Category: Cybersecurity

The Gender Gap – Ping Podcast – Episode 23

Episode 23: The Gender Gap

A great gender gap exists in cybersecurity careers, with a severe shortage of women in jobs at every level. On Episode 23 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, our guest, Dr. Nir Kshetri, Professor at UNC-Greensboro and fellow with Kobe University, helps us examine exactly how much of a disparity there is. In addition, we talk about why the gender gap exists, why it makes networks less secure, and both what is being done and what we still need to do to correct the problem.

Read Dr. Kshetri’s article: “The lack of women in cybersecurity puts us all at greater risk.”

Then, in our cyber headlines segment, we talk about a prison sentence for a botnet creator in our first story. Next, we go over how it feels to be victimized by cyber crime. After that, we discuss the new normal in cybersecurity due to the coronavirus and its aftermath.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Moreover, please remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

Learn even more about network security through our blog, which features new content every week.

New episodes are usually released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show. Thanks in advance for any listens, follows, subscribes, reviews, comments, shares, and generally spreading the word!

CyberSecurity Evolved – Ping Podcast – Episode 22

Episode 22: CyberSecurity Evolved

Now that we’ve given cyber news it’s own episode, we’re back just a week later with an interview-only Ping Podcast. Episode 22 features returning guest Mike Weaver with Sophos, who joins us from home instead of in studio this time. We get updates on cybersecurity in a remote world, and Mike explains why network security is like car insurance. Hint: it has to do with why you need it. Plus, hear about the latest evolved security solutions from Sophos to help in a telework environment, including Sophos Home, Intercept X with EDR, and the new SD-RED line of remote ethernet devices. And get a rundown of Sophos Evolve 2020, a virtual conference launched June 16 featuring keynote sessions by Sophos leadership and deep dives into products, cybersecurity issues, and special breakout sessions, all free and on demand. Visit Sophos.com/Evolve to check it out.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

Learn even more about network security through our blog, which features new content every week.

New episodes are usually released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show. Thanks in advance for any listens, follows, subscribes, reviews, comments, shares, and generally spreading the word!

Ponies, Breaches, & Bonus News – Ping Podcast – Episode 21

Episode 21: Ponies, Breaches & Bonus News

We move our regular cybersecurity headlines segment onto center stage for episode 21 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast. Why? Well we’ve got a special bonus episode with an interview focus coming in just one week. No biweekly this time. For now though, we saddle up for headlines – with an extra one for good measure.

Our first story discusses how PonyFinal ransomware patiently waits to strike (there may or may not be some pony-related puns). Then we talk about an Indonesian election breach. And we follow with a story about a business email compromise (BEC) guru getting caught scamming Electrolux & others. Finally, our special bonus for this cybersecurity headlines segment goes over some of the biggest breaches of 2020 so far – 9 in fact.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released (including next week’s special episode). And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

Learn even more about network security through our blog, which features new content every week.

New episodes are usually released every other Wednesday – but we’ll be back in just one week for our next edition this time. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

WiFi Extended – Ping Podcast – Episode 20

Episode 20: WiFi Extended

The wireless world has been abuzz with the news of the FCC’s recent decision to open space on the 6 GHz spectrum. We know it’s good news, but what can we expect moving forward? On episode 20 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, Andrew and Kevin welcome Sundar Sankaran, VP of Engineering with CommScope’s Ruckus Networks to provide an overview. He explains why this added space will lead to better performance, the types of technology that will really thrive with better speeds, and of course, the timeframe for adoption of WiFi 6E – the ‘e’ is for extended.

In our cybersecurity headlines, we talk discuss a data breach affecting Home Chef. Plus, hear about another cryptocurrency mystery possibly involving bitcoin’s secret founder Satoshi. And take a trip to a virtual cybersecurity school to get kids into the career field.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

Learn even more about network security through our blog, which features new content every week.

New episodes are released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

Where Are They Now – Ping Podcast – Episode 19

Episode 19: Where Are They Now?

