Firms are using more and more cloud products to run their offices.  With cloud products, it allows users to work from anywhere at any time, as long as they have a stable Internet connection.  With the good comes the bad though.

Historically all employees needed to be in the same physical location to work. The good thing is that if employees were at the office they were protected by the firewall and any/all security tools within the environment.  The bad however is that with the new cloud products, firms can allow employees to work from anywhere. This leads to “unsafe” work locations due to not having business-grade security at home or while on the road.

A Secure Internet Gateways (SIG), has since been developed due to this risk. A SIG provides a secure connection to the Internet that protects internal IT systems, websites, and networks from cyber threats.  It protects firm members from viruses, malware, phishing, social media attacks and ransomware.  With a SIG, all users have the same protection, regardless if they are in the office or not.

Even if all of your users only work from the firm office, having a SIG is a great idea.  Many firewalls have built-in content filters but a SIG is like the built-in content filter on steroids.  A firewall uses its own built-in intelligence to track/filter/report traffic. A SIG, however, uses the patterns of millions of users and often identifies/blocks a threat before it even exists.  A SIG follows the patterns of web traffic and when/if it sees abnormal behavior blocks the potential threat.  In addition, a SIG will not only block potential threats but it will also identify which cloud services/programs are in use by which firm members.

Firm Flexibility with SIG

Once you have a SIG you can create custom reports on usage, block specific content, have different user levels/permissions etc.  Over time the SIG will not only protect your firm but it will also make the firm members potentially more productive. Administrators have the ability to allow only access to specific resources and/or windows of time to access nonwork-related content (ex. allow streaming music/movies during the lunch hour).

Protect Your Firm

The best know SIG for your firm is Cisco Umbrella (formerly OpenDNS).  For a few dollars per device/month, you can protect ALL of your devices regardless of the location of the device.  The product is 100% web-based, so there is no need to purchase or maintain any hardware.  As more products and services move to the cloud this is a must if you want to effectively secure your firm’s businesses data.

Leave a Comment