We live and work in a connected world and the Internet provides a great opportunity for all businesses, sadly, it also makes any organisation a target for cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks are unscrupulous, unsolicited and unwelcome but they are growing at an exponential rate. What was previously an annoyance, is increasingly becoming a serious threat.
Hackers are organised and persistent, they are even professional in their approach and objectives. They have countless methods for spreading and inflicting damage. Organisations without an established security practice (or dedicated resources to manage one) find it difficult to adequately monitor and mitigate these complex, covert and continuous threats.
As the speed of your internet connection increases so do the risks of malicious activity on your network. As we enjoy faster internet connections, we start to use more services, connect to different organisations and applications and share more information. Every type of connection brings its own unique risks that need to be understood and considered.
Through lack of awareness and control, companies and their employees can inadvertently put themselves at risk. The business consequences of a cyber-security breach can impact operations and profitability, cause negative publicity and affect customer relationships.
It is now understood that in the UK one quarter of all office internet traffic is non-business related and whilst inadvertent in most cases this online activity exposes companies to increased risk from Malware infections. Even the most innocent looking website links and email attachments can hold surprises. You have to assume that your company is a permanent target for those wishing to cause you disruption or worse.
“The cost of the worst breaches for small businesses in the UK doubled in 2013, with average costs between £65k and £115k” – Department of Business Innovation and Skills
Whilst the threat posed by cyber-attacks will never truly be eliminated, a focused IT service provider will be able to guide you through the risks posed to your business and provide relevant advice for protecting your people, processes and IT systems when online.
At Zenzero, we understand that the terminology surrounding cyber-security can be emotive, sometimes confusing and almost always concerning. However, the threat is real. Our approach is to safeguard your IT – less big brother and more common sense for businesses. We will help you to identify your weak spots and introduce steps to secure them – which is where our managed anti-virus, anti-spam and next generation firewall solutions come into play.
Too little security can be worse than no security at all, and the SMB that simply implements any minimal firewall and forgets it often has a false sense of security that can lead to unexpected attacks. Traditionally, Internet infections enter the network via a dedicated communications opening (or port) which can be firewalled to block unwanted traffic. However, with the advent of Web 2.0 it has become harder to differentiate between legitimate connections and concealed cyber-threats. It is now the norm for social applications to be used for business purposes. Applications such as Facebook, SharePoint, Twitter and Skype traverse the network in different ways – hopping between and using non-standard ports, hiding within encrypted traffic and tunnelling inside commonly used services.
“60% of British small businesses experienced a cyber-security breach in 2013, and the after-effects can linger” – Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
According to the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, the cost of the worst breaches for small businesses in the UK doubled in 2013. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, with 60% of SMBs experiencing a cyber-security breach in 2013. There is no sensible reason for SMBs to skimp on security. Dell™ SonicWALL™ security and data protection solutions deliver state-of-the-art, enterprise-class security at an SMB price. The Dell SonicWALL Next Generation Firewall (NGFW’s) incorporates everything a traditional firewall does with advanced capabilities to enable businesses to confidently say “yes” to the applications they need. In addition to being affordable, Dell SonicWALL solutions provide comprehensive security features such as intrusion prevention, URL filtering and remote access.
You don’t need to be a well know blue-chip Company to be at risk of attack, a 30 user manufacturing firm are just as likely to be infected by malicious software (or Malware) as a 30,000 user high street bank. While there is a real importance to protecting the data of your business, including that of your customers, lots of the threats that are flying around the internet are not looking for your corporate data, they just want a platform to work from. Malware does not discriminate between organisations and there are many forms of delivery. A conscientious employee may find him or herself tricked into downloading a Botnet through a file received from a hacker posing as a potential new customer. Without knowing, their machine has secretly turned into a zombie for propagating viruses across the Internet.
Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW’s) classify network traffic at the application level to provide greater visibility and granular control. Essentially, this allows businesses to see who’s on the Internet, what they are using it for, how much time are they spending – and set limits. For instance, it may be appropriate for an SMB to allow access to social media during lunch but not at other times, since it could impact upon employee productivity as well as available Internet bandwidth for line-of-business applications. Another advantage of NGFW’s is the ability to detect and remediate threats within outbound traffic as well as inbound, which is important since infections can enter the network in different ways, not just via the Internet. An SMB does not want to damage its reputation by sending infections onwards to customers.
Hackers are as much attracted to small businesses as larger enterprises, even more so because:
– The damage done to an organisation will be more severe (and potentially catastrophic) where more time and resources are spent responding to and recovering from an attack. Typically, larger organisations will be able to absorb the impact for longer.
– Regardless of size, any successful organisation will have valuable electronic information, which will be prized by a motivated attacker. The associated damage and disruption to your business is of no consequence or concern to them.
– Larger enterprises with IT departments (particularly those employing IT Security professionals) will be harder to infiltrate (and remain undetected once inside) than smaller businesses with fewer employees who are performing multiple roles with competing responsibilities.
– Any business can, without its knowledge, become a stepping-stone to the intended real target. Breaches are less conspicuous when originating from credible places, so less secure organisations can unwittingly be caught-up in sophisticated attacks, and pay the price.
Zenzero’s background is managing the IT infrastructure of small businesses and we know the importance of having a Firewall at the extremity of your Network, but more importantly we know that unless the Firewall is fit for purpose and configured correctly you could be at just as much risk as if you did not have one. Zenzero take time to understand the needs of our customers and design and build solutions that meet today’s needs and are on a scalable platform that will grow and adapt to changing requirements.
Contact Zenzero today to arrange a free consultation and review of your current security policies and discuss the options available to tighten your control.
Zenzero’s Managed Security Platform
At Zenzero we protect your infrastructure through expert management of leading software tools and techniques, systems and processes to ensure that your security posture is aligned with your business. Security best practice forms an integral part of our service. As the threat landscape evolves, we have developed a sophisticated Managed Security Platform, which incorporates the following features:
– Managed Anti-Virus proactively scans your workstations and servers: identifying, quarantining and removing harmful machine infections (such as spyware and trojans); ensuring that users are always running up-to-date Anti-Virus software from market leader Kaspersky. Your business is protected from viruses which may corrupt, steal or destroy your electronic data, inflict damage upon your infrastructure and disrupting your operations.
– Hosted Email Security intelligently analyses your incoming emails against known harmful and potentially harmful sources, ensuring that legitimate emails reach your inbox and dangerous ones do not. Spam not only wastes business time but often harbours dangerous payloads (such as phishing and malware) which present a business risk to you and your customers in the form of data loss or leakage.
– Next Generation Firewall technology performs deep packet inspection of inbound and outbound network traffic, detecting and preventing the latest complex Internet threats and ensuring that your data is protected. Your firewall is the Internet gateway to your business: if it is not providing granular protection then your business is not safe from today’s evolved Internet threats (such as encrypted malware and botnets).