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Cybersecurity challenges in 2013

Dmitriy Ayrapetov, director of product management of Dell SonicWALL | March 11, 2013
The security issues affecting businesses are similar around the world.

The sophistication and ability to attack and paralyze websites will continue to grow at dramatic pace. For example in 2011, there were 1,596,905 DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks compared to 120,321,372 in 2012. As businesses of all sizes continue to move services and infrastructure to the cloud, the issue of DDoS will be high on many agendas at it has the potential to quickly cripple entire cloud infrastructures.

Viruses, trojans, worms and ransomware do not differentiate between a large or small business. They represent the same risk, no matter if you have a lot or only very little budget to invest in network security. Irrespective of the size of your business, these threats can mean loss of profitability and productivity, loss of data and financial assets, and potentially catastrophic loss of business continuity. It is likely that small businesses are more likely to fall pretty to these attacks, because they do not have the budget, IT infrastructure or support that a large business can afford. On the other hand, the more people a business employs, the greater the vulnerability of its network.


Steps to take

The most important steps for a business of any size to protect itself from cyberattacks is to be aware of the most obvious and dangerous variants. Second, it is key to educate employees how to recognize and avoid accidentally bringing a virus/malware/trojan into the corporate network. A recent survey by Dell SonicWALL customers shows that 68% of all businesses reported that employees cannot identify fraudulent attacks on the corporate network.

It is the dirty little secret of the beautiful world of social networks and mobile device interconnectedness that they are a breeding ground for malware and Internet criminals. Many businesses believe their existing firewalls will protect them from an attack. The reality, however, is that old firewalls pose a serious security risk to organizations today.

First-generation firewalls technology has become obsolete as it fails to inspect the data payload of network packets circulated by today's Internet criminals. To prepare and protect from the massive growth in social media, applications, BYOD and multi-media files flowing through a corporate network, entirely new technology is needed. It is today's next-generation firewalls that include advanced technology such as application intelligence and control, intrusion prevention, malware protection and SSL inspection at multi-gigabit speeds, scalable to support the highest-performance networks and protect them effectively from the modern threats every user of email or the Internet encounters on a daily basis.

If an organization does business anywhere on the Internet, it is likely not a question of if, but when it will be targeted by cybercriminals. While no protection is ever perfect, there is much that business can do to minimize and deflect the impact of these potential threats. Especially, the IT organization should closely collaborate with the company leadership to identify vulnerabilities lie, prepare with appropriate countermeasures including advanced high-performance, high-redundancy network security components, and educate employees for the best possible defense and protection of business assets.


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