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by Admin Admin

Check the latest blogs and updates from

Spear-Phishing Attacks Targeting Office 365 Users, SaaS Applications

by Admin Admin

Over the course of the last 15 years, cyber threats have gone from urban myths and corporate ghost stories to as mainstream as carjackings and burglaries. There isn’t a business owner of a small restaurant chain or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company who doesn’t think about the fallout of being breached.

I’m not here to tell you how the threats are getting more sophisticated, or how state-sponsored hacker groups are getting more and more funding; you already know that. But what I do want to share with you is something that I’m seeing daily. Targeted threats that you may have already witnessed and, unfortunately, been personally a victim of or know someone who has: Spear-phishing.

Are you an Office 365 user? Do you have customers who are Office 365 users? Are you a managed security service provider (MSSP) that administrators Office 365 for your clients? You probably need a solution that applies effective Office 365 security capabilities and controls.

With close to 200 million global users, Office 365 is a target — a big target. And spear-phishing attempts are good. Really good. Recently, Forbes ran a summary of the threat. Alarmingly, today’s most advanced spear-phishing attempts look like they come from your CFO, boss or trusted vendor. They provide credibility to the target and, many times, users take the bait. Money gets wired. Access to accounts are provided. Confidential information is exposed.

Traditional email security isn’t enough protection. Out-of-the-box, cloud-native security services aren’t enough protection. A lean, effective and modern Office 365 security or SaaS security solution is required.

How to stop spear-phishing attacks, advanced cyber threats

SonicWall Cloud App Security (CAS) combines advanced security for Office 365, G Suite and other top SaaS applications to protect users and data within cloud applications, including email, messaging, file sharing and file storage. This approach delivers advanced threat protection against targeted email threats like phishing attacks, business email compromise, zero-day threats, data loss and account takeovers.

CAS also seamlessly integrates with sanctioned SaaS applications using native APIs. This helps organizations deploy email security and CASB functionalities that are critical to protecting the SaaS landscape and ensure consistent policies across cloud applications being used.

Explore the five key reasons CAS may be able to protect your organization from spear-phishing and other advanced attacks.

  • CAS delivers next-gen security for Office 365, protecting email, data and user credentials from advanced threats (including advanced phishing) while ensuring compliance in the cloud
  • Monitor SaaS accounts for IOCs, such data leakage, account takeover, business email compromise (BEC) and fraud attempts
  • Block malware propagation in malicious email attachments and files, whether they are at-rest or traversing a SaaS environment, internally or cloud-to-cloud
  • Prevent data breaches using machine learning and/or AI-based user profiling and behavior analytics for incident detections and automated responses
  • Leverage Shadow IT to monitor cloud usage in real time, and set policies to block unsanctioned applications

In my over 10 years of observing various attacks and sitting in rooms with customers (not mine, fortunately) who have been breached, I can tell you that you don’t want it ever to be you or your customers. This threat is having more success than any I’ve seen — and they are very recent.

For more information explore the CAS solution in detail.

10 Reasons to Upgrade to the Latest SonicWall NSa Firewall

by Admin Admin

Firewalls are the workhorse of network security and are especially adept at mitigating advanced threats like malware, ransomware and encrypted threats. Firewall appliances must, however, be regularly upgraded to stay ahead of cybercriminals.

Still running an older SonicWall NSA or E series model? Consider these 10 reasons to upgrade to the latest mid-range SonicWall NSa next-generation firewall.

Stop the Most Advanced Threats

Advanced persistent threats move with great speed and veracity, and are designed to target and infiltrate all businesses and organizations.

However, a cloud-based, multi-engine sandbox, such as the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service, provides real-time security against advanced cyberattacks, including ‘never-before-seen’ ransomware, malware and side-channel attacks. Each day, Capture ATP subscribers discover and stop more than 1,000 new attacks each business day.

Why upgrade: SonicWall Capture ATP is only available for the NSA/NSa 2600 and newer next-generation firewalls, as well as the current TZ and NSsp product lines (sixth generation or newer). This service is not available for legacy SonicWall firewalls, including some NSA and E Series models (usually silver in color with the old blue SonicWall logo).

