The importance of multi-layered internet security
Privatise Online encryption

The importance of internet security for businesses

Multi-layered internet security is a business essential

For businesses today, the question of cyber attack is no longer if, but when.

When it comes to those routinely targeted by cyber criminals, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are most at risk. Unlike large businesses, SMBs mistakenly believe that they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals and that they have nothing worth stealing. This dangerous delusion often leads some SMBs to invest very little into cyber security – opting for nothing more than a business firewall and anti-virus solution.

However, cyber crime today is far more sophisticated; cyber criminals have access to an array of tools that they can use to access your business’ network, steal critical information, and cripple your business from the inside.

From Phishing and Distributed Denial of Service (overwhelming a network with traffic from multiple sources), to Man-in-the-Middle attacks and Malware – the online threats that your business faces are growing and evolving every day.

Having a simple anti-virus solution is no longer enough. Anti-virus can protect your business devices and network against malware but it can’t prevent someone accessing your business’ network or stealing information.

For your business to be protected online, you need to invest in a multi-layered internet security network and privacy solution. And when you consider that 98% of businesses rely on some form of online communication, you will quickly appreciate the importance of internet security for businesses.

You need to be able to protect against intrusion and malicious attacks, as well as keep you communications secure and private.

Also, as more and more of your employees use their own devices to access your business’ cloud or network, it will only become harder for you to keep your information and business secure.

Online security and privacy solutions for small and medium-sized businesses

The importance of internet security for businesses cannot be understated, but building a multi-layered internet security infrastructure for your business requires a number of solutions. Below are a few of the essential cyber security tools and solutions that your business needs to ensure it’s protected from cyber attack.

A firewall is a network security device or system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on a predetermined set of security rules that you configure. Firewalls prevent unwanted network traffic and allow you to prevent cyber attackers flooding your network with useless information and form a key part of your multi-layered internet security.

Windows, for example, comes with a built-in firewall and anti-virus (Windows Defender) and it is on by default. It’s a great, straightforward solution for small businesses looking to protect their business devices. If you do turn it off, be sure that you know what you are doing and have another solution in place.

Anti-spam software is used to prevent email spam (unsolicited bulk email). Modern anti-spam software doesn’t just filter out spam emails but also emails containing malware or unwanted code by scanning incoming emails. Anti-spam software provides an additional layer of security by monitoring and protecting your email servers – another entry point for cyber criminals.

Viruses are a specific type of malware. Malware is a broad term used to refer to unwanted or malicious code. This includes viruses, spyware, adware, trojans, worms, ransomware and much more. Anti-virus/anti-malware software helps to prevent, detect and remove malware, an incredibly useful and important part of your internet security. It’s also critical that you keep your anti-virus up to date, so make sure that you run updates on a regular basis to get the latest virus definitions and security updates.

Without some form of online encryption to keep the data you transfer and receive online private, it can be intercepted and read by cyber criminals. Your business’ office network might be secure – but what about employees connecting remotely using unsecured networks? Without some form of online encryption or privacy, the information they transfer over these networks can be easily intercepted.

A VPN, however, resolves this issue. VPNs create a secure connection between your device and the VPN server. All the data that travels between your device and the VPN server is encrypted, ensuring no-one else can see it. The importance of internet security for businesses is growing as more and more people work remotely, using unsecured connections at internet cafes or airports. Especially when these networks can be easily accessed by cyber criminals who have the knowledge and the right tools.

Disk encryption technology encrypts data at rest – i.e. data contained on your computer by converting it into unreadable code. This functionality can be applied to every file on your system. If a cyber criminal gains access to your business’ data at rest and extracts it, disk encryption will ensure it remains unreadable and unusable, serving as the final line of defence.

Disk encryption is particularly important where laptops are concerned as unlike desktops with hard drives, laptops are prone to being lost or stolen, and the hard drives within them can be extracted with little difficulty. Furthermore, as BYOD becomes more and more common within businesses, laptops have become the device of choice, whilst desktops are often left on the business’ premise. All the more important that the hard drives within these laptops are protected with encryption!

Privatise Fly Wheel

Just how important is internet security for businesses?

In today’s world – a world full of ever-evolving cyber threats – a multi-layered internet security strategy is fundamental.

Without a multi-layered internet security system, your business will be vulnerable and susceptible to attacks from cyber criminals via a growing number of channels. Implementing just one cyber security solution is not enough – you need an entire suite of connected and integrated tools to ensure your SMB is completely secure.

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Malware

Malicious software, also known as Malware, is designed to attack your computer, infect files and impede your use of it. Malware can quickly spread to files on your system and network, so it's important to have some form of anti-virus.
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Phishing

Phishing schemes are attempts to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and even credit card details by using fake emails, websites or communications that appear to be legitimate.
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Spam

Email spam, also known as unsolicited bulk email (UBE), and/or junk mail is where emails are sent in bulk to a target address. Cyber criminals can use spam to launch phishing attacks, so investing in anti-spam software is key.
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Spoofing

Spoofing attacks are where a person or program pretend to be someone or something else by falsifying data to launch an attack, steal data, spread malware or bypass authentication controls.
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Spyware

Spyware is a software that monitors your activity in an attempt to gain information without your consent or knowledge.
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Man-in-the-middle attack

Man-in-the-middle attack is where an attacker is privy to all the information travelling between one party and another online, specifically where two parties are using an otherwise secure channel, such as HTTPS. The two parties believe they are communicating with each other and that their information is secure, but the man-in-the-middle is possibly altering, relaying or siphoning the information.

You can’t afford to delay deploying a VPN solution for your SMB

An often overlooked component in many SMBs’ multi-layered online security model is a VPN solution.

Unlike larger businesses that have invested heavily into cyber security out of fear of attack or breach, some small businesses believe that their security program is “good enough”, that they are unlikely to be attacked, and that they have nothing of worth to cyber criminals. Many of these businesses believe that having just a firewall and anti-virus solution is enough to keep their business and devices protected online.

However, what many SMBs have failed to consider is the implications of workers connecting to the business’ secure network remotely using their own devices. The business prescribed anti-virus and firewall solution can protect the business’ office computers – but what about employees who use their own devices (all of which have no security) to access the business’ network when they are working remotely?

As BYOD and remote working become ever more popular, it’s not at all uncommon for employees to work from cafes, airports or restaurants using public unsecured WiFi to get important work done. The issue, however, is that by using these networks, those employees expose themselves and the business’ data to cyber criminals lurking on these unsecured networks.

This is precisely where a VPN is required. In building a multi-layered security model, you – as an SMB owner – and your respective in-house IT administrator must carefully consider and address the issues arising from BYOD and remote working. Your employees will no doubt use their own devices to access your business’ online network and on that basis, the information to and from their devices must be encrypted and kept private.

Ultimately, you need a VPN solution that’s built specifically for your business’ needs - one which is scalable, easy to deploy and configure, allows you to monitor connected devices and requires no usernames or passwords.

And that’s exactly what Privatise Online Encryption provides.

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Keep your business’ online communication private and secure with Privatise Online Encryption. Request a demo and see how our solution can help
Dispelling the cyber security delusion in small businesses
A Privatise eBook

Dispelling the cyber security delusion in small businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are amongst the most targeted by cyber criminal and yet many SMBs refuse to acknowledge the growing threat. Download our eBook and find out why SMBs need to look up and address the issues to ensure their data is protected.

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