Nine months into Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, we thought we’d hit our due date for updates on a few cyber headlines we’ve covered in the past. On Episode 19, Kevin and Andrew offer a “Where Are They Now” for topics including Internet of Things or IoT security, the Quadriga cryptocurrency exchange saga, and the hack of a nuclear plant in India attributed to a North Korean group. There are updates aplenty.

In our cyber headlines segment, we talk about a GoDaddy web domain hosting breach, a Samsung smartphone vulnerability that doesn’t even involve a click, and a report on the first hundred days of the cyber threat landscape in the era of Covid-19.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

Learn even more about network security through our blog, which features new content every week.

New episodes are released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

The Threat Dictionary – Ping Podcast – Episode 18

Episode 18: The Threat Dictionary

We know classes may not be in traditional session right now, but we thought we’d provide a virtual cybersecurity lesson plan. On Episode 18 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, Andrew and Kevin highlight our very own Cyber Threat Dictionary. They discuss a sampling of terms, including classics like phishing and ransomware, and lesser known threats like rogue APs. You’ll learn what these threats are. And hear how to identify them and stop them from stopping you. Arm yourself with cyber threat knowledge from A to Zero-days.

And don’t forget to visit the home of the Cyber Threat Dictionary, our blog to learn even more about network security.

In our cyber headlines segment, we talk about cyber vulnerabilities at temporary hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak and the implications of the FCC’s decision to open 6GHz wifi. And then our headlines go into the toilet, a smart toilet that is.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released. And please rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

New episodes are released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

What is a firewall? Why does my business need a firewall?

What is a firewall & why do I need a firewall?

What is a firewall exactly? Here at Firewalls.com, we believe that firewalls are not only your primary line of defense against advanced threats but also the heart of your larger network security environment. Firewalls keep users safe as they use the Internet, send or receive emails, and access company files. Firewalls scan all incoming and outgoing traffic on your network, choosing to either permit or block any data packet they read.

By configuring your firewall with a set of common sense security rules and policies, you can safeguard your confidential data against hackers. By analyzing traffic at your network’s entry points, firewalls are able to keep potential threats out while letting employees and business applications communicate safely across the open web.

What is a firewall? SonicWall TZ350 secure small business networks

 

How do firewalls work?

Firewalls work by monitoring inbound and outbound traffic on your network. When a data packet requests access to your network, your firewall inspects the packet head to determine whether the request is valid or potentially dangerous. Next generation firewalls such as SonicWall TZ and SonicWall NSa firewalls go a step farther with Deep Packet Inspection, cracking open the entire data packet to inspect its contents before reaching a security determination.

Traditional firewalls relied on signature-based scanning to look out for threats. That meant that each packet’s contents were checked against a database of millions upon millions of known threat signatures. However, more advanced firewalls and endpoint protection platforms, such as Sophos XG, rely on machine learning and AI to make behavior-based verdicts. Super smart security engines actually think and learn inside your firewall, using global threat data to constantly improve their understanding of what a threat looks like, how it behaves, and how to stop it.

Firewall configuration

Why do businesses need to configure their firewall and how hard is a configuration? While some deployments can be fairly simple, most businesses should have a custom configuration for their primary firewall, tailored to suit the unique needs of their network. The firewall setup wizard just doesn’t cut it. Firewalls.com recommends that you entrust a certified firewall expert with the configuration of your firewall to ensure your attack surfaces are minimized, your firewall is stealthy, and no pesky bottlenecks are jamming up your Internet speeds.

A quality firewall configuration service should include a one-on-one discussion with your organization to determine how your network is used and what unique factors may present risks to your data. Phone-based deployment and post-deployment support are a must. You can simplify installation and minimize downtime by ensuring you have a knowledgeable support engineer on the line to walk you through every step. Want to see the steps involved in a configuration?


 

How many different types of firewalls are there?

Firewalls come in all shapes and specifications, so finding the right one for your network can be a challenge. While datasheets and firewall comparisons are easy to find, it can still be tough to wrap your head around what types of firewalls you can choose from. We’ll break down a few different ways firewalls are classified to help you better understand the appliance landscape.

