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Managed Firewall Services: Stopping Internal Data Breaches

If you arrived to work one day and found that your company’s databases had been breached, your first thought might be that a hardware glitch was to blame. If a forensic IT analyst investigated and found that a person not a faulty server was behind the incident, you may think a remote hacker made his way past your firewall.

If you trust your employees, the last thing you’d consider is that one of them was behind the intrusion. Yet, in-house staff is responsible for a large percentage of data breaches each year.

Writing for Recode, cyber security sleuth Steve Durbin explains, “Most high-profile attacks on corporate data centers and institutional networks originate outside of the victimized organizations — in many cases from halfway around the world. But the network openings that allow outside cyber attackers to burrow in, infect databases, and potentially take down an organization’s file servers, overwhelmingly originate with trusted insiders.”

Upgrading Managed Firewall Services

Finding the culprit of a data breach can be like playing the game Clue, except the drama plays out in a bright IT department instead of a shadowy mansion. But identifying the interloper is ultimately less important than ensuring that he and others don’t repeat his actions. This is an issue that companies can address with managed firewall services.

Practically every company has a firewall that protects its local area network (LAN) from the wide area network (WAN) outside the firewall, but the firewall is often a one-way street. It protects against outside threats but offers little protection against in-house risks. This why companies need a double-sided firewall a firewall that protects inside and out.   

What Companies Must Protect Against

Many data breaches are the work of anonymous hackers, who play catch-me-if-you-can with authorities, but data breaches also have a mundane side: Some result from employee negligence and some are simply accidents. There are three types of in-house data security threats that companies need to be managed firewall services to protect against:

Malicious Threats

Malicious threats are often the result of employee retaliation. For example, someone gets angry about not receiving an expected raise, and he releases proprietary business information to competing companies to “get even” with his employer.

Negligent Threats

Negligent threats commonly occur when employees navigate around policies that they feel complicate their work. For instance, instead of signing into a database that times out after 15 minutes of no activity, a tech-savvy employee may find a way to keep the database open 24/7.  

Accidental Threats

A 2015 report from Verizon found that 30% of internal data breaches are accidental. For example, an employee borrows a company laptop to work at home, leaves it up and running, and someone else in the home uses the computer, inadvertently causing a breach.       

Data Security

Because a large percentage of data breaches originate from inside company walls, it’s important for businesses to have a double-sided firewall that protects against inside and outside threats. With double-sided firewalls, your business will be better-equipped when protecting data and other internal digital assets.  

About the author

Stephanie Rowan

Stephanie Rowan is an IT consultant specializing in data security solutions, among other IT strategies. When not consulting, she enjoys reading up on the latest tech gadgets and walking her English Mastiff.