Inspect Traffic without Slowing Performance

You should never be put into a position to choose between security and performance. With bandwidth-hungry apps woven into our everyday lives — SaaS apps, video streaming and social media — firewalls with faster deep packet inspection (DPI) are better at securing networks without greatly affecting performance.

In fact, through the first three quarters of 2019, SonicWall registered 3.1 million encrypted attacks. This marked a 58% year-over-year increase from 2018.

Faster DPI performance gives businesses greater capacity to utilize higher internet speeds and support more concurrent users without ever sacrificing security.

Why upgrade: For example, NSa 2650 delivers a 25% DPI-SSL performance improvement over the NSA 2600. SonicWall NSa 2650 and newer firewalls (e.g., 2650-9650) offer significantly faster DPI performance than their predecessors, the NSA 2600-9600 range, E Series models and other older appliances.

Inspect TLS/SSL Traffic without Increasing Costs

The majority of web traffic is encrypted today. Without proper security controls in place, TLS/SSL encryption standards provide cybercriminals easy access to your network.

That’s why deep packet inspection of encrypted traffic (DPI for TLS/SSL) is mandatory. Some firewall vendors, unfortunately, upcharge for proper TLS/SSL inspection capabilities or simply don’t offer the capability at all. Unfortunately, inspecting TLS/SSL traffic also takes compute power and organizations need a firewall that can process TLS-encrypted traffic without hurting performance.

Why upgrade: The latest SonicWall NSa firewalls include the DPI-SSL license (by default) to inspect encrypted traffic at no additional cost, thereby reducing capital expense. Unfortunately, older-generation NSA firewalls (usually silver in color with our old logo) do not support inspection of encrypted traffic.

Expand Remote Branch/Site Security

For organizations with remote and branch locations, such as retail POS businesses, the ability to create a larger number of site-to-site VPN tunnels to connect distributed networks together and securely share data is essential. But not all firewalls have the capability or capability to make this happen.

Why upgrade: By moving to the latest NSa firewall series, your organization can secure more remote branches, services and devices. This is particularly powerful for distributed enterprises, retail organizations, etc. The NSa 2650, for example, enables the creation of 4x more site-to-site VPN tunnels than the NSA 2600 (1,000 vs. 250).

Support More High-Speed Wi-Fi Connections

Fast and secure Wi-Fi is a requirement in today’s hyper-connect world. Today’s wireless standard, 802.11ac, delivers the performance, range and reliability of high-speed wireless technology for a safe and fast user experience.

In a properly secured environment, wireless access points must be paired with a firewall that can support 802.11ac wireless standards.

But newer firewalls can support more connections, too. The option to connect a larger number of wireless access points to a single firewall enables organizations to extend their wireless network farther without purchasing additional hardware.

Why upgrade: Combine the latest NSa series next-generation firewall with a SonicWall SonicWave 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless access point to create a high-speed wireless network security solution.

NSa series firewalls and SonicWave 400 series wireless access points both feature 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet ports that can support multi-gigabit wireless throughput, which is available in the 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard. In addition, you can connect more wireless access points to the latest NSa firewall. The NSa 2650, for example, supports 1.5x the number of connected SonicWave wireless access points as the NSA 2600 (48 vs. 32).

Unfortunately, legacy NSA and older firewalls (as well as those on SonicOS 5.x or older firmware) do not offer multi-gigabit ports to accommodate the faster throughput supported by Wave 2 wireless standard.

Decrease Support Costs

Single sign-on (SSO) technology helps secure your environment, as well as employees, to be more productive and helps shrink IT support costs (e.g., tickets, calls, etc.) by enabling users to safely gain access to connected systems with a single ID and password.

Simply, the more users who can access a system with a single ID, the fewer support calls, IT tickets and complaints that will be generated. This self-service approach means real savings to your business or enterprise.

Why upgrade: The NSa 2650, for example, allows a larger population of users

(40,000 vs. 30,000) to benefit from the use of SSO compared to the legacy NSA 2600. This disparity widens the further you go up the product line.

Increase Network Capacity

With increased network bandwidth requirements from apps, video streaming and social media, faster DPI and DPI-SSL performance provides a secure network without performance degradation.

