Systems used to be like ATM's - you give the right code and the ATM gave you the cash, then hackers got to them and the security had to be strengthened to the point where hackers now needed an inside man. Guess what, the inside man came in the the form of email phishing scams targeting unknowing consumers to give up the code and then out comes the cash.
Then to give regular firewalls a real workout are blended threats - viruses, worms, trojans, root kits, and other hacks. Running a successful business adds to your responsibilities - more employees, larger networks, larger databases, and possible teleworker VPN options - definitely a job for an appliance that can handle blended threats.
The sights are now on us...
Let's look first at the changes in the SME network security environment and how blended threats have started to trickle down to us little guys. Multinational and large enterprise networks have always fought blended threats - spyware prevention, root kit attacks, spam blocking, intrusion prevention and URL filtering are what the big boys IT departments are using on a daily basis at the gateway to the Internet. Most of the time the IT guy is able to hold back the unknown threats with layered security - yes I said unknown threats. Each one of the threats we know about today became infamous once the damage was done or the attack was blocked to a degree where the loss was not significant. These threats began as unknowns.
And that's the good news, when the big boys trigger technological innovations, the little people always get a taste. The difference is that when an unknown threat attacks our firewall, hopefully we all have some form of security - right, the damages and loss can be catastrophic. But all businesses in the small and medium environments can't have a separate IT department that handles security, storage, compliance and the money to handle downtime due to lost productivity and data. All businesses of any size are looking for ways to effectively prevent attacks right at the perimeter before it reaches the desktop.
Prevent Your SME Network From Looking Like an ATM
If you think your business is already secure enough and doesn't need a UTM, a combined intrusion detection and prevention appliance, then maybe when the unknown threats attack your network it will keep them away from the desktops in your office. I hope you can sleep well...because your network can never go to sleep.