How to stop hackers getting to your network

 In Security

Let me give you a solid number to consider from the Australian Cyber Security Centre. In a period between 2014 and 2015, there were 15,000 malware compromises (as in, an incident where a system was successfully harmed) reported daily in Australia. I have my calculator on hand, and I can tell you that is close to 5.5 million breaches in a year. That’s a sobering number. And as we’ve discussed before, small businesses increasingly find themselves targeted by hackers.

In the words of the ACSC: “compromise is expensive. It can include financial losses, damage to reputation, loss of IP and disruption to business”.

The scary news is that small businesses are being targeted. The good news is that there are now effective, streamlined security systems available that have been specifically designed for the small business environment: UTMs. I know that sounds like a painful medical condition, but it actually stands for ‘unified threat management’ and I’ll explain how a UTM can save you money by helping you to avoid costly hacking breaches.

Now you know what UTM stands for, what actually is it?

A UTM can be an appliance or an online service but, however they look, UTMs offer a single IT security solution for small businesses. In contrast with separately installing and managing firewalls, antimalware software and web filtering software, a UTM is a single system that provides an umbrella of protection – usually antivirus, firewall, intrusion protection, VPN and web filtering protections – over multiple devices, systems and remote offices.

A well-chosen UTM product can provide you with:

  • Email protection – Protection from spam, phishing and data loss.
  • Online protection – Web filtering that scans web traffic for incoming threats and blacklists compromised websites.
  • Network protection – Firewall and intrusion prevention to keep unwanted traffic off your business network.
  • BYOD protection – Ability to protect against threats that may originate from BYOD (bring your own device) users.
  • Secure remote access – Easy remote access to business resources on all devices.
  • Streamlined protection – A single appliance to serve all your IT security needs.
  • Simplified management – A centralised point of IT security management with option for automatic updating to minimise manual intervention.
  • Reporting and analytics – On a per user or service level.
  • Value for money – The integration of IT security needs in one device is cheaper than acquiring and managing separate devices, as well as being a time-saving option.

ProITS recommends

In the current hacktiverse, small businesses are far better off with a single, integrated IT security system. Of the UTM options available, we recommend the Sophos range which is affordable, offers comprehensive protections and features and is easy to implement.

Proactive IT Solutions can help you protect yourself against hacking threats with a UTM system. Get in touch for more information and a quote.

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Man with tablet in cafeLogo on the wall of the Australian Cyber Security Centre