Faster DPI performance also provides organizations with a greater capacity to utilize higher internet speeds and support more concurrent users. A higher number of concurrent connections provides greater scalability by enabling more simultaneous user sessions to be active and protected by the firewall.

Why upgrade: The NSa 2650 enables 500,000 deep packet inspection (DPI) connections and up to 100,000 deep packet inspection of TLS/SSL-encrypted (DPI-SSL) connections compared to the 250,000 for

DPI and 1,000 for DPI-SSL on the NSA 2600 and older models, such as the NSA 220 (32,000 for DPI).

Boost Memory for Added Users, Logs & Policies

The number of users who require security on your network grows by the day. Unfortunately, the on-board memory of legacy firewalls can only support a finite footprint of users on the network.

Advanced NSa firewalls offer more onboard memory to allow for more rules and policies, users and log messages to be stored on the firewall, making reporting easily accessible.

Why upgrade: The NSa 2650 has twice the onboard memory of the NSA 2600 (4 GB vs. 2 GB) and eight times the memory of the NSA 220 (4 GB vs. 512MB). This increased capacity empowers organizations to use a single NSa firewall to protect a larger userbase with deeper and more robust rules and policies.

Ditch the Switch with More Ports

It’s time to clean up your server room or IT area. Having a greater number of ports allows organizations to connect more SonicWall devices directly to the firewall without needing to purchase a switch. In addition, organizations that require increased throughput to support bandwidth-intensive applications and data transfer need multi-gigabit ports.

Why upgrade: Newer NSa firewalls offer many more ports than their predecessors. For example, the NSa 2650 has 2.5x the number of ports as the NSA 2600 (20 vs. 8). The NSa 2650 also features eight 2.5 GbE ports while the NSA 2600 has none.

Improve Business Continuity

Many enterprises and larger organizations build in businesses continuity and disaster recovery plans in their process. Part of this is planning is ensuring there’s a contingency for as many scenarios as possible, not the least of which is power. Many legacy firewalls only offer a single power supply. Newer models offer a second power supply to ensure business continuity if one power supply fails.

Why upgrade: While the current NSa line and last-generation NSA series both include a single power supply, the NSa 2650-9650 have an additional slot to add an optional second power supply for critical redundancy.

About SonicWall NSa Next-Generation Firewalls

The SonicWall Network Security appliance (NSa) Mid-Range Firewall series consolidates automated advanced threat prevention technologies in a mid-range next-generation firewall platform. To go in-depth on the NSa range of firewalls, explore the specifications table below or download the complete SonicWall NSa data sheet.

What is SSL VPN?

by Admin Admin

There are a lot, and we mean a lot of acronyms in the world of IT.

Two of which include SSL VPN.

Starting at the very beginning, we look at breaking these down and demonstrating how they affect businesses and individuals and why choosing the right route is essential.

Definition of SSL VPN

SSL VPN - Secure Sockets Layer. Virtual Private Network. A protocol used in everyday web browsers that provide remote access securely through a VPN connection.

Using secure encryption end to end, the job of an SSL-VPN is to ultimately protect data that is sent, received and obtained between the device client’s software and the VPN client-server.

Benefits of SonicWall VPN for modern-day working

More businesses are now taking advantage of using SSL VPN clients as they look to increase the number of workers remotely requiring access to their network and resources. Creating a secure internet passage for all who are working online from outside of the company’s four walls.

The biggest benefit of SonicWall VPN is that it is easily installed and doesn’t require any specialised client software.

It also provides a more reliable connection for your remote workers providing higher compatibility with configurations and platforms of firewalls and networks.

Using an SSL VPN client means you can encrypt all network traffic, allowing remote workers access to restricted networks and resources securely, all through an authenticated pathway.

This level of security also prevents unwanted cyber visitors from obtaining sensitive information or eavesdropping on any private and confidential communications.

SSL VPN offers flexible and secure options for anyone working remotely who requires access to private business networks.

But how do they achieve all of this?

By allowing approved users a secure connection through standard web browsers to internal HTTP and HTTPS services, all enabling direct access to the client’s applications, resources and networks.


VPN Portal – enables access to remote websites through one connection at a time. Authenticated remote users gain access to SSL VPN through their browser through an approved method/gateway, where access is achieved via a dedicated web page that acts as a portal for other services.

