When it comes to data security, there’s often a gap between what your clients think they need and what they really need. Your job as an MSP is to create and deploy a solution that will deliver both. But, determining what that solution is will require more than just checking off a list of features and capabilities.
While any business that wants to stay afloat must regularly balance monetary costs against benefits, it is especially important for smaller businesses with more limited budgets to thoroughly vet their return on investment (ROI) before purchasing a new product or service. And, depending on budget constraints, many decisions must be made with potential risk in mind. For example, if the likelihood that a business would need a very specific type of costly insurance is extremely low, then there’s no point in wasting time or resources on that insurance, right?
Uncontrolled internet access is a high-risk activity for any business, regardless of size, but it is particularly dangerous for the small to medium- sized businesses (SMB) that make up a managed service providers’ client base. Unfortunately, endpoint security alone is no longer enough to keep clients safe from modern cyberattacks. And, as MSPs well know, remediating threats that have successfully infiltrated the network is challenging and extremely time-consuming. That’s why today’s MSPs are increasingly turning to services that can stop threats before they hit the network.
If there’s one thing that came through loud and clear in our analysis of malware and other threats in 2017, it’s that, when it comes to cybersecurity, change is the only constant. While analysts, researchers, and security companies worked quickly to identify and block emerging threats, attackers were just as quick in finding new ways to evade defenses. Phishing attacks became more targeted and successful, and most phishing sites were only online for 4-8 hours.
Networking refers to the range of hardware, software, processes, regulations, and protocols that make up computer and other networks. A network is a telecommunications system that allows connected devices to exchange data via cables or wirelessly (Wi-Fi). Networks provide shared access to systems, services, applications, and devices such as the World Wide Web, servers, printers, storage devices, email, messaging, and many more.
Security on networks is controlled by a network administrator through a set of provisions and policies that prevent unauthorized access to the network and network-accessible resources. Access to secured networks requires authentication usually via username and password (one-factor authentication), but can be augmented to include additional steps based on something a user 'has' such as generating a code via a security token, card, or mobile phone (two-factor authentication), and further augmented to include something a user 'is' such as a retinal or fingerprint scan. Firewalls enforce access policies on the network and anti-virus software or intrusion prevention systems (IPS) help to detect and inhibit malware and other potential threats.
Networks can be connected by electrical cable, radio waves, and optical fiber which are defined as layers 1 (physical layer) and 2 (data link layer) in the OSI model. Types of wired technologies include twisted pair wire, coaxial cable, ITU-T G.hn, and optical fiber. Wireless technologies include terrestrial microwave, satellite, cellular and PCS, radio and spread spectrum, and infrared. The basic hardware components of a network include network interface controllers (NIC), repeaters and hubs, network bridges, network switches, routers, and firewalls.
Ethernet is the most widely-adopted and used family of communications media used in local area networks (LAN), encompassing both wired and wireless network communications. IEEE 802 defines the standards and protocols that enable networked device communications. Networks can be classified by physical capacity or purpose such as personal area networks (PAN), local area network (LAN), storage area network (SAN), wide area network (WAN), virtual private network (VPN), and others.