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4 Steps to securing your small or midsized business

Download Fortinet’s whitepaper Small and Midsize Business Security: 4 Steps to Success

As a small or midsized business, you know how important it is to focus on growth and cash flow management. However, with the increasing threat of cyber attacks, it’s crucial to have a strong and holistic security system in place to protect your business from potential damage.

Many of the SMBs we work with across Western Canada struggle to implement a comprehensive security solution because of limited budgets and resources. They often end up using multiple solutions that don’t work together seamlessly, leading to higher IT costs.

But with this whitepaper, Fortinet shares 4 steps to help you modernize your business security and achieve complete protection without sacrificing functionality or performance.

Step 1: Create a Secure Office Network

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is at the heart of the network and is critical in protecting and controlling the traffic going in and out of the office. Choosing the right NGFW is important to save time, money and make overall management of the environment easier and more cost-effective. The network also includes network switches and wireless access points, with a single-vendor solution being more efficient and eliminating administrative hassles compared to a multi-vendor solution.

In Fortinet’s whitepaper, they share a checklist to evaluate a potential NGFW for your businses:

  • TCO per protected megabyte
  • Credible third-party validation
  • Threat protection performance
  • SSL inspection capacity
  • IPsec virtual private network (VPN) performance
  • Extensible security
  • Easy, single-pane-of-glass management
  • Future-proofing

Step 2: Support a Work-from-anywhere, Hybrid Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a shift in work patterns and many businesses pivoted to a remote workforce. To support this, VPN technology was used to secure access to company resources, and better next-generation firewalls were purchased to handle the increased VPN traffic. SD-WAN was also used effectively to maintain application performance. However, when employees returned to the office, businesses experienced a new challenge – integrating the technology used to secure the office network with the improved technology to secure remote and hybrid workers. To avoid this, companies should look for a solution that offers both office network security and endpoint protection for a streamlined and cost-effective solution. The technologies should share a common operating system for seamless communication and effective security.

The whitepaper from Fortinet offers insight into what to look for when securing a hybrid workforce.  They include tips on the following:

  • Native network and endpoint integration
  • Endpoint protection
  • Secure access and VPN
  • Two-factor authentication

Step 3: Secure Cloud Applications and Email

The cloud offers operational savings and scalability for businesses of all sizes, but securing data as it moves across different cloud vendor infrastructures can be a challenge. Choosing between a single or multi-vendor cloud infrastructure is a difficult decision, but using the right security vendor can at least make managing security across these platforms easier.

A cloud access security broker (CASB) solution with API-based access, like a well-designed NGFW, allows administrators to scan for compliance and threats and monitor user, device, and application usage in SaaS applications. Out-of-the-box reports for compliance and regulatory requirements can also help speed up audits and monitor if users are sharing information within applications they shouldn’t be.

Step 4: Control Costs by Streamlining and Simplifying Security, Management, and Ongoing Operations

One of the challenges IT teams face is the management of multiple vendor products and solutions that are not designed to easily or seamlessly work together. To overcome this challenge, IT teams should look for security solutions that are designed to be used together with the same policies and rulesets. This allows for easy monitoring of network health and user activity from a single, cloud-based window. Another cost-controlling option is Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS), where businesses can forgo granular features and controls and instead rely on a complete SECaaS platform to maintain a strong, proactive security platform based on automation and intelligence sharing.

The best networking and security tools for an SMB are the ones that significantly reduce the risk to your business and are designed to work together.  To learn more about Fortinet’s 4 Steps to Success, download the full whitepaper. 

Or, if you have specific questions about the security at your business, get in touch with our team today.

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