Why a WatchGuard Firewall is Your Business’ Best Line of Defence Against Ransomware
Some have called it an epidemic. Some have called it the biggest global cybersecurity threat of the modern age.
Whatever you want to call it, there's no getting away from it. Ransomware is a problem no modern business can afford to ignore.
After all, despite most media headlines focusing on attacks at major organisations like the NHS, such high-profile examples are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to ransomware's far-reaching impact.
In most cases, it's small and medium-sized business likes yours which most often incur the wrath of cybercriminals, typically chosen because their lack of specialist skills and advanced security technology tends to make them an easy target.
Ask most IT security professionals how to best protect your business from such attacks, and chances are you’ll be advised to create regular data backups and invest in staff training to stop criminals exploiting your most vulnerable asset - your people.
There’s nothing wrong with this advice either. In fact, at Total Group, we highly recommend offsite data backups and staff training to help protect your business against all manner of security threats and data breaches.
There’s just one problem:
Even the most clued-up, security-savvy staff members are little match for the increasingly sophisticated methods used by crooks to infiltrate your infrastructure.
So yes, whilst ensuring your staff are on their guard is important, your business still needs an extra layer of protection to detect and destroy advanced-level threats before they cause a problem for your business.
Where do you get that additional protection?
From a next-generation firewall with the kind of features specifically designed to help SMEs like yours combat the rising threat of ransomware.
As we discussed in our recent guide to the best small business firewalls currently on the market, many of the leading names in the cybersecurity space have put themselves forward as top contenders for the crown, but few tackle the ransomware problem quite as successfully as WatchGuard.
With their Total Security Suite, the brand provides all the features you’d expect from a company at the cutting edge of security technology, and more besides.
So, yes, the standard stateful firewall is there to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, and yes, everything from the most primitive spyware to the most advanced zero-day malware attacks can be detected, prevented, and dealt with, but alongside that, there are four features in particular which make WatchGuard the best line of defence against ransomware that your business has.
We start with the most basic and yet surprisingly powerful tool for protecting your business. As you may have guessed from the name, WebBlocker is WatchGuard’s own web filtering service, which blocks access to known malicious websites and enables URL filtering to prevent users from logging onto sites that could be risky.
2: Host Ransomware Prevention (HRP)
As we’ve already mentioned, WatchGuard Total Security comes with a solid Threat Detection and Response which scans traffic for potential threats and provides users with the tools to mitigate and manage them should they appear. Within that service is a unique, ransomware-specific module known as Host Ransomware Prevention (HRP).
This essentially sets up a decoy directory and uses a behavioural analytics engine to assess whether a file is a ransomware attack, expose it, and eliminate it before it can do any damage to your infrastructure.
3: APT Blocker
A clever piece of kit, APT makes use of WatchGuard's award-winning sandboxing technology to assess unknown files and essentially lure them into a sealed, virtual environment where they can be detonated safely without impacting your network.
4: Ongoing Updates to Counter New Threats
Whilst these tools can prove to be a powerful defence against the kind of ransomware attacks security experts already know about, we’re still ultimately left with the same problem we mentioned right at the start of this article:
Criminals are developing smarter and more complex methods of infiltrating our networks, meaning that what might be advanced security today may seem pretty rudimentary tomorrow.
That's why it pays to invest in a firewall solution that comes with regular patches and updates to counter new threats as they emerge.
WatchGuard does just that, and in our experience, does so better, and with greater regularity, than any of its nearest competitors.
The company are often first off the starting block to provide customers with solutions to new problems, often in a way that makes it easy for any SME -even those without their own in-house IT team- to deploy the latest fixes quickly and easily.