Tag Archives: network protection

The Importance of Proactive Monitoring


Proactive monitoring combined with proactive planning can ensure your network is protected before, during, and after a cyber attack.

Even for those who are just starting their own business, most newcomers know about business security, and the threats that lurk on the Internet. Not to mention that most of it is common knowledge. As an example, many computer viruses can be found on unsuspecting websites, not to mention suspicious looking emails as well. For the former, it’s always important to make sure the websites you and your employees visit, are business oriented.

For the latter, always check to see if suspicious looking emails are valid, and be sure to confirm with the supposed sender as well. While there’s no doubt many companies take their business security seriously, however, many of them take a reactive approach to their security. In other words, they wait until a threat appears before taking action. What most businesses should be shifting to, instead, is a proactive approach. That is, preparing for any event. Here are some tips for being more proactive in the workplace.

Know What Threats Are On The Internet

In order to take a proactive approach to your business security, you first need to know what threats lurk on the Internet. As I mentioned before, some of them are common knowledge, such as computer viruses found on suspicious websites. Other programs, however, you might not know are out there until it’s too late. Not only are there computer viruses which can bypass anti-virus software, but many downloads that seem trustworthy are anything but. Most of all, you need to know how to deal with ransomware, a malicious piece of software that completely hijacks your device. Not only does the hacker demand a ransom, but your files will be deleted if it isn’t paid. Having knowledge of this ahead of time, however, can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. While ransomware if often very difficult to get rid of once your device is infected, there are numerous ways to avoid it.

Set Contingency Plans

Now that you’re more familiar with the threats that lurk on the Internet, it’s time to have a backup plan. That way, if an incident does occur, you still have everything under control. First of all, anti-virus software is a must. Aside from doing the obvious and protecting your businesses from threats, it also assists you while you’re surfing the web. For example, Kaspersky and McAfee both have a “safe search” feature of sorts. When you’re surfing the web, the search results give you an indication as to which sites are safe, and which carry potential threats. As for another contingency plan, be sure to back up your data on a regular basis. The biggest threat about viruses like ransomware, isn’t that it locks your computer, but that your sensitive data is threatened with deletion. If all your files were stored via cloud or even a USB flash drive, however, your data could still be accessed from any other device.

As you can see, these are some major pointers for shifting your business from reactive to proactive.

One reason the former strategy might not be that effective, is because when a virus gets detected on your computer, it might be too late to remove it. With a proactive approach, on the other hand, you’re always thinking ahead. Not only that, but when an incident does occur in the workplace, it doesn’t take you by surprise.

For more information about proactive solutions for your business, feel free to contact us today at SystemsNet. Between Live Answer Help Desks, Managed Service Providers, and keeping the workplace secure, we look forward to hearing from you, and assisting you in the best way possible.

Proactive Monitoring of Network Infrastructure: Lessons from an October 2016 DDoS Attack


The October DDoS attack on Dyn showed the world how truly vulnerable and fragile our network infrastructures can be.

“It can’t happen here.” These are some of the most dangerous words business owners utter when it comes to their company’s IT system.

CSO Online highlighted this point in a recent article that urged people to anticipate new IT dangers and prepare for them even when they still seem remote. Along with malicious cyber attacks, companies face the danger of other emergencies, such as malfunctioning devices and massive network failures.

One example: The October 2016 DDoS attack

The article mentions a cyber attack that led to a massive Internet outage this past October, denying consistent access to major sites such as Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix.

The attack, which came in waves over a span of close to 12 hours, hit an Internet services company. It was a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that used millions of Internet-connected devices, including security cameras, to send unsustainable amounts of traffic to the targeted company’s servers.

What are some of the lessons we can take from this attack?

  • Scant protection for Internet-connected devices can cause serious problems. Cyber criminals used a malware program to infect the devices and control them, allowing the DDoS attack to launch in a massive way from numerous systems. These devices generally had deficient protection against malware. For example, they may not have had strong passwords or firewalls, and they may have remained completely open to the public Internet. If a device is left with poor defenses, it can get exploited for nefarious purposes. That’s why it’s critical to choose the best devices, configure them properly, and monitor their activity. Understand the vulnerabilities of each device, and introduce it to your network only as needed.
  • Attacks can come from anywhere and for many reasons. There’s a misconception that cyber attacks get carried out only by computer experts. The reality is that even people without much training can use relatively simple programs or buy services from a shady entity to perpetrate cyber crimes. In this recent DDoS attack, the malware program that infected the Internet-connected devices was straightforward to use; it didn’t demand a high level of skill. Another point to consider is that attacks may stem from a range of motives. The usual ones involve stealing sensitive data for financial purposes. But there are potentially other reasons as well, including vengeance and political protests. It won’t always be clear why you’re under attack or what the cyber criminals want.
  • Monitoring for unusual network activity is critical. It isn’t possible to anticipate or fully block every single attack that may come your way. However, the proactive monitoring of network infrastructure and activity can still give you a warning that something is wrong. The sooner you detect a problem, the more likely you are to either thwart it completely or mitigate its effects. You’re less likely to get blindsided and have to scramble unprepared for a solution. Even if an attack gets launched on a massive scale, like the DDoS attack in October, proactive monitoring and organized defenses may still curb some of the worst effects. You’ll be able to regroup more quickly and reduce the amount of downtime you experience.

Protecting your network can seem like a daunting task, and in many ways it is. Unfortunately there isn’t any one protection that works 100% of the time. However, there are still effective measures for preventing or limiting cyber crimes and other IT emergencies. Monitoring your network round-the-clock is one of the best decisions you can make to protect your company.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to further discuss our network monitoring services. Unlike a purely reactive attitude, which results in a costly lack of preparedness, a proactive approach for your IT activities will save you money and unnecessary frustration. It will decrease the chances that you’ll suffer from protracted downtime and suffer serious damage to your system.