When questioned on the rising number of SME cyber attacks, Toni Allen of the British Standards Institute observed: “SMEs have not historically been the target of cybercrime, but in 2015 something drastically changed.”
Whether it’s data protection or preventing malicious attacks, cyber security is becoming an increasing concern for small businesses. This is primarily because many SMEs do not see themselves as viable targets, and so spend minimal resources on cyber threat protection. The growing threats to businesses include increasingly sophisticated malware, data loss and ransomware, in which attackers encrypt important data and only release it when paid a certain sum of money.
As the complexity of online threats increases, more and more SMEs find that their basic Anti-Virus protection is insufficient to safeguard both their network and computers. This is where Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution comes in.
UTM is essentially a suite of security software that combines a Firewall (to check all data going in and out of your network), Anti-Virus (protection from computer Viruses, Malware and Spyware) and Web Content Filtering (blocking access to risky or undesirable websites). UTM has comprehensive reporting to help the business understand the threats that have happened.
There are several UTM solutions in the market and it is important that businesses select the right solution that is both cost-effective and meets their security requirements.
Insourcing versus Outsourcing
In the process of selecting a UTM solution, you might want to consider your organisation’s current technical capabilities. The cost of cyber security specialists is ever increasing and organisations need to consider whether they can afford to invest in relevant in-house expertise. Outsourcing to a managed service provider in today’s environment presents a potentially more cost effective alternative to in-sourcing. The outsourced service provider in this case can help your business configure and manage your UTM devices, tailoring it to your business’ needs. Having your business security managed by professionals not only gives you peace of mind, it also offers you a single point of contact for your threat management needs.
Selecting the right UTM partner
To ease the selection process, consider building your own checklist. Here are 4 items to get you started:
- Does the service provider offer a UTM solution that covers the 3 basic essentials of Firewall, Anti-Virus and Web Content Filtering?
- Does the service provider provide executive reports on security threats and violations on a single platform?
- Does the service provider provide support and expertise at no hidden costD
- Does the service provider offer the flexibility of monthly subscription versus one-time equipment cost?
Readiness for future threats
During his address in the 2015 National Security Conference, minister in charge of cyber security Dr Yaacob Ibrahim touched on the importance of focusing not only on the now, but anticipating potential problems in the future as well.
Finding a complete solution ensures that your business is not only protecting from current threats, but future ones as well. While a UTM solution might appear to meet your current needs, online threats evolve over time. The UTM provider must be committed to provide constant updates and development to meet those threats. It is important that the UTM you choose covers your security needs and includes options to cover areas you might consider protecting in future as your business expands.
StarHub’s Unified Threat Management
When looking for a well-rounded UTM service provider, consider the StarHub’s Unified Threat Management solution, which offers high performance with up-to-date enterprise-grade technology. The pay-as-you-use solution is paid for in monthly instalments, so you can cut out hefty capital investment costs. The service also includes access to 24x7 technical support, so your business can enjoy peace of mind with an expert team to back you up.
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