By Matthew Sutton, Director of CyberSecurity Operations and Grant Johnson, Security Analyst at Avid Communications
With Cybersecurity finding its way into the headlines far more often, you may find yourself wondering, “Is my business protected from these cyber security threats?” This may seem daunting, so let us look at another similar question. “Is my home protected from burglars?”
If you were wanting to secure your home, you would buy a strong door and a good lock. If you wanted to really make sure you were safe, you might also buy a gate. You may still not feel safe, so you may decide to buy cameras as well, so you can monitor your home in real-time. This example shows how a layered security solution works. If someone were to break into your home they would need to jump the gate, defeat the lock, break down the door, all while you watch them. These layers add time, effort, and risk for a burglar to break in. This same concept should be applied when thinking about your business’ cyber security.
Traditionally, the way to protect your business digitally was with a firewall. A traditional firewall acts like a very strong one way door. It allows things in your business to go out, and stops anything from getting back in. This single layer is no longer enough, when something inside becomes compromised. Your one way door can now be circumvented, because someone downloaded malware or went on a hacked website. How do we improve on this solution?
With a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)
A Next Generation Firewall is the cyber security equivalent of our house surrounded by a moat, a gate, strong doors, locks, and cameras.
The NGFW applies multiple layers of security to all the traffic moving to and from your business. In our previous example, if a computer on your network went to a website the firewall allowed the traffic to leave no matter what. With a NGFW, we are looking at the URL’s reputation, using constantly updated databases. Then, we analyze the application that the machine is using to verify if the activity is allowed. We also look at the certificate of the website before we allow the traffic to leave. Along with reputation, we can also look at website categorization. This is to make sure that your employees are only going to places you want them to. Like with our home example, each of these layers adds an element of effort, and time for an attacker.
At Avid we take this solution a step further by logging, and saving all the events that the NGFW sees. We take these events and send them to an in-house security event manager. By doing this, if something does happen on your network, we can look backward in time and analyze what was happening and what steps we should take. Our team is monitoring firewalls and our event manager 24×7 to make sure that our customers are safe, and able to work efficiently. We make sure that we only stop undesirable activity, and not in the way of the business our customers are conducting.
If you would like to learn more about Avid’s Next Generation Firewall, give us a call.