Cisco Umbrella for Small and Midsize Business Data Security

January 23, 2019

Small Business Office

When we think of companies who fall victim to a data breach, we often think big. It’s the large, well-known organizations that make the news when something goes wrong. In the past five years alone, companies such as the Mariott International, Equifax, eBay, JP Morgan Chase, Home Depot, and Target each suffered an attack compromising tens or hundreds of millions of user accounts; in the case of the Yahoo breach, a total of 3 billion user accounts were determined to have been compromised.

Because of this, small to midsized businesses – generally those with fewer than 250 employees — think they aren’t really at risk. If you’re not hearing about breaches in companies your size, they must not be happening, right? Unfortunately, this is a huge misconception.

In this blog post, we cover:

  • The frequency of cyberattacks on midsize businesses (it’s higher than you think)
  • The challenges of enforcing a patchwork of ‘best practices’ with limited resources
  • Why Cisco Umbrella might be right for your business (and how you can try it for free!)

Smaller companies are frequently targeted in large numbers by automated cyberattacks

Various reports have stated that over 70 per cent of cyberattacks targeted businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and in a 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report, it was found that at least 50 per cent of these organizations have had a security breach within the past year.


When it comes down to it, most cyberattacks aim to obtain personal data to use in credit card or identity theft. While large companies have more data to steal, they usually have much stronger security measures in place requiring more sophisticated methods of attack. In comparison, most non-enterprise businesses have comparatively weaker network security, making it much easier to breach their networks.

As a result, cybercriminals can rely on automated attacks that can easily compromise thousands or millions of smaller businesses with minimal effort.

Basically, it’s a numbers game. For criminals, it’s much easier to rack up thousands of small wins (with almost no effort) rather than risking it all on one big score.

In the article “Why criminals pick on small businesses”, a lack of time, budget, and expertise are some of the top reasons why small and medium suffer such a high rate of cyberattacks. Other reasons include not being aware of the risks or having appropriate employee training, not updating security programs, and a failure to secure endpoints.

It’s also becoming more apparent that these small to midsize businesses are being used as a stepping stone to gain access to more lucrative targets, which is a growing concern in the B2B realm. Additionally, the increased use of mobile and personal devices in the workplace makes extending security beyond the corporate network a bigger challenge.

How can businesses with limited resources improve cybersecurity? Cisco Umbrella

There are several suggested best practices for small business security, which generally fall under the following:

  • Using a firewall
  • Documenting all cybersecurity policies
  • Plan for mobile devices and BYOD
  • Educate all employees on best practices
  • Enforce safe password practices
  • Regularly back up all data
  • Install & regularly update anti-malware software
  • Use multifactor identification

Seems easy enough for the average small to midsize business to keep on top of and enforce, right?

At Evolve, we believe that Cisco Umbrella is the best security solution for small and medium businesses. It provides unmatched simplicity, automation, and protection — whether it’s proactively blocking activity originating from suspicious domains, automatically updating definitions and threat directories, or extending coverage to all your devices, Umbrella has you covered.

In a nutshell, Umbrella is a cloud-based security platform that proactively monitors all internet traffic between your organization’s devices and the world wide web. And if something is shady, it proactively blocks it before it ever reaches your network.

 It can be set up within minutes and is the fastest way to protect your organization. And you can manage policies and monitor all devices through a centralized, browser-based dashboard.


Software Features

For those of you interested in in the nuts and bolts, here are some of the awesome features of Cisco Umbrella:

DNS & IP layer enforcement: Stop malware before it reaches your endpoints or network, Umbrella uses DNS to stop threats over all ports and protocols, even direct-to-IP connections

Intelligent proxy: Effectively protect without delay or performance impact, Umbrella routes requests to risky domains for deeper URL and file inspection instead of proxying all web traffic

Command & control callback blocking: Stop data exfiltration and execution of ransomware encryption, even if devices become infected in other ways, Umbrella prevents connections to attacker’s servers

Statistical models: Automatically correlate data and block attacks, Umbrella analyzes data to identify patterns, detect anomalies and create models to predict if a domain or IP is likely malicious

Investigate: Enrich your incident response and SIEM data, access our threat intelligence of global DNS requests for a complete view of the relationships between domains, IPs, and malware

Cisco ecosystem: Benefit from daily analysis of millions of malware samples and terabytes of data, Umbrella uses URL and file reputation scores from Cisco Talos and Cisco AMP to block malicious content

On-network devices: By changing one setting on your network server, access point or router, you can protect all devices, even those you don’t manage

Off-network laptops: Protect laptops when the VPN is off with Umbrella’s light weight roaming client or built-in Cisco AnyConnect integration that connects clients to the corporate network

Browser-based interface: The Umbrella web based dashboard provides both central and local administration and reporting, creates and manages policies, even for complex organizations

At Evolve, we simplify IT by providing you with the expertise and tools to meet your business needs. Cisco Umbrella is part of the Evolve NX package, a comprehensive solution for networking, security, and collaboration.

To learn more about the Evolve NX solution can protect your business, click here.






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