Many small businesses today still believe they are not targets for hackers because of their size, but, the opposite is actually true. Hackers prey on small businesses because they tend to have lower defenses than bigger companies, which is usually due to lack of financial resources and man power.

According to a recent threat report from an Internet security firm, 60% of all targeted attacks struck small and medium sized businesses. The average cost of one of these targeted attacks is $36,000.00!

Protecting your data security is an ongoing process of trying to stay one step ahead of hackers. So how can you keep your business from becoming a statistic?

In the upcoming editions of ePress, we are dedicating this section to MUST HAVES of network security. We will discuss hardware, software, internet and email, along with employee education.  In this edition, we will take a look at the first line of defense between your business and the outside world…the router/firewall.

Router/Firewall – Must Have

Your end users cannot determine whether a website is ‘safe’ or uninfected by looking at it.

Legitimate websites are compromised every day. Why risk someone else’s security problem becoming your problem?

At its core, a firewall inspects incoming network traffic and determines if it is safe to let through or if it should be blocked. How it determines varies depending on the type of firewall.

Lower end firewalls work with a static set of rules or filters that are set at the time of manufacture and are only updated when the device’s firmware is updated (which means these devices can become ineffective with age). These devices usually allow you to block a limited number of websites by manually adding the offending website to a blocked list. These ‘static’ firewalls are generally the less expensive devices, with SOHO (small home & office) brands found at many local retail outlets. Small Business brands are available from companies like DCR.

Higher end, subscription based, firewalls use rules and filters that are continuously updated to protect against new and evolving threats and attacks.  These devices inspect incoming network traffic, and, block websites based on categories and content, not just by a specific website URL.  Categories such as social media, gambling, gaming, adult sites, and many others, can be blocked without having to know a specific URL or website.  Content Filtering blocks websites based on the content of the webpage. Content could include profanity, adult sites or other content that may be offensive or against company policy. In addition, these higher end devices include anti-malware scanning (viruses and spyware), intrusion detection and prevention (hackers). The subscription based devices include an upfront purchase and an annually renewing subscription.

Contact DCR today to discuss which router/firewall meets your security needs and budget.