Secure growth needs intelligent cyber security

June 28, 2018 James McNab

As your business grows, it gets noticed. But not all of the attention is welcome. Increasingly, sophisticated gangs of cyber criminals are going after small businesses. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses through email phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks.

A bitter truth is that 60% of those businesses will be forced to close as a result.

So it’s not overstating the point to say that understanding modern cyber security is, potentially, the difference between your business surviving and not.

Three steps to get to grips with small-business cyber-security

  1. Understand Why it costs less for small businesses to prevent ransomware rather than pay-up
  2. Keep informed of the latest threats to look out for
  3. Understand the small-business technology that can defeat threats

Understand cyber-security technology

It used to be that businesses had one point of access to the internet, so it was like a castle drawbridge. Protect at the point of entry and exit with a firewall. Not so any more. Businesses are increasingly playing host to a myriad of unknown devices, applications and connected things. 

The main difference with a next generation firewall is that you can set application controls and policies. For example, if a member of your staff downloads some file sharing software that may be un-secure, this will be automatically be made visible and you can do something about it instantly.

Plus, overall you will gain far more visibility and control over the users, devices, threats, and vulnerabilities in your network. So when your board asks you, “Are we secure?” you can provide a much more comprehensive answer than if you have a traditional firewall that only controls traffic

What's the best approach to installing next generation firewall?

Some NGFWs can lose visibility and are unable to protect users if they’re outside the traditional network perimeter, or when they bypass the VPN to access the Internet. To try and solve this problem, some NGFWs have added first-generation intrusion prevention and an assortment of unintegrated products.

However, these solutions do little to protect against the risks posed by sophisticated attackers and advanced malware. Nor can they protect roaming users simply and cost-effectively. Furthermore, these NGFWs off er little assistance after an infection occurs. They can’t help scope the infection, contain it, or remediate quickly.

You need best-in-class security technologies that work together transparently, follow the user, and mitigate risk when an attack penetrates the network. The firewall should provide a holistic view of the network and analyse real-time threats and network traffic – effectively, and with scale. Properly installed, it should help your organisation defend against targeted and persistent malware attacks, including emerging threats. Network security and protection best practices reduce complexity so you see your ecosystem more clearly. 

Choose your next generation firewall

The best Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) allows you to control overall access via policy, have more visibility into what’s going on in the network; as well as protect against (and remediate) sophisticated cyber attacks quickly.

To put it another way, if a traditional firewall were an animal, it would be a mole. But if a NGFW were an animal, it would be a hawk. Don't bury your business underground. Learn how to see every cyber threat in your business's ecosystem.


Let us help you understand the latest threats, and how to defend your business against them: discover our small business security solutions.

About the Author

James McNab

James leads Cisco’s cybersecurity marketing across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. He is passionate about helping customers enhance their ability to detect and block cybersecurity threats quickly and effectively so that they can focus on serving their customers and growing their business.

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