Does your business website have a firewall?
In light of recent events in cyber security, you need to be asking your IT team this question.
A 2007 NCSA Cyber Security survey revealed that a mere 4% of the population has a full understanding of firewalls. Four out of ten (44%) of Americans don't have any idea about them, while 73% BELIEVE they have a firewall on their computer.
As business owner, you should be part of that 4% that has a full understanding. If you do not have a firewall in place, you are placing your business and cash flow in serious jeopardy.
What is a firewall?
Well, firewalls monitor data exchanges between your server and other computers across cyberspace to determine whether each connection is safe or not. The firewall is similar to the shields Captain Kirk regularly deploys on the Star Trek Enterprise. While Kirk will raise and lower shields depending on the situation… a firewall is always up and running… deflecting the bad stuff. If you don't have a firewall or are unsure, contact the experts at Superb Internet and let them give you a no obligation security check.
There is no cost to you, and you'll have peace of mind when you get the information you need to secure your business website. You might be also asking yourself, why do I need the added expense of a firewall?
Great question! Honestly, not many websites actually have a firewall configuration… and that can be bad for business. If your server is compromised, then you're looking at downtime.
Downtime = cash flow loss.
Recovery = added expense.
In my opinion, a firewall is better than insurance… it's almost negligence to NOT HAVE a firewall for your business. Both for your website. Even if your server software is outdated, a firewall can provide protection… and let's be honest, many times we simply 'forget' to do regular updates.
I'll cover how to handle updates in a later article, but suffice it to say a firewall is worth its' weight in gold. Allow me to explain:
With a firewall, your shield is up all the time… protecting your business. And don't worry, it doesn't matter if you do not understand how to manage or setup a firewall. I'll explain later in this article how to get a managed firewall custom tailored for your business.
Here are three solid reasons why having a firewall is a must:
1. No Business Is Too Big or Too Small
Sony Pictures was hacked and blackmailed in 2014 with a creepy red skull appearing on their systems. Cybercriminals leaked yet-to-be-released films and hacked Sony's Twitter account. Sensitive company data was destroyed and employee information like social security numbers and salaries were compromised.
Believe it or not, the big names are actually being avoided in favor of companies that tend to have weaker protection than the larger enterprises. Corporations are taking massive steps to cyber protection and allotting huge funds for hardened security, and they become a more tedious undertaking.
The criminals are going for the low hanging fruit. Is this your business? If you own a smaller business, you're a prime target. You've got more digital assets compared to the typical individual consumers, and you're putting your business on a criminal's radar.
Without a firewall and with little effort, these criminals can get away with your lifelong investment.
2. Ransomware and Cyber Threats
Ransomware attacks are quite common. Malware encrypts enterprise data and can only be recovered when you fork over some bitcoin to unlock the data. The cyber-attacker demands payment in cryptocurrencies which leave no identifiable trail. In 2016, the SAW horror-film-inspired JIGSAW ransomware which slowly deleted files when the victim refused to pay the ransom.
What's even worse is you could be the victim of compromising emails or data that could change your life forever. Hillary Clinton and the DNC both learned the importance of data protection in 2015 and 2016.
And recently, hackers exploited an NSA surveillance tool released into the public domain. The malware called Wanna Decryptor 2.0 crippled hospitals worldwide. Dozens of countries were affected as the malicious software rendered computers useless and left staff unable to access medical records.
3. You Are In Charge Of Who Gets Access
Can you imagine seeing the mouse move around on your screen as someone attempts to take control remotely? Just think of the aforementioned ransomware warning tactics that scare users off while cyber attackers seem to have fun in the background. All computers and devices that are connected to the internet are potential targets for hackers, key loggers, and Trojans; these terrors lie in wait for the best opportunity to attack security vulnerabilities.
A correctly configured firewall on a modern OS can ensure that remote desktop access is disabled to prevent unauthorized user access. Moreover, firewalls block access by apps, perhaps even the software that you trust and unknowingly penetrate your system.
In short, it doesn't matter what line of business you are in…power plants, credit unions, hedge funds, PR firms, hotels, retail shops, colleges, and online businesses are all at risk. I've already listed three examples where a firewall can protect your business - here are quite a few more that you should be aware of:
I imagine by now you're getting the idea of the importance of a firewall. But what kind of firewall? How do I add a firewall to my existing server or website?
There are two types of firewalls: Software and Hardware.
Software firewalls are installed onto your server or local PC. These are great, but they are resource intense which means they can slow down your computer or server. Every PC in your local environment must be protected. A good software firewall filters traffic of data down to the last detail, whether that is incoming or outgoing. Automated whitelisting tools establish whether the packets meet the rules or specified security criteria or not, and will either be accepted or rejected accordingly.
Hardware based firewalls are essentially a server that monitors everything going in and leaving your computer or server. Hardware is superior to software in many ways. For one, they eliminate any load from your main business website. Your website can work as it should without having to fight off attackers. Hardware firewalls provide maximum security as data is filtered at packet-level while utilizing less resources on your main server. This is why Superb Internet uses the Cisco ASA series firewall to protect servers and websites.
The Cisco ASA is a mix of hardware and software. This provides you dedicated hardware with an easy to manage web interface. Superb Internet will also configure and deploy the firewall in front of your website for you.
What Is the Cisco ASA and How Does It Work?
Cisco ASA, short for Adaptive Security Appliance, is a versatile firewall that can be added to any virtual or dedicated server at Superb Internet. Cisco ASA combines software and hardware firewall, antivirus and virtual private network (VPN) features in one. Keeping your business online and protected is something you don't want to take lightly. The right business-owner mindset is to never underestimate the possibility of cyber security attacks. It is imperative that you stop them before they get into your network.
The Cisco ASA is included in Superb's Managed Services Suite. You can even add a Cisco Managed Firewall to any existing Superb Internet Cloud or Dedicated Server. And right now, if you add the 5-in-1 Manages Services plan, you'll get Cisco Managed Firewall bundled with the following services and save a bundle of money at the same time:
You'll get everything…
… hack prevention
… ransom protection
… data backup
... OS hardening and patch updates
… and a Cisco managed firewall
You get everything you need to SECURE YOUR BUSINESS and protect yourself.
Please login to your customer portal at https://mycp.superb.net/ or contact our sales team for a FREE Security and Data Protection Assessment by clicking the following link:
Thank you for reading.