How to Secure Your Small Business With Big Business Protection

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2015-11-30
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - How to Secure Your Small Business With Big Business Protection
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    How to Secure Your Small Business With Big Business Protection

    Here are the top 10 network security challenges faced by small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in 2015 and tips to address them.
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    2 - Layer Your Security
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    Layer Your Security

    The challenge: Network attacks are becoming more widespread, intelligent and difficult to detect, leaving SMBs at an even greater risk due to limited resources and budgets to fend off threats. Network entry points are not the only publicly-facing attack surfaces; employee devices also may be compromised by users outside of the corporate security perimeter. The solution: A layered network security approach brings a new level of scrutiny to network traffic moving into a SMB, making network protection more complete and manageable.
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    3 - Secure Your Gateway
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    Secure Your Gateway

    The challenge: A small business owner wears many hats; close, regular monitoring of your businesses' network perimeter is just one of many roles you have within the organization. The solution: Block threats at the network perimeter with a firewall that inspects all files completely, because threats can gain entry via commonly used communication protocols upon which many SMBs rely, including email, file sharing and harmless-looking utility programs.
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    4 - Keep It Simple
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    Keep It Simple

    The challenge: The total cost you pay for security is in the cost of installing, using, managing and maintaining it. The processes can be complex and prohibitive for SMBs to manage. The solution: Create a workable and cost-effective plan that secures the business against sophisticated threats by installing a centralized or hosted management package that eases administration and lowers ongoing cost of ownership.
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    5 - Keep It Affordable
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    Keep It Affordable

    The challenge: Purchasing standalone products can quickly drive up IT expenses with separate costs for each device's purchase, installation, operation, training, administration and maintenance, not to mention challenges associated with managing myriad point products. The solution: Consolidate all of your security tools in one appliance. This allows the business to deploy broader and better-coordinated security within your budget.
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    6 - Get Rid of Bottlenecks
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    Get Rid of Bottlenecks

    The challenge: The amount of traffic being scanned by your firewall—and inspection of every byte of every packet—fast becomes more than many traditional firewalls can handle and thwarts network performance. The solution: Make sure that the software you implement can keep up with the increasing volume of encrypted traffic as well as inspect large files that are now commonplace.
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    7 - Keep Your Systems Running
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    Keep Your Systems Running

    The challenge: Single points of failure can be frequent and cumbersome, exposing the business to risk should a primary security device fail. The solution: Deploying a unified threat management solution with a high-availability function to prevent hardware failover functionality and automatically roll security functions to an identical UTM appliance, which then reverts back once the primary appliance is restored.
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    8 - Keep Your Network Productive
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    Keep Your Network Productive

    The challenge: Often the office network is being used for non-productive tasks, such as movie downloads, interacting with friends, and watching streaming media. Control how the network is being used as well as have real-time visibility into how network resources are consumed. The solution: Modern application layer inspection tools can identify what applications (such as Pandora or sales applications) are being used, then you decide how to allocate that bandwidth. This can protect against threats and helps prevent network slowdown caused by bandwidth consuming, non-productive applications, while still allowing users to utilize web and email for business.
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    9 - Stay Compliant
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    Stay Compliant

    The challenge: Solutions and resources to maintain regulatory compliance with external regulations (PCI, HIPAA, etc.) or internal regulations (policies for protecting intellectual property) to avoid penalties and business risk. The solution: Integrated compliance management solutions that integrate with centralized policy management and backup and reporting options to help you track, audit, report on and verify your compliance.
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    10 - Secure Your Endpoints
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    Secure Your Endpoints

    The challenge: For SMBs, your office could be anywhere. Contractors, partners and customers looking to access your business from their devices puts the business at risk if there is no understanding whether their device is secure. The solution: Secure your business's endpoints with techniques that can assess the endpoint devices and verify whether or not they are running an anti-virus solution with the latest signature database.
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    11 - Be Prepared for the Unexpected
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    Be Prepared for the Unexpected

    The challenge: It's not only headline-grabbing natural disasters but also more benign events--such as a power outage, equipment failure, or even a stolen laptop--that can disrupt and expose the business to risk. The solution: Modern UTM appliances that feature built in IPSec (IP security) or SSL VPN (secure socket layer virtual private network) capabilities, ideal for secure remote access during an emergency and provide users safe connectivity to corporate network resources using a Web portal. Modern continuous data protection (CDP) solutions can also automatically backup data to discs, avoiding the complexity and human error involved with tape backup.
 

Small businesses face exactly the same security threats as large organizations. However, they also must contend with the perennial challenge of limited budgets for IT expenditures. The job of administering the network in a small business often falls on the business owner or on the default in-house techie, both of whom wear many other hats in the organization and usually do not have the time, resources or expertise to work on complex deployments and administration. Often small businesses think that enterprise-grade protection is beyond their means. Fortunately, small businesses can have big business-type protection with a limited budget by taking advantage of modern network security technologies and approaches. This eWEEK slide show offers professional advice from Patrick Sweeney, executive director for security product management at Dell Software, a 20-year veteran in the field. Here are the top 10 network security challenges faced by small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in 2015 and tips to address them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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