Take control with Endpoint Security

An IT network may have a Next Generation Firewall(s) in place to help keep out the malicious attacks but, it is advisable to have a layered approach to IT network security, like adding a layer of endpoint security.

Similar to Next Generation Firewalls, ‘Endpoint Security’ is an enhancement of traditional anti-virus as it is an all-in-one security suite where it will protect user devices (endpoints) on the network from viruses, worms, malware and offer security enforcement features and much, much more. Whereas anti-virus is designed simply too detect and destroy viruses and worms.

Why Endpoint? I hear you ask – Advances in technology has led to the changes in the corporate network demands i.e. increase usage of social media and employees working remotely, through the internet or different devices. So, it is becoming a critical element for corporations because it offers that extra layer of security by protecting the end-user devices and offer more control for the IT administrators to the IT network.

Some of the Advantages of Endpoint Security:-

  • Provides Security and Protection for devices
  • Central Management Control Console
  • Ability to Set and Enforce Security Policies
  • Web Content Control
  • Application Control
  • Email Protection and Encryption
  • Mobile Security
  • Anti-Virus and Malware
  • Etc.

But, you need to keep in mind ‘Endpoint Security suites’ features will vary depending on the brand. So, businesses need to decide which are the most important features and evaluate the different Endpoint offerings before deployment.

For advise on Endpoint Security Suites, contact us today.

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What are Next Generation Firewalls?

Firewalls are a piece of software or hardware that helps to prevent unauthorized access to a computer or an IT network by screening out viruses, worms and hackers. As cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated the traditional firewall are now being replaced by the ‘Next Generation Firewall’ (NGFW).

Next Generation Firewalls

While traditional firewalls looks at IT network protection as a whole, the Next Generation Firewalls have the additional functionality of securing applications and web content. They have integrated intrusion prevention, allowing network administrators to apply controls at the application layer. They also have deep packet inspection, with the capability to detect malicious malware and web content. For network administrators on NGFW devices you can gain more insight on the network usage by adding the reporting and monitoring tools on the device.

Why use one?

It is important for businesses to assess their current IT network for vulnerabilities on a regular basis and whether the current infrastructure would protect the business against the evolving malicious threats.  With the growing usage of social media and internet for work purposes, NGFW will give businesses the extra protection they need. A NGFW device will also provide a cost-effective way adding an additional layer of content and application protection while providing a management system into one device.

Considerations when Implementing Security on your IT Network: Business of Cybercrime Series – Part 3

The lack of adequate protection and defences on an IT network would make a business vulnerable to hacking and the implications can be damaging, often the damage is dependent on what mood the hacker is in and what devastation they would like to cause.

Effects from a hacking can disrupt business operations, causing downtime, corrupt data, affect brand perception and reputation. Being a victim of cybercrime can also mean the business breaches the data protection act or experience compliance breaches.

With technology moving so quickly within the IT market, there are a number of methods and products to choose from – the key is to choose what is right for your network.

You need to consider:-

  • What type of IT infrastructure does the business have? Virtual or Physical?
  • What are your data requirements?
  • What would you consider to be your critical data or programs?
  • What security is currently implemented on your network?

Rule of thumb is a full assessment of the current security situation and the condition of the infrastructure is necessary, in order to help determine what is the right solution for your business.  After the assessment, you can then decide on which method or security brand would be most suitable.

3 methods of protection:-

Anti-Virus

Is software to help defend you against viruses and other malware threats including Trojans, worms and sometimes spyware; however, the level of protection provided by the anti-virus is dependent on the one you choose.  Well-known brands include Sophos, Symantec and Kaspersky.

Firewall

A firewall helps to prevent unauthorized access to a computer or a network, there are two types ‘network firewall’ and ‘client firewall’.

A network firewall is installed on the boundary between two networks, normally located between the internet and a company network – it can be either a device or software running on a computer that acts as a gateway to the company network.  Whereas, a client firewall is when software is installed and runs on an end users computer, protecting only that particular computer.  Well-known network firewall brands include SonicWall and Watchguard.

Encryption

This secures your data by encrypting your desktops, laptops, emails, USB’s files and other devices; it prevents unauthorized access where the information can only be accessed by entering an encryption key or password.

For an IT network it is advisable to have at least Firewalls and Anti-Virus software installed. For businesses that uses mobile devices and have a mobile workforce who carry business data around, encryption is recommended. For example, 2-factor authentication can be implemented on business mobile phones, to ensure if the phone was lost or stolen it will help prevent others using it because it is a secure method that seeks to decrease the probability that the user is presenting false evidence of its identity. Well-known 2-factor authentication brands include Cryptocard and Vasco.

Other ways of encryption includes installing a type of software on a device where data is automatically encrypted, email encryption and manual encryption where the user chooses what data requires encoding.

So, regardless of the size of the organisation security is necessary for protection as data is a key asset and is also valuable in the wrong hands.

When it comes to cybercrime business should not think it ‘will never happen to me’, ‘My data isn’t worth the hassle’ but, the truth is, cybercrime criminals do not discriminate, if you have business data you can potentially be a target.

For more information on how to protect your business data please feel free to contact us.