Are Your Outdated Firewalls and VPNs Impacting Your Security?

Watching the news can leave you doubting your security plans, and wondering if you’ve done enough to protect your IT assets.

Even those businesses that take IT security seriously and stay on top of current trends can fall short. Imagine those companies that don’t.

A recent Cybersecurity Magazine study found:

  • 43 percent of all data breaches involve small and medium-sized businesses
  • 61 percent of all small businesses reported at least one cyber attack during the previous year
  • 83 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are not financially prepared to recover from a cyber attack
  • 91 percent of small businesses haven’t purchased cyber security insurance and are unaware and unprepared to deal with security breaches

Are you starting to feel uncomfortable?

Today’s state of the internet

Over the past decade, we’ve moved from on-site systems to cloud-based applications. Every website you visit, every file opened, every communication made, presents an opportunity for criminal behavior. If you aren’t aware of the risks, you can’t create adequate protection.

Security tools like VPNs and firewalls are often used to thwart criminal behavior. Still, they can give business owners and managers a false sense of security if they’re not kept up to date.

The trouble with VPNs

A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts communication between your local device and a remote trusted device, network, or internet connection. A VPN creates a virtual cable for transmission that only you can use and have access to.

VPNs are often used when communications may be at higher risk or exposed to potential criminal activity. Organizations use VPNs for secure communication between locations, where contact must be made outside of a single internal network. They’ve been a mainstay in security for over 20 years.

The biggest problem is that they give devices and users full access to the network whether they need it or not. They don’t control access based on identity, meaning a takeover is possible once someone has a way in.

The trouble with firewalls

A firewall filters communication. It works by blocking or opening communications and ports depending on access and need. The goal is to allow authorized and legitimate communications while limiting unauthorized or malicious behavior.

Firewalls can quickly become vulnerable as we open up ports to accommodate new applications, or allow new users into the network. With so much going on in our daily lives, we often forget to close up access once it's been granted. And that can leave your entire system vulnerable.

Forward moving action steps

Security almost always fails when people and businesses take a one-and-done approach.

With new technology comes the added burden of finding new ways to protect it.

Take a look at the current system you’re using. Every component must be placed in an endless queue for auditing, updating, and replacing.

Vigilance is what it takes to maintain a safe environment that reduces your risk of exposure. And puts your IT risks lower than when you started.

For IT Strategy, Cloud Conversion, or Help Desk Services reach out to us at Silver Linings Technology 360-450-4759.