College and university business and financial offices are busy collecting student data and processing credit card payments for everything—from tuition to residence fees. University human resource departments regularly use employees direct deposit and health insurance data. This stockpile of sensitive payment and personally identifiable student information, coupled with limited IT resources, makes schools a playground for cyber criminals. In fact, in 2016, education surpassed healthcare as the sector most targeted by ransomware, the fastest growing cybercrime today.
Ransomware outbreaks, including Petya and WannaCry, cost businesses $1 billion in 2016. Even so, school administrators—even some IT professionals—have a false sense of security in their Mac-heavy environments, with usage rates of 70 percent in K-12 and 80 percent in higher ed.
While Macs are perceived as being “safe” from malware, Mac’s small market share may largely be the reason for fewer attacks, rather than the vulnerability level of the Mac OS X. In fact, attacks on Macs were up 744 percent in 2016.
Ransomware doesn’t require entry to the MacOS operating system, not even special privileges. It just needs to target personal files stored in the user’s home directory. Hackers target unsuspecting users with malicious downloads launched from email and social media platforms. If they connect to your network, all it takes is a network vulnerability for the ransomware to take hold.
Hackers are creating new malware that runs on multiple platforms. They’re also scaling up attacks through ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS)—pre-configured ransomware packages offered to “franchisees” in exchange for a cut of the ransom money. FortiGuard Labs recently discovered an RaaS that uses a web portal hosted in a TOR network, possibly the first attack on a non-Windows operating system and the first RaaS to target MacOS.
While Mac-specific ransomware attacks haven’t hit the level of Windows occurrences, the risks— the encryption of files to prevent access—are equally serious. To avoid them, schools should:
Ransomware is evolving, and educational institutions can’t afford to be lax. As a value-added distributor of the Fortinet Security Fabric, Fine Tec can help you ensure that your educational customers are aware of ransomware risks to Macs and have a plan in place to counter them. Contact us to learn more.
Earlier this summer, Gartner named Fortinet’s unified threat management (UTM) solution a Magic Quadrant leader for the eighth year in a row. This news presents a valuable opportunity for SMBs seeking a less complex, more scalable security approach.
According to a Fortinet press release, Gartner recognized Fortinet for its “completeness of vision” and “ability to execute on that vision.” Fortinet’s FortiGate UTM is positioned in the highest ranks for its capacity to execute, feature/price/ performance combination and its perennial presence on SMB shortlists. In fact, Gartner says Fortinet is the most frequently shortlisted vendor for SMB and distributed office use cases among all competitors.
It’s no surprise, as Fortinet’s UTM pairs the most advanced security technology on the market with easy management and control required by today’s SMB and distributed office environments. Based on the industry-leading FortiOS operating system, Fortinet’s FortiGate UTM combines the security and feature sets of Fortinet’s FortiGate firewall, FortiAP wireless access points and FortiSwitches into a single, easy-to-manage compact appliance that offers:
With Fortinet’s UTM, SMB customers have the enterprise-grade networking and security features they require without the enterprise-grade headaches that come with managing complex, multi-vendor point solutions.
The need for robust UTM protection exists because SMBs are being targeted by attackers who know smaller companies have the same type of lucrative data (banking information, personal data, social security numbers, etc.) as larger organizations but are often far easier to infiltrate. Not only do SMBs have fewer staffing and resources than their larger counterparts, but attacks on SMBs are also likely to have more dire consequences; the National Cyber Security Alliance finds that 60% of small companies go completely out of business within six months of suffering a cyberattack.
Gartner’s validation of Fortinet makes the UTM purchase decision easier for SMBs searching for a tried-and-true security solution that is both feature-rich and easy to deploy/manage. Built on Fortinet’s industry-leading security and networking expertise, the FortiGate UTM offers a more powerful, scalable UTM with the added advantage of Fortinet’s Security Fabric approach. Since each tool in Fortinet’s Security Fabric, including its UTM, can dynamically share threat intelligence and coordinate response SMBs can identify, thwart and mitigate security attacks faster and more accurately—even as their business and networks become more complex.
With Fortinet in their corner, SMBs are ready to face even the most advanced, persistent and sophisticated attacks without having to over-tax their staff—or their budgets. As a value-added distributor of Fortinet solutions, Fine Tec can help you deliver to your SMB customers the advantages of a simpler, more scalable security architecture with the award-winning security and performance capabilities provided by the Fortinet UTM solution. Learn more.
SMBs are moving to the cloud in droves, with a recent Techaisle survey finding that 94 percent expect to be using some type of software-as-a-service (SaaS) application by year’s end. While those SMBs that move to the cloud are poised to reap several benefits, from costs savings to scalability, they are also opening themselves up to a new range of cyberattacks that threaten to put those benefits – and their company as a whole – at risk. Fortunately, Fortinet has extended its SMB-focused unified threat management platform (UTM) to the cloud, ensuring that your SMB customers can fully protect their SaaS workloads with industry-leading SaaS-ready security.
Drilling down into the Techaisle numbers further, it becomes readily apparent that many SMBs are becoming cloud-first organizations, with small businesses expecting a 140 percent increase in SaaS usage and mid-market firms increasing their number of SaaS applications by 80 percent. The move makes sense because the cloud is designed specifically to offload the time- and resource-intensive tasks few SMBs can handle in-house while providing the on-demand infrastructure and scalability a growing business needs.
Consequently, many new SMB converts to SaaS are implementing business-critical SaaS apps, including:
The result is an always-on business in which even far-flung employees and small offices can access enterprise-grade business applications anytime, anywhere.
All that flexibility, however, comes with a price. As more SMBs put more mission-critical data in the cloud, they also find that they are increasingly targeted by attackers looking for fast, easy scores. In fact, Verizon’s latest Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) found that attacks on small businesses are on the rise, with 61 percent of all victims that reported a breach last year having fewer than 1,000 employees.
In the past, SMBs could provide their organizations with baseline security using UTM appliances strategically located throughout their environments. Such UTM wares offered SMBs the best of both worlds: strong, flexible networking and security in an easy-to-manage and deploy form factor. But with the move to the cloud, all bets are off as on-premises security solutions no longer have the access or visibility into critical cloud-based workloads.
Enter Fortinet’s FortiGate UTM. Fortinet recently expanded its FortiCloud management solution to encompass its FortiGate UTMs, the SMB-focused all-in-one security solution that Gartner just named a Magic Quadrant leader in the space for the eighth year in a row.
The move means SMB customers using FortiGate UTM appliances can now deploy, manage and service their entire security and networking posture from a single pane of glass using Fortinet’s innovative Security Fabric architecture. Fortinet’s fabric uniquely enables all security and network tools to work together in concert to identify, mitigate and stop all manner of attacks in real time, no matter where they occur, on-premises or the cloud.
As a value-added distributor of Fortinet solutions, Fine Tec can help you deliver the advantages of UTM simplicity in the cloud. Learn more.