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What you should know about internet security

Protecting your business from internet attacks

There are a lot of ways that a hacker can gain access to your business network from the internet. Whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or really any other type of business, you likely have data you need to protect. The first line of defense for your business is hopefully a business grade router!

What is the purpose of a router / firewall?

The basic and original purpose for an internet router is to route traffic from your IP Address to the next router in the path and eventually to your final destination. For example, one of Google’s IP addresses is 172.217.5.4 and for this example let’s say your IP Address is 1.2.3.4. Your computer does not know how to get to 172.217.5.4 so it asks your router and your router asks the router at your ISP. This keeps hopping to the next router down the line until it knows where Google is at!

The purpose of a firewall is to block outbound and inbound internet traffic. Basically, if you did not have a firewall, anyone could access your network at any time! This could also be the case if your firewall is not configured properly. Internet traffic travels to and from your business through “doors” in your firewall called ports.

Since the early 1990’s routers have included firewalls. They basically became the same thing over the past 20 years. Now almost any router you buy will also be a firewall.

What is the difference between consumer and business grade routers?

A consumer grade router routes your internet traffic and allows you to open inbound ports. All outbound ports are typically always open on a consumer router.

A business grade router will usually come with all inbound and outbound ports closed. It is up to your IT professional to open the ports you need. This is a lot more secure because there are less “doors” open to your network. Business routers also have other features like IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), Packet Inspection, Virus Scanning, etc…

IPS scans all your traffic to protect you against port scans, denial of service attacks, and other types of exploits. Packet inspection and virus scanning will decrypt your SSL web traffic and scan it for viruses as well as other things that you configure. Let’s say you don’t want credit card information leaving your business network, you can configure your packet inspection to try to find credit card data and stop it from leaving. It can then email your IT Professional saying what it found, what computer it came from, and the action it took. You can also block different categories of websites like porn sites or known malicious.

Where can I get a good router for my business?

As you can see, a business grade router provides a lot of added value to your business. With this added value comes an added price as well. A decent business router will cost you somewhere between $1,000 and $3,000 for a small business. For large enterprises, they can cost much more.

Ask your IT Professional if he can provide a business grade router. You can also contact us (Quick MSP) and we can do an assessment of your network to see what would be best for you!