WatchGuard manufacturers all kinds of different firewall appliances

Form Factors

  • Desktop Firewalls – Small, but powerful. Desktop firewalls are made with SMBs in mind & fit next to your favorite coffee mug
  • Rackmount Firewalls – Able to be mounted in any standard 19″ server rack with a rackmount kit
  • Virtual Firewalls – No appliance? No problem. Virtual firewalls live in the cloud & secure networks with no on-prem footprint

Firewall Sizing

  • Small Business Firewalls – Fit for home offices or SMBs up to 100 users, small business firewalls make advanced security affordable
  • Mid-Sized Firewalls – For businesses that need a bit more room for users & bandwidth, like SonicWall NSa series
  • Enterprise Firewalls – 2,500 users or more? Enterprise firewalls are security powerhouses with unmatched performance

Firewall Generations

  • Stateful Inspection Firewalls – Simple, signature-based analysis of inbound & outbound traffic
  • UTM Firewalls – Holistic appliances combining basic firewalling with multiple other security services & functions
  • Next Generation Firewalls – The latest generation of firewalls integrating entire networks in real time with machine learning


 

Firewalls. Defined.

Curious for more information about firewalls, network security, or cyber threats? The Firewalls.com Knowledge Hub is crammed full of resources to learn how firewalls work and understand what kinds of firewalls there are. Check out our firewall podcast or subscribe to our YouTube channel for firewall reviews, firewall comparisons, tutorials, and more.
 

What is EDR? Automated endpoint detection & real-time response to threats

To continue our recent theme of decoding abbreviations, EDR means Endpoint Detection & Response, and that means that the age of AI is upgrading networks. This automated, real-time endpoint solution ensures that end users can work securely no matter where in the world they’re located in relation to a firewall.

With EDR, your network defenses constantly scan for the kinds of elusive malware, ransomware, and zero day threats that signature-based detection platforms miss. And in the event a security incident occurs, advanced Endpoint Detection & Response platforms such as Sophos Intercept X Advanced with EDR or FortiEDR stop attacks even if the endpoint is compromised. Guided response lets administrators easily walk through the steps of an attack to see its root cause and isolate infected machines.

EDR’s machine learning systems deter, detect, disarm, dissect, deescalate, and do away with any cyber threats you can throw its way.

Why EDR works for small businesses

Survey after survey several years running have revealed two facts: a majority of small businesses find it difficult to hire qualified IT talent–especially talent focused on network security–and their budgets often struggle to accommodate the talent they do find. Automated endpoint detection and response monitored by 24-hour machine learning intelligence adds just the kind of cybersecurity expertise that SMBs need without a higher employee headcount.

Just like modern grocery stores have self-checkout lines and autoworkers now benefit from the assistance of robotics, automation enables small businesses to do more with less to get the job done. Farm out malware expertise and incident response to the bots!

Sophos Intercept X Advanced with EDR

Intercept X Advanced has been a longstanding go-to for network admins looking to add advanced protection to their networks in a comprehensive, integrated system. Sophos Intercept X Advanced now also consolidates that industry-leading protection and EDR into a single solution. Intercept X’s advanced malware prevention significantly eases the workload on the EDR component, allowing you to utilize more of the speed and performance you pay your Internet Service Provider for.

  • Minimize staffing by automating IT tasks usually done by skilled experts
  • Prioritize potential threats & automatically detect security incidents
  • Provide visibility into attack scope, root cause, impact, & network health
  • Hunt for indicators of compromise that may leave your network vulnerable

 

Fortinet FortiEDR

FortiEDR will be made available to order on May 4th and is already boasting some big benefits and features. An EDR solution purpose-built to detect potential threats, FortiEDR stops breaches in real time, and mitigate the damage of ransomware even on machines that have already been compromised. FortiEDR also extends security to IOT devices with the ability to protect everything from PCs to servers to point-of-sale systems and more.

