SonicWall recently issued a security warning about imminent ransomware attacks targeted at unpatched aging devices. The company learned that cybercriminals are actively targeting Secure Remote Access (SRA) and Secure Mobile Access (SMA) 100 series. The ransomware campaign is capitalizing on stolen credentials, targeting a known vulnerability that has been patched in the newer versions of firmware.
If organizations don’t take the appropriate action to mitigate the risk of these vulnerabilities, they are prone to suffer a ransomware attack. Given the situation, our publishers are getting picky with links. Some sites are only allowing us two or three links, some more, but most will fall in this area of two to three.
With the looming security threat, we reached out to cybersecurity experts to find out their thoughts concerning the issue. Our questions to them were:
- Why should businesses look at an ongoing cybersecurity investment strategy?
- If you are not a SonicWall partner, what do you believe to be the best security solution and why?
- If you are a SonicWall partner with a legacy firewall, how do you plan on advising your customers on this recent news?
Why Should Businesses Look at an Ongoing Cybersecurity Investment Strategy?
Scott Gallupe, President at 403Tech, says that companies need to have a continuous cybersecurity investment strategy because technology is constantly changing and evolving. A firewall software from five years ago may not have the same capabilities and updates as the newer, modern ones and may be prone to vulnerabilities.
Vendors may also choose to no longer support an aged firewall that will allow hackers to get in if left unprotected.
The Importance of Proactive Updating
Mike Shelah from Advantage Industries advises businesses to embrace proactive updating as the key to successful cybersecurity. Doing so can help protect their operating systems, firmware, software, hardware, and perhaps most importantly, policies and procedures. Small and medium businesses are especially vulnerable to ransomware attacks and should be a lot more proactive.
Most of them do not have a professional IT partner, which means they probably do not have basics like firewalls and backups in place. Even worse, many SMBs think that since they pay a monthly IT to an IT service provider, all IT-related services are covered. Unfortunately, and far too often, the services they think are covered are usually not covered.
Additionally, most of these SMBs do not have a set of policies and procedures that relate to their specific business. They also do not consider state cyber laws, the laws of other states they do business in, or industry standards they are supposed to follow, for example, HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, or NIST.
Working with an IT Service Provider is Crucial
The best practice is to engage quarterly with a reliable IT vendor. Have a business discussion with your IT partner and ask how those goals will impact technology, then together lay out a plan to execute. It should match a realistic budget and timeline, says Shelah.
The attack on SonicWall is an excellent example of the need for continuous updating of equipment, says Nick Martin, Director of Managed Services at Mainstreet IT Solutions. Therefore, businesses also must have a plan of replacing equipment promptly.
Companies with a high maturity level will proactively upgrade equipment through a budgeted agreement with their IT support. Companies like SonicWall upgrade their devices for new features and security updates. A good cybersecurity practice would be to stay in tune with these new security features to help a company succeed.
Don’t Forget to Patch Your Firewalls
Unfortunately, firewalls are probably the most overlooked security door on the business, says Ilan Sredni, CEO and President at Palindrome Consulting, Inc. He notes that companies spend all their time patching machines but rarely updating and patching a firewall. Moreover, some of these firewalls were built long before these threats existed and must be updated. Updating the firewalls is the first line of defense and is extremely important. It should, therefore, not be allowed to have human errors that interrupt the process.
If you are not a SonicWall partner, what do you believe to be the best security solution and why?
Ashu Singhal, President of Orion Networks, recommends using a layered approach to cybersecurity. Firewall, antivirus, anti-Spam, and backups are all now essential for modern businesses to function online. No one solution can keep you safe, but multiple layers will give you much more protection against bad actors.
His company, Orion Networks, is a major SonicWall partner with over 100 SonicWall tools deployed. Many customers think that just having a firewall with appropriate security services or even with end-of-life hardware is enough. However, the recent hacking events highlight that every business should upgrade its firewalls regularly. They also must include active security subscription licenses like SonicWall Gateway security or Advanced Gateway security subscription.
If you are a SonicWall partner with legacy firewalls, how do you plan on advising your customers on this recent news?
Scott Gallupe, President of 403Tech, advises businesses that are not partners with SonicWall to upgrade to the newest firmware or patch available. If they are on a legacy firewall, he recommends that they upgrade to a modern firewall with advanced capabilities.
Martin adds that the field is highly competitive and has constantly seen a fluctuation of cybersecurity vendors, going from effective to ineffective and vice versa. Currently, Fortinet seems to be the leader in the Next-Generation Firewalls, which is verified by independent 3rd parties. MSPs will need to constantly reevaluate and hold cybersecurity companies accountable by offering their customers effective solutions. If a vendor proves unreliable, MSPs have a responsibility to their customers to ensure that they can easily transition to products and services that are.
Sredni says he prefers that businesses will use a partner who will automatically patch the firewall, like Cisco Meraki.
Cybersecurity threats are all around us, and there is no room for complacency. When thinking of your antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software, don’t overlook your firewall protection. The recent cybersecurity incidents on SonicWall are evidence enough that firewalls are also under attack.
Cybersecurity is an issue that calls for a deep understanding of the issues happening in the IT security world. As such, it helps to work with a professional IT service provider for the most reliable results. At Ulistic, we work round the clock to help our clients boost their IT security for data and systems protection. If you’re looking for a trusted IT partner, talk to us today for an initial consultation.