Securing Your Small Business Network: Choosing the Right Router and Firewall

Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, network security is critical to keeping the company running. Hackers can cost companies millions of dollars each year and their attack methods are evolving faster than ever. We recommend you plan ahead when choosing your small business router and firewall. As attackers spread and utilize new techniques to access a broader range of computers and devices, no small business is safe without the proper security in place.

How Firewalls and Routers Protect Your Data

A router links all computers in an organization together and a firewall declines access to the company network for any unauthorized users who may be trying to steal or compromise your company’s confidential files. This being said, it is equally important to have strong security practices in place for authorized users, such as two-step authentication and having users create strong passwords, updating them bimonthly.

A properly maintained firewall network for a small business prevents internal and external security breaches. It also monitors what is sent out, blocks unwanted incoming traffic and malicious attacks from malware or viruses, as well as blocks potentially inappropriate websites.

Types of Data Hackers Seek: What do they want with your data?

Hackers seek out private information from medical and healthcare organizations, government and military groups, educational institutions and businesses of all sizes.

The types of data they are looking to find include confidential personal information (social security numbers, full names, home addresses, birth dates, etc.), personal and business emails, industry-specific data on clients, financial data (credit/debit card numbers, authorization codes, etc.) and the list continues.

In 2015, there were more than 177,866,236 personal records exposed through 780 data security breaches, according to the ITRC Data Breach Reports, to give you an idea of how prevalent this problem has become.

Hacks occur in every single state in the United States, and the following entities were hit hard in 2015:

  • Businesses: 40% of the data breaches in 2015 with 312 breaches.
  • Educational Institutions: 4% of data breaches in 2015 with 58 breaches.
  • Medical/Healthcare Entities:4% of data breaches in 2015 with 276 breaches.
  • Government/Military Groups:1% of data breaches in 2015 with 63 breaches.

In 2016, the problem only worsened, and already in 2017 there have been several high profile cyber-attacks, including the IRS twice. In the first attack on the IRS, over 400,000 social security numbers were stolen. In the second attack, student taxpayers’ personal information was stolen.

It is important to note that small businesses are just as open to these cyber threats as high profile organizations and both need to protect their data by setting up the best router and firewall possible. Whether you host confidential customer information, financial data, medical records or an email database, your data is not safe unless you take the appropriate measures to ensure security.

The Costs of Being Hacked

These days, the odds of a cyber-attack on your company are high. Studies show that the average global cost of a data breach is a little less than four million dollars.

Below is a breakdown of the costs of data breaches by country/region in 2017:

  • United States - over $7 million (highest risk, highest cost)
  • The Middle East - a little under $5 million
  • Canada - over $4 million on average

The sooner you secure your data, the better.

Selecting a small business router and properly setting up the firewall for a small business are critical to protecting your company from being hacked. While researching different routers and firewalls for your small business, there a few things you should consider including, what they will be used for, the environment they will be installed in, as well as the price you are aiming for. These factors will greatly depend on the size and the needs of your growing business.

Geeks on Site can help secure your company’s data with our firewall configuration support. If you need assistance setting up the system or have questions, our qualified technicians can help you through every step of the process. Don’t give hackers a chance to access your confidential information; protect your company today and let Geeks on Site help you with the process.