  • Creates very small network footprint thanks to native cloud infrastructure
  • Enjoy automated EPP with orchestrated response across platforms
  • Stop file-based malware with Fortinet’s kernel-level Next Gen AV engine
  • Eliminate dwell time & reduce post-breach expenses

 

SonicWall Capture Client

Automated endpoint detection and response is integrated into SonicWall’s Capture Client, bringing together EDR, advanced threat protection, and integrated network security. With unique ransomware rollback capabilities and intuitive attack visualizations, Capture Client offers a comprehensive endpoint protection and EDR environment for any SonicWall network.

SonicWallEDR

  • Next-generation SentinelOne malware protection engine
  • Advanced threat protection with sandbox integration
  • Behavior-based scanning powered by machine learning
  • Unique attack rollback capabilities using Volume Shadow Copy Service
  • Install & manage trusted TLS certificates to leverage DPI-SSL

 

Network Security from Home – Ping Podcast – Episode 17

Episode 17: Network Security from Home

On Episode 17 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, Kevin and Andrew welcome back returning guest Daniel Kremers from SonicWall to discuss network security for the home office and for remote workers in general. He talks about when a home office firewall makes sense and how it can help. He also offers other work from home security tips about passwords, cloud applications, and VPN to name a few.

Learn about one of those home office firewall options, the SOHO 250 including a special trade up promo on now.

And browse the blog for even more guidance on security in the time of remote work. We even talked about it on our last episode as well.

In our cyber headlines segment, we talk Zoom’s cybersecurity concerns, the virtual/real NFL Draft (including a break for a special social distancing mock draft), and the surprising ubiquity of COBOL.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released, and rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

New episodes are released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

Pod from Home – Ping Podcast – Episode 16

Episode 16: Pod from Home

On Episode 16 of Ping: A Firewalls.com Podcast, Kevin and Andrew share Tales from Home, as they – like many – have recently joined the ranks of remote workers due to the coronavirus. They talk about their work from home setups and schedules – along with things they appreciate and miss about the office. They also discuss some tips for employers and employees about handling the sudden influx of work from homers, with mentions of VPN, multifactor authentication, and more. Plus – listen for a couple of binge watch recommendations for your spare home time.

Get even more info on remote workforce network security guidance by visiting our blog.

In our cyber headlines segment, we continue the theme of the moment, talking Covid-19-related work from home security issues (with a special guest appearance from Andrew’s dog Raven), hackers targeting the World Health Organization (WHO), and a global group of cybersecurity experts teaming up to fight coronavirus-related attacks.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released, and rate and review us as well!

Missed our previous episodes? You can get them anywhere you listen to podcasts, or go to our full episode list.

New episodes are released every other Wednesday. Have a special request for a topic or a question for our network engineers to address? Email us at podcast@firewalls.com and it could be on our next show!

Remote Worker Bundle options make working from home fast & secure

Small businesses are rushing to get their employees working from home. The popularity of virtual conferences and webinars has skyrocketed in response to the threat of coronavirus, influenza, daycare emergencies, potholes, perilous traffic, and political ads on the morning commute. If you’re looking to keep your workforce out of harm’s way, our new Remote Worker Bundle comes with everything you need to maintain network security while employees work from home. Establish fast, safe remote access with a SonicWall SMA 210 or SonicWall SMA 410 expertly configured for your unique network demands, then pair it with 24×7 Support to make the experience flawless for remote employees.

Security risks posed by working from home represent just one problem surrounding secure remote access. Ensuring that the home experience is simple and seamless is integral to maintaining productivity. In addition, small businesses struggle with issues of flexibility, compatibility, and scalability. The Remote Worker Bundle tackles these issues with affordable add-on options for technical support and further concurrent user licensing.

Benefits of the Remote Worker Bundle

When workers come into the office sick, they risk spreading illnesses to the whole staff, but self-quarantining at home doesn’t mean the work has to stop! Our Remote Worker Bundle includes all the fundamental pieces organizations need to set up basic work-from-home security for their employees. Projects never need to be put on pause when remote workers are able to work with all of the company resources and apps they’re used to at their workstation. This bundle is also ideal for any company with a high volume of business travel.

