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Why Layered Security is the Only True Way to Protect SMBs

Attacks on endpoint devices are intensifying and becoming increasingly more effective with each passing year. From Zero-day exploits and polymorphic malware to DNS hacks, the methods cybercriminals use to continually barrage the SMB are growing in complexity, creativity, and callousness. After years of seeing these threats transform and expand, it was evident that traditional MSP tools are not robust enough to stop modern-day cybercriminals.

Typical channel network security offerings include antivirus, anti-spyware, routers, firewalls, and intrusion detection. As an MSP, your job is to manage those applications and monitor traffic and performance. While these solutions and protection methods are essential and part of baseline security for a reason, adding other protection measures on top of that stack is critical in today’s volatile environment. A layered approach provides more safeguards.

At a minimum, security should be all-encompassing. A best practice is to cover every potential point of failure with at least two layers of defence. MSPs should also receive an alert when there is a breach in the initial protection or if any other system begins to falter or fails at any point. This approach gets the attention of tech professionals, while second and even third lines of defence will help slow down attackers or encourage them to look for lower hanging fruit (easier marks). Creating a buffer allows MSPs enough time to assess the situation and address the problems accordingly.

Unfortunately, 100% reliable protection is an impossible goal − determined cybercriminals will undoubtedly find a way into businesses they target. A layered security approach may not stop every attack or circumvent all careless employees, but it can improve a business’s ability to spot potential threats and give their IT teams or MSPs enough time to neutralize the attacks.

There are a number of additional provisions MSPs can take on to protect SMBs, including the options covered below.

DNS Security

Almost all web traffic requires DNS queries. This is the first step when a user connects to a website, which also creates an excellent opportunity for cybercriminals to conduct a variety of attacks. For example, DNS hijacking redirects unsuspecting users to a spoof website designed to collect sensitive personal information.

These pages negatively reflect on the real business and can incur other liabilities if not discovered soon enough. Phishing, malware, and ransomware scams all use DNS servers to connect users to infrastructure that can power even more severe and costly incidents. For example, DDoS attacks send a large volume of traffic to a website and overwhelm the servers, causing them to crash and go offline until the problems can be resolved. Amplification attacks turn small queries into larger strings, leading to similarly detrimental results and additional support.

Those potential vulnerabilities make DNS security a vital focal point for MSPs. The basics include monitoring DNS requests and IP connections to ensure no malicious activity is taking place. That step will dramatically improve network protection and security visibility. Adding DNS-layer security to the mix strengthens the protection layers by blocking suspicious requests, preventing infiltration, stopping malware, and averting call-backs to attackers.

Network Protection Options

VPN and proxy servers are an extremely valuable piece of a layered security plan, though neither will keep savvy cybercriminals at bay on their own. Combined, they block malicious traffic and intrusions and allow users to access business applications and other sensitive systems securely.

Employees browsing the internet without any protections allow traffic to flow freely between their IP addresses and public sites. That creates a significant security risk, especially in a work from home environment with less corporate controls. If an employee visits a suspicious website infected with malware, their computer and the corporate network will likely be exposed and pos