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Padlock lock surrounded by different internet-related icons as a concept for internet protection, data protection, and next-generation firewall

Firewalls are essential to network security, even with a Cloud solution like Infrastructure as a Service, but traditional firewalls won’t cut it when it comes to today’s rising security demands. Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is the key to ensuring security in response to an increase in advanced security threats.

In this blog, we share three reasons why upgrading to NGFW is a modern security necessity and how its features will make a difference in keeping your business secure.

Why NGFW is a Modern Security Necessity

1. Cybercrime is rising, and increased application use has opened up new vulnerabilities.

Research shows that cybercrime is rising while the technology and tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated. For instance, The SSL Store reports:

  • Enterprise ransomware attacks increased by 12% in 2018
  • 1 in 50 emails contain some form of malicious content
  • Mobile ransomware jumped 33% last year
  • An estimated 10% of all malicious emails contain malware such as ransomware, spyware, adware, or trojans

Adding to these concerning statistics is that application usage has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing increased vulnerabilities with them. Considering that applications like Trello, Slack, and Skype have become popular for, or even integral to, business productivity, their use isn’t likely to go down. The solution? Application vulnerabilities need to be checked, which is where NGFW comes into play.

While traditional firewalls only block forbidden packets by protocol or port, NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. This provides protection for attacks on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection), where the growing number of application attacks are taking place.

To defend and safeguard against the emerging and unknown threats in today’s security landscape, NGFW’s advanced malware capabilities are needed. These capabilities include Packet Filtering Network Address Translation (NAT), URL Blocking, VPN, Quality of Service (QoS), Intrusion Prevention SSL, Deep-Packet Inspection, and more.

Internet technology network and cyber security concept with a shield icon on a globe surrounded by a network

2. Traditional firewalls are complex and time-consuming, crippling response time.

Simplicity and automation are key to reducing your workload and saving money, but if you’re still using traditional firewalls, you’re likely dealing with unnecessary complexity and wasted time. This is especially true if your security provider is constantly adding new devices to your firewall, which means that more overhead is required, and even worse, it could mean your response time to threats will be slowed.

Traditionally having to be used through separate devices, NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. This allows for improved performance and accessibility.

Through automation and integration, NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary, improving remediation speed. Security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting can all be centrally managed thanks to NGFW, saving your business time and money.

A business man working with devices including a laptop, phone, and iPad with screens displaying a cyber security icon

3. Moving to the Cloud doesn’t protect your existing network infrastructure.

Cloud solutions like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer increased security when compared to on-premises solutions, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect firewalls. Even if you move all of your infrastructure to the Cloud, your business still has devices such as employee computers and a network connection that will remain vulnerable without a firewall. What if an unwitting employee accidentally clicked on a malicious link and your network wasn’t protected by a firewall? That’s a costly problem that could have been prevented.

Knowing that firewalls are still necessary for Cloud services, why should you choose NGFW over a traditional firewall? NGFW offers protection that functions in this new age of remote workers and BYOD policies. While traditional firewalls restrict your protection to a single location, NGFW protects your network no matter where your employees are working or what device they are using.

Additionally, NGFW removes the blind spots of traditional firewalls, offering:

  • Application-level control for superior visibility, allowing you to see and control what applications are being used on your network
  • Identity awareness that integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories

NGFW gives you increased knowledge and nuanced control over how your employees access and use websites and applications.

A person typing at a laptop computer with a cyber security shield icon in front of it

Are You Ready for Next-Generation Firewall?

NGFW provides essential capabilities against rising cybercrime and new application threats while simplifying your workload through integration and automation. Whether you’re already using Infrastructure as a Service or are looking into other Cloud options, don’t let the lack of adequate protection open your doors to unnecessary vulnerabilities.

Keep in mind that if you decide on NGFW, it’s crucial to choose an experienced provider that you can trust to be there for you beyond implementation. With more power, features, and functions, the set-up and ongoing management of NGFW are more important than ever.

There are many NGFW services on the market, but LightBound has the unique expertise necessary to successfully implement and manage NGFW devices across your network. To get started with Next-Generation Firewall or learn more, contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions you might have.

