Tag: cybersecurity

5 Things to Consider to Secure Your Telework Employees

Telework Cybersecurity

With the rapidly evolving circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces around the world have been faced with a difficult challenge – quickly deploying a remote workforce. While some have been prepared for telework all along, others are scrambling to ensure employees can access their networks quickly, without compromising security. The unfortunate truth of our current situation is that while many are banding together to protect those most vulnerable to the coronavirus, there are those who see this more scattered user-base as a golden opportunity for cyber attack.

It’s important to remember that just because you’re not in the office, it doesn’t mean hackers are taking a holiday. In fact, remote work is their bread and butter. And they stand at the ready to exploit the vulnerabilities teleworking can bring.

With that in mind, what can you do to plug those holes? How do you keep both your network and your work-from-homers secure? Here are 5 things to consider…

1 – It Starts With a Policy

Both you and your staff benefit from knowing what to expect from remote work. Putting a telework policy in writing and ensuring everyone in your organization is aware of it is an important step for consistency and therefore security. Hopefully you already had one, but if not, it still pays to put one together and make it clear to all employees.

What should it include? Acceptable use, personal vs company devices, personal vs company accounts, how to connect, whether public wi-fi is allowed, etc. A couple of statistics should reinforce the need for a strong telework policy: nearly half of employees say they transfer files between work and personal computers; almost 15% say they can’t connect to their work network from home, and more than three quarters say they don’t take privacy measures when teleworking in a public setting.

2 – Protect Your Endpoints

Each device an employee uses to access your data is an added security risk. Remote laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc. are not constantly protected by your firewall. But you need to ensure they have a level of protection against malware, email scams, and other data breaches, so attackers can’t use them as a tunnel back into your network. That’s why a strong endpoint security solution is vital for all your telework users. The best options also provide added visibility into their status for admins. Protecting each device individually makes protecting your network as a whole much easier.

3 – Build a Tunnel

To work from home effectively, your employees need to have use of all the apps and files they normally have at the office. How do you facilitate that quickly and securely? You need to offer virtual private network – better known as VPN – access.

A VPN sets up a secure tunnel between your telework employees and your network, protecting their and your data from any spying or prying eyes. This encrypted tunnel (using either IPSec or SSL) can even help when employees use public networks. In case you missed it, we outlined SonicWall’s VPN options in a recent post.

4 – Make Sure Passwords Have a Passing Grade

An all too common problem with an all too easy solution in the cybersecurity world is weak passwords. Ensure your telework employees (and everything on your network) uses strong passwords of length, with numeric and special characters, and phrases if supported. This keeps brute force attacks at bay, which typically just fire thousands of common words at a login screen until one works.

And take it a step further with multi-factor authentication. For employees to access your network remotely, require an additional step, such as an authentication code texted or emailed to provide added security. Some types of multi-factor authentication even include options like geotracking.

5 – Training Is Vital

You’ve likely already heard that the most common reason for a breach is human error. Whether it’s in the form of a misconfiguration or because an employee clicked a malicious link, the human element puts your network at risk. And just as cybersecurity training is vital in the office, it’s extremely important for telework.

So safety using the aforementioned public wi-fi should come up, as well as reminders about what to look for in social engineering scams. Online attackers’ new favorite? Coronavirus-related malware in the form of emails, and even phony maps to steal personal data from anyone who visits to try and keep up with the virus’ spread.

You’ll also want to be sure your work-from-homers are sticking to VPN-only when it comes to work files. Too often, the easy way may be to send sensitive data as an unencrypted email attachment, but that risks exposing it to bad actors. Teach them to keep it encrypted, even if it takes a little bit longer. And even though social distancing may keep you from conducting this training in person, there are plenty of videoconferencing options to help.


Renewing A SonicWall License: Why, how, & when to renew

Depending on the length of your previously purchased subscriptions, you may be nearing time to renew licenses for your SonicWall appliance. Renewal time can be a confusing and burdensome period, forcing you to make expensive decisions in a shrinking timeframe. As your deadline for renewal approaches, you may be wondering why you’re paying these recurring costs in the first place. After all, you’re not buying annual renewals for your printer or copy machine, so what’s the deal with firewall renewals?

