We audited a company last week and discovered that their web filtering tools, designed to stop users from accidentally landing on malicious websites, was not blocking dangerous sites. In these days with ransomware and bad actors tricking users into clicking on dangerous links, it is essential to have web content filtering in place.
Even if a user does click a link, a good web content filter can often protect your network when user training fails.
We notified the company’s outsourced IT providers, and they determined that the web protection gateway failed and was permitting all traffic into the network. Were it not for the audit, it would still be allowing clicked links to take users to malicious websites.
This firewall appliance is a well-known brand that starts with a B, but it could be any manufacturer. Computer hardware is far from perfect. A big concern is that the firewall failed and no one knew it. As auditors, it is common to find malfunctioning security equipment. Just because all the green lights are flashing on the outside of the firewall does not mean it is working correctly.
Now is an excellent time to ask your IT professionals, even outsourced companies, to devote time to checking your firewalls, routers, wireless network access points, and other devices. They need to apply all critical security patches, verify the filtering rules, and be sure the devices are working fast without hindering the flow of your information. If you want to, have them reach out to us for more technical recommendations.
You can even update your routers and devices at home if you have some extra time. An excellent place to start is at the device manufacturer’s website. There will be instructions to download and install the most recent firmware. Look at the support site about ways you can enable supported security features in your home devices including web content filtering. Be sure to leave time to tweak the settings. Depending on how familiar you are with the settings, this process might take you ten minutes or, if things get a little crazy, it could take an hour or more at home.
Please forward this to everyone you know so they can ask their IT professionals to make sure the firewalls and other devices are up and running correctly. Let’s keep your networks safe.