cybersecurity threats by giving your business strong security layers outlined above will better position your business team to be more successful and profitable overall.