Why Do Cybersecurity Licenses Need to be Renewed?

There’s a classic thought experiment called the “ship of Theseus.” For those unacquainted, here’s the paradox in a nutshell: as the wooden planks of Theseus’s (an ancient Greek hero) ship slowly rot with age, they are replaced–one at a time—with new planks. If this process continues for years until 100% of the original wooden planks have been scrapped and replaced with new lumber, is Theseus still sailing his original ship or a completely new vessel? This paradox of identity is relevant to how we think of license renewal: the firewall guarding your network today is not the same firewall that you deployed a year ago.

Ransomware, hackers, and malware cocktails are constantly evolving. When the threat actors in Russia call it a day, the hackers in Argentina are just clocking in. Luckily, network engineers and architects all around the globe are working even harder to deny their advances. Because of this never-ending cyber arms race, your firewall receives daily updates with up-to-the-minute strategies, signatures, and solutions for the dark web’s malware du jour. Chances are, the strategies that your firewall used to combat breaches last year are obsolete and have been replaced by more appropriate solutions.

Many people consider firewalls to be the primary powerhouse of network security; however, the physical appliance mounted in your rack (need a rack mount kit?) can be better thought of as a command center from which highly-specialized task forces—your licenses—can effectively deploy. While most firewalls do include some basic security capabilities, their true strength lies in empowering the security services executed through them.

What happens to your firewall if you decide to skip renewal? The same thing that would happen if Theseus decided to never replace the rotten lumber of his famous ship: his boat would go on sailing for a while, slowly gaining larger holes and breaches until it disappeared under the waves, leaving poor Theseus stranded and very salty.

How Do I Find the Correct License for Renewal?

Firewalls.com has worked hard to make this a painless process with our Renewals & Licensing Wizard. The license finder can locate your next renewal in under 30 seconds.

Firewalls.com strongly recommends SonicWall’s Advanced Gateway Security Suite (AGSS), which offers the greatest degree of protection at a fair price point. The SonicWall AGSS bundle arms your network with a comprehensive array of cyberdefenses and, with Capture Advanced Threat Protection, denies even never-seen-before advanced threats.

Still not sure which license best fits your needs? Leave us your name & number. Our team will lend a hand!

[zohoForms src=https://forms.zohopublic.com/firewalls/form/RenewalAssistanceRequest/formperma/x1THwNvd7urJ9iRk4BdIFs2alUMvUm094fDYru_L3J0 width=100% height=600px/]

When Do I Need To Renew?

This question is somewhat trickier to answer as it depends on the date you purchased your initial license. Most security providers and resellers offer licenses in 1, 2, or 3-year terms. Organizations that plan ahead can save a ton of money by purchasing licenses in longer 3-year terms. If you can afford

If you’re a Firewalls.com customer, you can relax. Our team will reach out when your license’s expiration date draws near with helpful reminders, tips, and special offers.

Didn’t purchase your appliance from Firewalls.com? We can still show you how to find your service expiration date. Just follow the steps in these screenshots:

renew your sonicwall license expiration date location in mysonicwall

Step 1: Navigate to the the “Manage” tab in the top bar.

Step 2: In the left-hand menu, select “Licenses.”

renew sonicwall license at mysonicwall expiration date location

Step 3: Expiration dates for services can be found in the far right column.

Never Want to Worry About Renewal Again?

Psst… hey. We know a little secret that could mean you never have to keep track of expiration dates, service terms, or activation codes ever again. Security As A Service through our partner company, Techvisity, puts our team of expert engineers at the helm of your cyber security defenses, making them responsible for firmware updates, license renewals, and all of the gritty day-to-day particulars of network security. If you’re ready to quit Googling articles about subscriptions and patches, come explore how Security As A Service can improve your security posture while reducing your security budget.