Flexible, scalable remote access for all

SonicWall SMA appliances are compatible with any firewall brand or model you may already be using. Remote workers will be able to access any company printers, applications, files, or cloud resources from the comfort of their home while their session sits behind the same company firewall that protects their data in the workplace! SonicWall’s SMA 210 and SMA 410 appliances are compatible with any cable or DSL connection from any Internet service provider, meaning whatever Internet provider your workers already have at home will work.

Need to add more users? The SMA 210 can support up to 50 users with concurrent licensing and the SMA 410 can protect up to 250 remote workers at once. The best part? Because these stackable user licenses are perpetual, you’ll only ever pay for each user one time–no need for renewals.

Remote worker bundle: configuration included

Ready to wash your hands of remote security risks? To provide secure network access for employees working from home, optimization of remote access appliances and services is critical. The Remote Worker Bundle includes our proprietary remote access configuration service, in which our team of network engineers expertly configure profiles and access groups via SSL or IPSec settings. Additional access control optimization is also incorporated to help further safeguard your data.

All configuration work is completed by our manufacturer-certified network architects at the Firewalls.com Security Operations Center (SOC) in Indianapolis. You’ll even get post-deployment support from the same team of engineers that configured your appliance.

Security best practices when working from home

Bolster your password hygiene – Remote workers carry additional risks to company data. Ensuring that users rely on strong, complex, and lengthy passwords guarantees that your data stays safe even in the case of a lost or stolen device.

Make sure end user protection is up to par – Any device operating on the company network should be properly protected by strong anti-virus capabilities such as SonicWall Capture Client, web filtering, encryption, anti-spam, and malware protection. Mobile workers should enjoy the same air-tight security when roaming as they would at their desk.

Avoid public Wi-FiAs we covered in Episode 14 of our podcast, public wireless networks can be a breeding ground for wireless threats. Advanced threats like evil-twin attacks, rogue access points, ad-hoc networks, and client misassociation can wreak havoc on BYOD users. In a world with growing open wireless networks, Wi-Fi attacks using Emotet malware infected systems are able to not only steal personal information but also spread malware by laterally scanning public wireless networks.

Email security & encryption – The inbox represents one of the biggest attack vectors for users of all kinds, but remote workers are especially at risk. Email applications are the most popular form of remote work as employees peer at their inbox several times throughout the day. Encryption, anti-spam, and email sandboxing services such as Capture ATP for SMA are all great ways to keep the team safe, whether home or away.

 

Preparing for the Tempest: SonicWall’s 2020 Cyber Threat Report

The Past is Prologue

As Shakespeare once wrote, “the past is prologue.” When it comes to cybersecurity, knowing the recent past – and trends in the threat landscape – is vital to protecting your network against the latest and greatest hazards. And so the past – as in 2019 – is prologue in the 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report. The report is prepared by SonicWall’s Capture Labs threat research team. It provides an in depth look at the cyber threats of 2019 to help businesses, governments, and organizations of all sizes better prepare to stop the threats of 2020. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the Cyber Threat Report.

SonicWall 2020 Cyber Threat Report

Ransomware Shifts Strategy

The good news: Ransomware attacks were down in 2019 – 6% in fact – from the all-time high recorded in 2018. There were a grand total of 187.9 million last year. The less good news? Well, you probably saw it in the news. There was an increase in targeted attacks, hitting government networks, power grids, and even schools & hospitals. Attackers more and more are focusing on quality over quantity, looking for targets that are most likely to pay rather than blanketing all corners of the connected world.

Just how many of these targets were hit last year? It’s probably under-reported because victims can be hesitant to reveal a breach. But more than 140 state and local governments were successfully targeted for the year, and over 600 schools and hospitals – just through September. The Cyber Threat Report warns, however, that the average individual can still be a target, too. Researchers note that ransomware operators are more willing than ever to have a dialog and negotiate with their victims to get a payout. They’ll even use things like sextortion scams, a form of blackmail that suggests the attacker has compromising information or images that they’ll release unless the victim pays.

