When it comes to network security, it is easy for small to medium sized businesses to say “not me”, “they are only after the big guys.” The reality is that attacks on all networks have been increasing year after year as hackers have become more sophisticated, and small businesses are being affected every day by relaxed or non-existent security policies.
A 2013 study showed that 1 in every 5 small businesses networks would be compromised. In 2016 alone, 49% of ALL U.S. businesses were attacked by ransomware! With the ever-increasing technological advances, it is likely that since then, these numbers have climbed, posing a significant risk for a potential breach, lost or stolen data, or some type of malicious threat.
There are a number of ways Unified System in Bedford, Burlington and the Greater Boston area helps to ensure that you are at minimum risk:
- Updates – Keeping computers and network equipment updated is one of the most effective steps to preventing a possible network security issue. This step is actually so critical that if you skip this step, you undermine ALL your other security protections
- Firewall – A common mistake in small to medium business networks is the lack of proper security at the border where your network connects to the internet. Most people think that a properly configured firewall is good enough. The truth is that hackers nowadays assume there is a firewall in place and have designed their malware and hacking tools to be able to waltz right though a normal firewall’s protection and attack the machines behind the firewall. That is why you need a UTM (Unified Threat Management) device that does gateway virus filtering, intrusion prevention, spam filtering, data loss prevention, and detailed logging and reporting, as well as providing the standard firewall services.
- Passwords – Password and password protection are proving to be an area that needs attention when discussing network security. Using sophisticated software and tools, hackers are easily gaining access to small business networks through simple or default passwords. We can also educate you on the difference between a password that looks secure, but isn’t, and a password that is secure, but can be easy to remember. You don’t have to make a password hard to remember in order for it to be secure.
- Antivirus/Antimalware – Most people know that antivirus and antimalware software are necessary components of network security, but they unwittingly use substandard or ineffective antivirus products, which don’t properly protect their computer systems in today’s environment of advanced threats.
- Many people think that all antivirus/antimalware products are the same, but that is not the case. Newer technologies have evolved rapidly in the past few years on both sides of the war on data theft. With thousands of ransomware variants being released daily (and that is just one threat to your data), the old signature based virus detection systems that most antivirus software use, are outdated and let far too many threats sneak into your network. You should really be using the newer, behavior based detection systems that don’t rely on signatures and can catch unknown malware types. Otherwise you are depending on others being infected first so the antivirus company can analyze the virus/malware and create a new signature definition to detect it, which increases the time between the virus’s discovery and when you are actually protected from it.
- The latest trend in malware is to use file-less attacks which inserts viruses directly into RAM. These attacks allow the attacker to just waltz right through most virus protection systems since there are no malicious files on your disk to analyze. Your malware protection system needs to defend against these types of attacks too.
- In this current ransomware epidemic, it is critical that you be able to undo or roll-back the encryption that locks you out of your data. While you can do this by restoring a good backup, it would be real nice to have this feature built-in to your antivirus/antimalware software. While there are some that do this, there are differences in the features and the effectiveness of the various solutions.
- Call us if you need assistance in selecting the right antivirus/antimalware for you.
We offer a broad range of fixed-rate IT support, computer repair, network solutions, computer services and help desk solutions throughout Lexington, Concord, Acton, Billerica, Woburn, Stoneham, Wakefield, Newton, Wellesley, Waltham, Framingham Watertown, Chelmsford, Reading, Tewksbury, Fitchburg, Leominster, and Melrose.