You may think that large enterprise companies are the most frequent targets for cybercriminals, but that is not the case. As more businesses invest in cybersecurity tools, cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
“Large businesses continue to invest in their cybersecurity and enhance their cybersecurity posture,” FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Sohn told CNBC. “So what the cybercriminals are doing is pivoting; they’re evolving and targeting the soft targets, which are the small and medium businesses.”
In total, 43% of all attacks target businesses with less than 1,000 employees. The results can be devastating. In fact, 60% of SMBs that fall victim to data breaches permanently close their doors within six months of an attack.
Attackers know that SMBs are less likely to have dedicated cybersecurity teams and may use outdated or unsupported systems that have known security flaws. Because smaller businesses feel that they are less likely to be a target, they often do not employ basic security tools that can help keep them secure.
Make no mistake – those attacking SMBs are not lone hackers working in their parents’ basement. They are sophisticated criminal enterprises (often organized crime) responsible for some $8.44 trillion worth of damage in 2022.
Your first step to improving your network security posture is to deploy a network firewall.
What is a Network Firewall?
A network firewall protects your network assets from unauthorized access. Inspecting and filtering incoming and outgoing traffic enables the identification and blocking of potential threats.
Nearly every business is connected to the internet. Doing business in the cloud can provide significant benefits, but it can also expose your network to attacks if you do not have the right network security in place. Also, the attack surface has grown even larger over the past few years, as remote work and distributed workforces have become more common.
Basic network firewalls provide a layer of security, while next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) go a step further, adding more sophisticated tools such as:
- Access control at the application level.
- Intrusion prevention systems (IPS).
- Advanced threat detection.
- Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security decryption to inspect encrypted traffic.
- Advanced support for virtual private networks (VPNs) to provide secure access.
- User and device identification.
Some NGFWs can monitor network traffic for sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or other sensitive information, and prevent that data from being extracted from the network.
Depending on your level of network security, you may be vulnerable to a large number of sophisticated threats.
What Does a Network Firewall Prevent?
Without a network firewall, hackers can do significant damage. A few of the more common types of attacks include:
- Data breaches. Hackers gain access to your network and steal company, employee and customer information.
- Malware. Hackers upload viruses or malicious software into your network.
- Structured query language (SQL) injection. Hackers insert malicious code into a database to steal or change data.
- Ransomware. Hackers encrypt your data and hold it for ransom.
- Network takeover. Hackers take control of your network and use it for criminal activity.
With the right network firewall in place, you add a significant layer of protection to your network security. The best solutions will block a large number of potential malicious activities and alert you when something suspicious occurs, making it easier to identify the risk and contain any resulting damage.
A network firewall can prevent attacks from happening at all. Just like alarm systems, cameras and guards can dissuade someone from robbing a bank, the presence of a network firewall may be enough for cybercriminals to bypass your network and look for an easier target.
Does Your SMB Need a Network Firewall?
In 2022, cyberattacks reached a record level, and the recovery costs are escalating at a rapid rate. While enterprise-level companies may lose millions from breaches, the median cost of an attack for SMBs is $18,000.
So, does your SMB need a network firewall?
Protect your network and secure your business, employee, and customer data. Contact the experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks online or call 888-505-6449 to learn more.