IoT Malware on the Rise

You down with I-o-T? Yeah, probably! While internet of things devices are hardly Naughty By Nature, they’re becoming more and more ubiquitous. As in, if you’re reading this, there’s virtually zero chance you don’t use some type of IoT device(s) in your everyday life. But with that popularity comes greater exposure. In 2019, the Cyber Threat Report indicates there were 34.3 million IoT malware attacks. Oh, and those attack numbers – much like the number of IoT devices – are trending up.

Security has not initially been a priority for most IoT device manufacturers. With no standards in place, devices commonly come with out-of-the-box vulnerabilities like weak or hard-coded passwords, unsecured interfaces, and a lack of secure update mechanisms. An otherwise secure network with vulnerable IoT devices may be leaving a backdoor wide open for hackers to access data.

Encrypted Threats Continue Growth

While transport layer security (TLS) and its predecessor, secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption standards are largely meant for good, bad actors are always looking to spoil the fun. Encryption when used for wholesome purposes ensures privacy and protects data. But hackers use this encryption against a network, sending malicious packers to obfuscate malware files. That can get them through a network’s standard defenses. The Cyber Threat Report shows our aforementioned bad actors sent 3.7 million malware attacks over TLS/SSL traffic in 2019, 27.3% more than the year prior. Why is this technique on the rise? Many firewall appliances don’t have the capability or power to detect, inspect, and stop attacks sent through encrypted traffic.

Defenses Are Improving, Too

Most of this Cyber Threat Report analysis is probably giving you anxiety, so let’s end on a positive note. The forces for good are continually improving their (which also means your) defenses against these hazards. Security advances include faster identification – and in turn faster mitigation – of zero-day threats. For instance, SonicWall is able to ID never-before-seen malware variants about 2 days before malware repository VirusTotal receives samples. Also noted are advancements made in deep memory inspection technology to combat side-channel attacks among others. In SonicWall’s case, that technology is a part of its Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI) engine. You can get a taste of it with a new SOHO 250 or TZ350 bundle. The report additionally spotlights growing momentum of perimeter-less security as traditional boundaries go by the wayside. This includes the introduction of the secure access service edge (SASE), which would combine software and service-based security solutions.

Want to Learn More?

Visit our Threat Dictionary to get updated on some of the latest cyber threats out there today. Shop for SonicWall security solutions like firewalls, web application firewalls, and cloud app security to name a few. And get your very own copy of the full 2020 Cyber Threat Report to dig into all the nitty gritty details yourself.
 

Tip of the Spear – Ping Podcast Episode 13

Episode 13: Tip of the Spear

We went into this episode with our heads in the cloud, specifically the Office 365 cloud. But as we spoke with SonicWall’s Matt Brennan, we not only learned about a spearphishing campaign that targeted O365 late last year, we also learned why spearphishing – and the related issue of business email compromise – has been among the most financially successful forms of attack for hackers over the past decade. We also heard a real-life example of what happened to a clothing retailer just last year following a breach. And on a brighter note, we talked about how to prevent these email-based attacks from ruining your business, with a look at SonicWall Cloud App Security as part of a layered approach to network protection.

Read Matt’s blog about the Office 365 attack, and learn more about Cloud App Security right here on our blog and on episode 1 of Ping.

In our Headlines, we talk about yet another way emotet could get you (via Wi-Fi), some malicious Chrome web extensions also known as malvertising, and why lawmakers and the Government Accountability Office are worried about the cybersecurity of the 2020 Census.

How to listen

Listen to Ping – A Firewalls.com Podcast using the player above…

Or just about anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, OvercastTuneIn, iHeart, Pocket Cast, Castro, Castbox, PodchaserYouTube, and of course via RSS, to name a few). Remember to subscribe or follow where you can to get the latest episodes as soon as they’re released, and rate and review us as well!