When it comes to discussions regarding cyber security, you probably have heard about ‘firewalls’ and how they can be used to help protect your business from cyber-attacks. But can firewalls prevent ransomware threats well? Below, we will explain exactly what a firewall is and the role it plays in protecting your network.
A firewall is a network security system that acts similar to a filter. It monitors and controls incoming and outbound network traffic and will block threatening communications. Firewalls function based on a system of predetermined security rules which rely on customizable perimeters to either allow or restrict specific communications. Essentially, it acts as a barrier between your internal network (which is trusted) and the unknown external environment, such as the internet.
There are two types of firewalls – host-based and network firewalls. Network firewalls are commonly used in businesses that have a comprehensive network with multiple servers, computers, devices, and users. Network firewalls filter traffic between two or more networks and run on the network’s hardware. They monitor the communication between business devices and outside sources. Businesses can also choose to restrict certain IP address, apps or websites via a network firewall, such as blocking Instant Messenger.
Host-based firewalls function similar to network firewalls; however, they are installed on a single computer. Home computers should always have a host-based firewall installed as they are the first line of defense against cyber scams and attacks.
Firewalls are an effective measure in preventing threats from accessing your business, however, you should not rely on them as your only means of protection. Even with the strongest firewalls, your business still can be exposed to a ransomware attack.
This is because firewalls cannot protect in certain circumstances, such as if unauthorized access to a device occurred or if an email-based threat was delivered. While they are a strong first line of defense and do help secure your networks by blocking suspicious traffic, your organization should be following other security practices to have the best defenses in place.
One of the most common ways that ransomware can sneak past firewalls is via email. If an employee clicks on a suspicious link or downloads malicious a file, ransomware will run on the victim’s computer and can spread throughout your network.
It is essential to provide training to your entire staff to ensure that everyone is security smart. Cyber criminals trick users into downloading ransomware by sending emails and files under the guise of legitimate business inquiries or posing as a trusted organization.
Training should include how to spot suspicious links and files, how to avoid falling for phishing schemes and what to do when faced with a potential threat.
To protect your business from ransomware threats, you need to go beyond just antivirus software, firewalls, and employee knowledge. At MBC, our Cyber Security Experts can help you prevent any vulnerabilities in your systems and our Security Operations centre works 24/7 to proactively monitor and block cyber threats before they can do any damage.
We also specialize in providing complete endpoint protection for your organization by providing a centrally managed security platform that secures all endpoints such as BYOD (bring your own device) smartphones, tablets, and laptops to eliminate vulnerability through end-user devices. As unprotected devices can be an easy target to access your organizational data, we implement robust data loss prevention measures on all devices.
Now that you know that firewalls cannot entirely prevent your business from a ransomware attack, it is important to make sure your security is as robust as possible. To evaluate your organizational cyber security risk, get a free assessment today.