Cyber-Security Breaches: Not IF but WHEN

Date February 10, 2016 Author Comments Leave your thoughts

Cybersecurity

Once again, network security breaches and attacks are all over the news.  It’s somewhat alarming to be able to say with some confidence now that it really is no longer a matter of if your network will be attacked but, rather, when it will be attacked.

Worse, some of those attacks will, through a lucky early break or through sheer persistence over a longer period, eventually succeed and compromise the network by taking it down or stealing valuable commercial information.  The head in the sand approach of ‘it will only happen to someone else’ just doesn’t hold true anymore.

Embrace your Firewall Data 

So, what to do?   First of all, stay aware of what’s happening out there.  Look at your firewall logs regularly (you do have firewalls, don’t you…) and look at trends, types of approaches, etc.  Trouble is, we all set out with the best intentions to keep on top of all this stuff but other priorities come along and we put off the things we should be doing regularly until tomorrow, next week, next month…

Secondly, keep an eye on what’s actually going on within your network.  Are there odd occurrences now and then, different and/or unexpected traffic patterns?  The network may already have been compromised and smart hackers (and many of them are) aren’t going to advertise their presence once they’re in – they may well just sit there and regularly steal data while being as innocuous as possible.  It can be hard to spot.

Oh dear, all bad news so far; is there any good news to be had?  Of course there is…

Today’s next generation firewalls are extremely powerful tools in the world of network protection.  Key, as always, is a comprehensive definition of what the protection requirements are.  If you know exactly what you need then the most appropriate protection products can be assessed and selected.

In the absence of the ‘magic bullet’ product in the market, there is no one size fits all solution here.  You can, of course, always go for the biggest, shiniest, feature rich and most expensive (!) firewall available but if you don’t need all that functionality, why spend all that money?

Think back a couple of paragraphs; those detailed daily reports will get read on the day, won’t they?  Or is it tomorrow, next week, next month…  The point is, if you don’t need all that information, don’t pay for it – there are firewalls available to suit different needs, sizes of business, security levels, and so on – ask us about your firewall options.

A Final Thought 

Finally, for now, will that biggest, shiniest, etc., firewall guarantee your network security?  It might for a while but sooner or later someone will figure out a way – even if it comes down to a disgruntled (ex) employee looking for a payback.  That one is pretty hard to crack and relates more to internal security processes and procedures than the actual hardware/software solution you select.  But, with the right specification leading to the right product selection backed up with consistent monitoring and awareness of your network environment and behaviour, you can go a long, long way to protecting your vital business assets.

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Author Ian Price

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