Capture Client from SonicWall Backs Your Defenses with Machine Learning

Meet the SonicWall Capture Client

A phrase has appeared on our blog many times before and it will be repeated here today: the era of set-it-and-forget-it security has passed. With thousands of newly-minted malware variants created each day, it is just no longer viable to maintain an up-to-the-minute list of malware signatures. Instead, firewall manufacturers are refocusing their efforts into behavior-based scans. Signature-based scans entail some baked-in limitations: signatures are based on a set of known patterns, leaving networks vulnerable to any never-seen-before (or zero day) threats. In addition, maintaining the highest chance of success translates into near-constant updates to ensure that the very latest signatures are accounted for. With 2017 witnessing the birth of over 58 million different variants of known malware, this quickly becomes a Sisyphean task. Your task list just got a lot shorter thanks to SonicWall’s newly-released Capture Client.

SonicWall has taken a huge step forward in this arena with the recent release of the Capture Client, powered by SentinelOne. SentinelOne is a cyber intelligence company specializing in safeguarding endpoints through innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Machine learning—a computer science discipline focused on harnessing advanced statistical analysis to imbue systems with the ability to learn through data—is the primary driver that allows behavioral-based scanning to detect zero day exploits and adapt to new threats. Capture Client and SentinelOne work together to provide one unified endpoint strategy featuring a wide array of security capabilities.

Continuous Behavioral Monitoring

Capture Client traces activities of all kinds occurring on your network. This includes file creation & modification, disk & memory scripts, process executions, and monitoring of internal communication within programs. Since Capture Client is solely monitoring files for behavior rather than handling and processing that data, there is absolutely no limit to the size of files that Capture Client can handle. No signatures need to be refreshed. Capture Client can effortlessly handle executable files, memory-only malware, document-based exploits, macros, drive-by downloads, scripts, credential scraping, and so much more. For your organization, this manifests in the form of relentless protection backed by the most current data available.

Multilayered Protection

The use of cloud intelligence enables Capture Client to learn how your network operates and react when those documented behaviors deviate from the norm. Static analysis, tag-teaming with machine learning, are able to make initial calls to determine whether a suspicious sample may pose a threat. During further dynamic behavioral analysis, Capture Client observes how a given sample may behave in a network environment without the risks of “detonating” the payload in your network.

No Scheduled Scans or Updates

When’s the last time your firewall got a firmware update? With Capture Client, it doesn’t matter. Cloud-based management with no handling of files means that your system is perpetually updated against the latest, the greatest, the leanest, and meanest of malware on the market.

Rollback Capabilities

Mistakes happen and despite our best laid plans, often human error can lead to unforeseen threats gaining a foothold on your network. But even if a malware payload is able to modify a few of your files, you can rely on the Capture Client’s rollback feature to restore you to pre-attack status. Capture Client’s rollback function reverts files to the last available version prior to malware modification. Rollback utilizes Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) available on all Windows machines. Because rollback relies on VSS, this feature is solely compatible with Microsoft systems.

Capture Client lives peacefully side-by-side with other SonicWall services such as the SonicWall Content Filtering Client and Global VPN Client. Policies for all of these products are conveniently managed via a single pane of glass through a cloud-based management console. When integrated with SonicWall firewall appliances, Capture Client blends perfectly into your security environment, offering a zero-touch experience for deployment on unprotected clients.

If your organization still relies on static policies, signature-based scanning, and firmware updates, you may be falling behind in the battle against advanced Internet threats. As the threat landscape changes, malware has shifted from a simple game of quantity to one of quality, versatility, and speed. Expect behavior-based security to become the norm in coming days. Where we currently stand, SonicWall’s Capture Client platform represents a huge step forward in meeting the demands of cybersecurity in 2018.

If you’re ready to really supercharge your network security, link up SonicWall’s Capture Client with a trusted local Managed Security Service Provider in your area for a partnership made in Heaven. Just as behavioral monitoring is becoming the standard for data scanning, Security As A Service is becoming standard operating procedure for businesses serious about security.