Are firewalls enough to protect your company’s network?

Are firewalls enough to protect your company’s network?

In the current threat landscape, no organization is safe. Even small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with firewall solutions can be potential cybercrime targets. With previous incidents on ransomware attacks and data breaches, the need for a comprehensive and proactive approach to security becomes even more immediate.

When it comes to securing your business, firewall solutions are a great foundation to protect your network. However, they are no longer enough to mitigate bigger and more complex threats.

Fighting off these risks require a considerable amount of skills, time, and resources, which may not be feasible for SMBs. Ultimately, to protect your network, you will need vulnerability assessments, patching, firmware updates, intrusion and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and security monitoring.

Targeted attacks can bypass blacklisting

The cornerstone of traditional antivirus security is blacklisting, or the technology used in identifying and stopping harmful files and known malware.The problem is, attackers can now bypass blacklisting allowing them to move within the network without being detected and steal corporate passwords in order to gain access to other systems. Recent incidents indicate how attackers sidestep traditional firewalls to carry out phishing attacks, breach security, and pilfer data.

Customized malware account for most data breaches

Cybercriminals refine and streamline their attacks to suit their targets' specific circumstances. For example, attackers can use polymorphic malware, single out outdated software, and then distribute their attack via online scams. These added complexities give them the ability to bypass basic firewall detection.

Cybercrime is evolving

Along with the increased incidents of sophisticated attacks, the cybercriminal underground economy has also expanded rapidly as it continuously improves technologies and modifies its targets to boost their lucrative businesses. Consequently, as these tools and techniques become more sophisticated, it gets easier to breach security systems such as firewalls. In addition, newer means are also crafted to serve mobile threats, which traditional firewalls don’t cover.

Social engineering doesn't go out of style

Firewalls can’t defend against social engineering tactics that come in the form of phishing scams and malicious URLs. Social engineering, where cybercriminals manipulate users into revealing sensitive information, doesn't require a high level of technical expertise. All it takes to pull off a successful attack is to establish employee trust by using official emails or even links on Facebook.

Traditional firewalls aren’t a silver bullet

Though firewalls, file scanners, and removal tools will always be important components in keeping computers secure against malware, they may not be able to protect against more sophisticated threats.

Besides strong firewalls, here's what your business should do:

  • Train your employees to follow best practices and updated guidelines to minimize the risk of falling prey to phishing, harmful links, and other social engineering scams.
  • Keep your operating systems updated and regularly patched.
  • Encrypt your wireless network and block access to restricted sites with internet filters.
  • Equip your network with a managed security solution. This includes a robust IPS that can help identify and prevent rapid-moving threats from entering your network. Monitor your systems regularly for any suspicious behavior. A security expert should be able to help you.

Want to learn more? Charles IT helps businesses in Middletown, Hartford, and New Haven design, install, and manage layered security solutions that are based on the needs of their business and industry. Call us today and let us help you.