GFI Software: Empowering SMBs to Navigate Cyber Threat and Network Vulnerabilities
Cyber-attacks grab headlines as the problems of large businesses and enterprises. In actual fact, these security attacks -- data breaches, malware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), phishing, spyware, and others -- is as big a challenge to small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) as they are to the large enterprises.
Large businesses are targets because they manage ever-increasing volumes of valuable data, such as intellectual property (IP), employee and client personally-identifiable information (PII), financial records. Similarly, SMBs manage equally valuable data, just in smaller volumes. If your personal data is stolen from a local business versus your bank, the result is the same. The cyber threat landscape is far wider than just big businesses.
SMBs More Susceptible to Cyber Threat and Vulnerabilities
Cyber-security threats posed to SMBs are real and growing. Verizon’s “2018 Data Breach Investigations Report” found that 58 percent of all data breaches target small businesses and they are hit with nearly 4,000 cyber-attacks per day.
Ernesto Frutos, Sales Engineer—Security, GFI Software, notes, “Small and medium-sized businesses used to think that they didn’t need security software because attackers only go after big companies. This has been proven wrong. Small and medium-sized businesses are attractive targets too.”
Large businesses have resources, IT expertise and security solutions. They are also increasing their cyber-security spending. As a result, cybercriminals are looking for smaller, weaker targets — SMBs. Cyber-attacks could be devastating to SMBs as they typically have basic security precautions in place and lack the sort of in-house staff equipped to deal with serious IT threats. Data confirms this frightening reality: 60 percent of small businesses that suffer a breach is likely to go out of business within six months.
SMBs Stay Safe and Compliant with GFI Software
GFI Software has over 20 years of market expertise specifically helping small and medium businesses think like bigger companies when it comes to security. GFI works with system administrators, IT professionals and IT executives in thousands of companies worldwide to ensure that their IT infrastructures are monitored, managed, secured and compliant.
“Increasing government regulations are forcing many businesses to start using security products like the ones GFI offers,” notes Ernesto Frutos.
With the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks, a single solution will not be enough. Businesses need a combination of security solutions in order to prevent a breach and have processes in place to recover from an attack.
Ian Bugeja, VP Product Management, GFI Software, says: “There are a variety of security solutions and no single solution can help block all weaknesses in the network. A truly secure company requires firewall – with UTM (for web filtering/scanning), AV on desktop, email security to scan emails coming in/out, data loss prevention at the gateways, patch management, vulnerability scanning software, additional protection/firewalls for any cloud servers/infrastructure, and secure VPN (since all companies have some remote work).”
GFI Software offers a wide range of solutions with a focus on security. Capabilities covered in an easy-to-use set of the software include web filtering, web monitoring, firewall, antispam, email scanning (av), patch management and vulnerability scanning. In addition, these security solutions are complemented by a range of network and communications capabilities. The effect can be one-stop shopping for the SMB to cover basic business needs.
“We often see businesses install and forget the software. But then, they need to monitor patches and ensure updates are installed for security,” says Ian Bugeja. “There should also be SIEM or some form of log scanning to detect patterns/attacks, businesses should crash-proof software and data with daily incremental backups at least, and must provide security training to employees (at least once a year), in order to not fall prey to cyber-attacks.”
The Changing Nature of Cyber Threats and Solutions
As small businesses continue to battle traditional threats, the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is adding more to the lot. Juniper estimates that the number of IoT devices will pass the 50 billion mark by 2022.
The growth in the number of endpoints connected to a company’s network brings increased security risks. “IoT has grown. We will probably see the highest ratio of vulnerabilities attacking such devices, especially when considering some devices are not getting managed updates,” says Ian Bugeja. “Consumer-based IoT, such as smart cams, smart plugs, and more are being introduced into the business network.”
In addition to IoT, small businesses like their larger counterparts use more and more cloud services. “The increasing dependency of small and medium-sized businesses on cloud services should push them to adopt security products for identifying threats and protecting their users and company data,” adds Ernesto Frutos.
Most standard cyber-defenses, such as firewalls, serve to secure the systems from external attacks. Anti-virus is also used by most companies. However, its effectiveness is minimal in the defense against the increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks that can go undetected for quite a long period of time.
“Businesses need multiple solutions with multiple capabilities. No single solution can protect the network,” says Ernesto Frutos. “Multi-factor authentication mechanisms to access services via the Internet are the new requirement today. Ten to fifteen years ago patch management and vulnerability assessments were optional. Not anymore.”
GFI offers a novel subscription service across multiple products -- GFI Unlimited. You can have three key, complementary security products--GFI LanGuard, Kerio Control, and GFI MailEssentials for a single, simple low price per user. Depending on the number of users, it is highly likely all three security services could be less expensive than one or two of the services purchased independently.
Security professionals need to change their mindset and carefully explore the options that can safeguard a company from damage caused by human error. This is where data analytics and machine learning come into the picture.
“The idea of simple analytics to detect threats in today’s world will not work since attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated, thus software is using machine learning to analyze behaviors and patterns and flag alerts when necessary. Hardware-based authentication – Technologies like Windows Hello and other different types of authentication mechanisms will replace passwords completely. It has become far too cumbersome to remember passwords and the idea of relying on a password manager introduces weaknesses if the password manager gets compromised,” notes Ian Bugeja.
GFI Software: At the Helm
Dan Beer is SVP and General Manager at GFI Software. Dan Beer has more than 20 years of experience in leading software partner channels, corporate acquisitions, products, support, sales, services and more. At GFI, Dan is responsible for all operating functions of GFI Software and Aurea SMB Solutions. Prior to GFI, he served as Chief Operating Officer of You.i TV, where he grew annual recurring revenue by seven times and improved operating margins by 20 percent. He also led the merger and acquisition team, development, sales, marketing, service delivery and support for a $450+ million software solution division at IBM.
Strong Market Focus, Wide Channel Partners and Trusted Solutions Drive GFI's Success
GFI develops right-sized, smartly engineered IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. These solutions enable IT administrators to easily and efficiently discover, manage and secure their business networks, systems, applications, and communications wherever they exist.
It is a channel-focused company with a network of thousands of partners worldwide. The company has received numerous awards and industry accolades and is a long-time Microsoft® Gold ISV Partner.
GFI is committed to customers worldwide to deliver trusted expertise, easy to use and cost-effective IT solutions with a strong focus on security excellence. It lets small and medium businesses enjoy the security protection big businesses do, but structured to be accessible, easy to install and maintain.
“Cybersecurity technologies have already changed the way businesses work and will continue to do so in the future. Every business has to invest in security products to identify and prevent threats as well as data leaks before they can become a problem,” concludes Ernesto Frutos.
Headquarters/Location: Austin, Texas, USA