With the amount of information accessible on the Internet, combined with threats by viruses, worms, malicious code, spyware, and disruptions to service attacks – a threat to business productivity and profitability has always existed. This threat goes unnoticed by many business owners, especially in the small to mid market space.
Gone are the days of businesses purely protecting their networks with connection based, or stateful packet inspection firewalls. The threats have changed and SMB/Mid Market companies require a firewall solution to provide connection based protection and also content based security, by protecting their networks from Spyware, Virus/Worms, Intrusions and Content at the perimeter. All businesses require this type of solution immediately, the threats are real, and you just need to look at your Outlook inbox every day to see how real it is. However, many small businesses still to this day, believe it will never happen to them.
Employees’ personal use of business Internet causes a loss of productivity and hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. This combined with how businesses and personal computers are being targeted by hackers or criminals through phishing and pharming strategies have changed the way businesses need to look at protecting their networks.
Where are your employees surfing on the Internet? Are they checking their home email? Making personal travel plans? Or even looking for a new job all on your time and expense? Are they spending hours a day on Instant Messaging applications with their friends? What content are they looking at? Can you as a business owner be liable for this? And this is the big one when it comes to company confidentiality, are any of your employees sharing confidential corporate information with your competition?
What is the true cost of all of this loss productivity? If you have a business of 25 employees and they surf the Internet for personal use for one hour a day. This equals a total of 6,250 hours per year assuming that everyone takes two weeks of vacation. If your company’s average salary is $15.00 per hour, this will equate to $93,750.00 in loss productivity every year, and this number will continue to rise as you give out raises.
Many small businesses are also seeing a rise in their technology support due to increased threats and spyware/malware infections due to inappropriate surfing and download of peer to peer file sharing applications and messaging applications. Employee Internet surfing has generated a high number of service calls due to Spyware infections and other virus like challenges with corporate workstations.
What do small business/mid market companies need to do to protect them and keep their employees productive? There are many solutions in place that offer gateway security and also provide content management protection. IT Matters recommends a Unified Threat Management firewall for small business that will provide all the services in one appliance and at a great price.
For bigger companies who already have invested in a stateful or connection based firewall, they can invest in a Content Management Appliance to enhance the security of their corporate network and also allow them to maintain their previous firewall investment. The investment is ensuring your employees remain focused on their tasks and your company remains productive and profitable. The Content Management Firewall starts at $500.00. Remember, you could be spending all kinds of money in loss production and even risking a lot more if you are a publicly traded company and have shareholders to whom you are accountable.
What are you waiting for? The time is now to act before it is too late!