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A hard disk damaged by fire and water meaning data loss and a need for disaster recovery as a service

From lengthy downtime, to a damaged brand reputation and bottom line, no one wants to face the brutal costs of data loss. Unfortunately, every business will experience data loss at some point thanks to the variety of common ways it can occur. This leaves a cloud of dread hanging over many, but the good news is that data loss is preventable with the right preparation.

This blog shares key ways you can take action to prevent a data loss disaster and minimize any negative impact on your business, including how Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can help keep your data safe.

What Causes Data Loss

Here are some examples of the many causes of data loss, varying from rare to everyday occurrences:

  • Power loss from equipment failure or wildlife interference
  • Power surges damaging computer hardware
  • An overheated server room shutting down in an uncontrolled manner
  • Accidental fiber cuts from nearby construction equipment
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fire
  • Leaks from the water heater or air conditioning
  • Spilled coffee, or other liquid, onto a computer
  • Human error, including accidentally formatting a hard drive or unwittingly deleting a file
  • Cyber attacks such as ransomware, viruses, or malware
  • Hard drive failure due to software or file corruption
  • Stolen devices, such as laptops, that hold critical or confidential data
Utility truck lifts a severed power pole and lines after an accident

Key Ways to Prevent Data Loss

Thankfully there are many actions you can take to prevent data loss and banish your fears, including finding a Disaster Recovery as a Service provider.

Store computers and equipment in the right environment, which should be dust-free and dry with proper heating and cooling. Be sure the environment is maintained and kept in pristine condition. Consider a generator or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to protect computers in the event of a power failure as well as physical security measures to deter theft.

Use a firewall and antivirus software. These are basic essentials that your business should utilize for protection against viruses and malware, so be sure that you not only use them but keep them up-to-date.

Train employees to recognize suspicious attachments. Employees often serve as the greatest point of vulnerability for cybercriminals to take advantage of, but keeping your employees educated and informed with regular cybersecurity training will help prevent clicks on suspicious links or other actions that could lead to malware or a virus. Restrict access to important data from certain employees that don’t need it and encrypt any sensitive data.

Backup your files regularly and save often. This is one of the most basic, yet essential, tasks to prevent data loss that should not be neglected. To increase protection, be sure to create more than one backup, store them in different locations, verify the success of backups, perform backups routinely, and keep a close eye on your hard drives for signs of failure before they happen. You may also want to consider cloud-based disaster recovery solutions for further data security.

Hard drive from array at server cloud equipment being held in a hand

Create a disaster recovery (DR) plan so that in the event of a disaster, and in the midst of chaos, your team knows exactly how to restore data quickly and effectively, without causing further problems or delays. Test your DR plan regularly, including testing that employees are able to follow through when it comes to restoring lost data. This can reveal weak points while also encouraging employees to stay informed and ready.

Backup as a Service (BaaS) gives you an alternative to handling backup on-premises with an IT department. With BaaS, maintenance and management are offloaded to a third-party provider at an off-site storage system. This is a great option for those who want to pass off the burden of backing up data to a trusted provider that will ensure your data is in good hands.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) goes further beyond the capabilities of BaaS. With DRaaS, a third-party service provider hosts and continually replicates your servers to enable failover in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, protecting both your data and infrastructure.

Disasters that lead to data loss, such as hurricanes, fire, and ransomware, don’t stand a chance against DRaaS, because you can easily get all your data back with the push of a button. Disaster Recovery as a Service is the perfect solution to recover quickly from data loss, with benefits of DRaaS including:

  • Continual, automatic replication to a different location geographically any time there are file changes.
  • Your provider will handle getting all your apps, files, and systems right back up and running with lightning speed, minimizing downtime.
  • You can utilize the DRaaS failover to continue normal business operations until you can restore your on-premises environment.
  • Excellent for business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR).
  • With the right provider, it will be tested regularly, customized, and perfectly executable.

The more of these data loss prevention methods you are able to implement, the safer your data will be. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your data.

Interested in Disaster Recovery as a Service? Be sure to choose a DRaaS provider like LightBound, who will work with you as a true partner to customize a DRaaS solution specific to your unique business needs. Contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions about data loss or disaster recovery solutions you might have.