Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 by Tyler Okhovatian
Here’s one thing the cybersecurity world can agree on: there is no single product available today that will solve all of your cybersecurity problems. In today’s world, it takes many technologies and processes to provide comprehensive risk and security management. Instead, SMBs should continually be checking their systems for vulnerabilities, learning about new threats, thinking like attackers and adjusting their defenses as needed.
Cybersecurity technology starts with antivirus software. Antivirus, as its name implies, is designed to detect, block, and remove viruses and malware. Modern antivirus software can protect against ransomware, keyloggers, backdoors, rootkits, datto.com 10 trojan horses, worms, adware, and spyware. Some products are designed to detect other threats, such as malicious URLs, phishing attacks, social engineering techniques, identity theft, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
A network firewall is also essential. Firewalls are designed to monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a set of configurable rules—separating your secure internal network from the Internet, which is not considered secure. Firewalls are typically deployed as an appliance on your network and in many cases offer additional functionality, such as virtual private network (VPN) for remote workers.
Patch management is an important consideration as well. Cyber criminals design their attacks around vulnerabilities in popular software products such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Flash Player. As vulnerabilities are exploited, software vendors issue updates to address them. As such, using outdated versions of software products can expose your business to security risks. There are a variety of solutions available that can automate patch management.
Recent studies have reported that weak passwords are at the heart of the rise in cyber theft, causing 76% of data breaches. To mitigate this risk, businesses should adopt password management solutions for all employees. Many people have a document that contains all of their password information in one easily accessible file—this is unsafe and unnecessary. There are many password management apps available today. These tools allow users keep track of all your passwords, and if any of your accounts are compromised you can change all of your passwords quickly. Encryption is also an important consideration. Encrypting hard drives ensures that data will be completely inaccessible, for example if a laptop is stolen.
These measures protect against a wide array of cyber attacks. However, because threats like ransomware are always evolving, security solutions are just one part of an effective defense strategy. You also need solutions in place that enable you to return to operations quickly if you do suffer a cyber attack. Data protection technologies are an essential second layer of defense against cyber crime.
Taking frequent backups of all data considered critical to your business is critical. The exact frequency of backups will vary based on your business’ specific needs. Traditionally, most businesses took a daily backup, and for some businesses this may still be suitable. However, today’s backup products are designed to make incremental copies of data throughout the day to minimize data loss. When it comes to protecting against cyber attacks, solutions that back up regularly allow you to restore data to a point in time before the breach occurred without losing all of the data created since the previous night’s backup. Some data protection products can take image-based backups that are stored in a virtual machine format—essentially a snapshot of the data, applications, and operating system. This allows users to run applications from the backup copy. This functionality is typically referred to as instant recovery or recovery-in-place. The ability to run an application from the backup instance of a virtual machine allows users to continue working while the primary server is restored following an outage, dramatically reducing downtime. Some solutions, including what we use here at CompuSys, extend this capability to the cloud to protect against failures which impact primary and on premises backup copies, as well.
Cyber crime is growing at a rapid rate and businesses are increasingly targeted. According to the National Small Business Association, 44% of small businesses have been the victim of a cyber attack and the number of breaches reporter per year continues to climb. A recent Juniper Research study estimates that cyber crime will cost businesses $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing by almost 4X the cost of breaches in 2015. Developing a robust, multi-layered cybersecurity strategy can save a business. Ongoing employee education and security technology will boost your front line of defense and dramatically decrease the likelihood of any breaches. Lastly, a solid, reliable backup and recovery solution is the second and most essential layer of defense, allowing businesses to quickly recover unscathed should things turn ugly