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New and unknown threats are the cause of more than 80% of successful breaches. This shows that just having a firewall in place isn’t enough. To reduce the risk of threats accessing systems, firewalls need to be continually patched and kept up to date. It’s all about staying ahead of threats and reducing vulnerabilities as they arise.  

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The methods attackers use to gain access to environments continues to change. And it makes fending off attacks feel a bit like playing a game of Whac-A-Mole. As soon as one vulnerability is found and patched, attackers search for another to exploit. In short, attackers will find the path of least resistance and exploit it. Failing to keep firewalls updated is a low-resistance path that can become a costly mistake for companies.  

Major corporations aren’t the only targets. Ransomware attacks have increased across small to medium businesses in all sectors. Smaller companies generally consider that they don’t have much in terms of value that attackers would want and therefore won’t be targeted. This may have been the case a few years back, but as big companies ramp up their security efforts, attackers are looking for easier targets – less vigilant companies that don’t keep their security up to date. 

How are different industries vulnerable?  

Technology is the backbone across many industries, making them vulnerable to unique threats. A common thread is increased targeting of identities. This forces responsibility on companies, pressuring them to keep their customer data secure. There are several ways attackers target different industries. 

In finance the obvious exploitation is fraud. Criminals can use stolen identities, PIN’s, bank account details or credit card information to fraudulently gain funds. Firewalls are a small but significant part of a wholistic defensive cybersecurity plan. But if an attacker exploits a vulnerable firewall, they can leverage their gained access to exploit customer data.  

Retailers capture customer credit card information and have a responsibility to keep that data secure. An outdated firewall may not be able to identify the latest phishing scams or redirects to fake websites, ultimately putting customer data at risk.

Healthcare providers collect and store detailed personal information. It’s the coveted type of data that criminals can use to verify a stolen identity. Firewalls are a critical step in preventing this type of data from getting into the wrong hands. But it’s only effective if it’s kept up to date and able to detect the latest methods of attack being used.  

Educational institutions are no exception to this risk. Schools large and small, are often targeted because of student records containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Outdated firewalls can leave student data vulnerable to exploitation and put education facilities at risk.  

What’s the best way to manage firewalls? 

A firewall is one of the most basic components in a company’s cybersecurity toolkit. But like many security components, it requires ongoing maintenance. Firewalls are constantly being updated to fend off the latest known forms of attack, but updates aren’t always automatically installed, depending on the system settings. It’s all too easy to overlook an alert, push off an update for later and then completely forget about it – leaving the company vulnerable to attack. 

This is why having a managed security solution is critical for many teams. It leaves companies free to focus on other business priorities without the pressure of searching for and hiring a full-time in-house security team. Plus, managed services bring trusted and vetted security expertise learned from businesses and industries around the world.

With 24/7 monitoring and maintenance there’s less risk of missing updates or overlooking important alerts. Proper compliance is achievable with systems in place to report on security efforts and ensure alignment with industry and government regulations. With added flexibility to scale up or down depending on company security needs managed cybersecurity protection gives companies a competitive advantage – enabling and empowering teams to focus on their customers and other business needs.   

Logically manages and secures your IT, so you can take care of business. We work hard so that you can work better. Whether you are seeking to augment an existing IT team or outsource IT completely, Logically can help. Contact us by calling 866.946.9638 or speak to an expert today! 

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