VPN Tunnel – is where access to multiple services can all be achieved securely via all standard browsers, non-web-based applications and other protocols. The tunnel should be thought of as a circuit established between a remote user and VPN server, where the server can connect to one or more remote websites, services, resources at any time. The SSL tunnel handles live content and offers a function that is not obtainable via other means.

A further advantage of SSL-VPN is that using TLS technology implemented in modern web browsers, which means you don’t need to install any specific software. Hence, it is easy to deploy.

There’s also less of a requirement for IT personnel to provide technical support, due to the ease of use of the client.

And unlike other security protocols you don’t need to download any additional software or configuration files, with no complex steps to follow, SonicWall's VPN simply needs an updated browser to establish a secure network.

As a business, you can also restrict remote users to particular applications instead of allowing your whole network to be accessed, keeping you in complete control at all times.

Important points to note

Remote workers' devices should be updated with anti-virus software to avoid malware spreading.

Training sessions for remote workers also help with keeping standards high and act as a good reminder that sessions should be closed down properly and not left open for all who have access to that device, view, for example.

We’d also advise not to use a public computer to set up an SSL VPN connection. In these instances, you can open yourself and your systems up to more cyber-attacks, offering up your confidential information and more to those that you don’t want to give it to.

SonicWall's VPN provides secure remote access to the network using the NetExtender client. Downloaded transparently, you can run any application securely on your computer network.

Ultimately, this is a seamless solution that allows secure access to your resources on your local network.

To find out more about SonicWall VPN and firewall solutions, give us a call on 0333 2405667.

What SonicWall Secure Mobile Access can offer you

by Admin Admin

Today it is not uncommon to find that most businesses will have a remote workforce is some shape or form. It fits with today's modern lifestyles as well as the digital era we have to succumb.

For all an excellent work solution, businesses must still ensure that end users have secure and fast access to applications at any time, from anywhere. Making the systems and networks within your business a vital function.

To provide the ideal solution to secure remote working, the SonicWall SRA (Secure Remote Access) would previously have been the product of choice.

However, as we know, everything within the digital sphere moves fast, and in today’s business environments, you need a solution that supports more remote users (globally), advanced applications, and overall provide some of the best services around.

You need SonicWall’s Secure Mobile Access (SMA).

A high-performing remote access solution, with more memory, supporting many more users, and offering more throughput, the SMA acts as a unified and secure access gateway. Allowing businesses, the opportunity to provide anywhere, anytime, and any device access to any application!

Helping businesses to easily make the switch to the cloud, as well as embrace mobility and BYOD in a busy IT environment, SMA offers access control policy engines, application-level SonicWall VPN, advanced authentication and context-aware device authorisation.

Why upgrade to SonicWall SMA?

Helps to lower costs. With the powerful virtual appliance in place, your infrastructure can benefit from improved performance when it comes to secure remote access, scalability, and complete flexibility. All are resulting in reducing downtime, lowering the costs of maintenance, and minimising upfront investment! Much more cost-effective than that of a physical appliance.

Provides a faster experience for the end-users. With processing cores that run 1.8 times faster than that of the SRA series, the SMA can encrypt data-in-motion and with lower latency, ultimately offering a quicker, higher-performance experience for all end users.

Delivers a seamless user experience. Increasing throughput allows for better productivity as the SMA has 15 times the SSL-VPN throughput compared to previous SonicWall series, where the SSL VPN client can offer faster and more secure access to mission-critical cloud and on-premises applications.

Work with more users remotely than ever before. With an increase in the number of user sessions running concurrently, offer greater scalability as more simultaneous user sessions cannot only be active but can also be tracked by SonicWall firewalls.

Beat the bandwidth hogs. Combining cloud services and the applications used today means that bandwidths can sometimes feel a little overcrowded. With more high-speed ports, the SMA provides the throughput needed to support intensive bandwidth applications, as well as the high-speed transfer of data.

Keeps patches current. This is the most recommended and best way of protecting against cyberattacks and unknown threats and also ensures that you’re getting the latest updates and capabilities. Helping to keep costs low while also embracing new Firmware trends.

Offers secure access for remote devices, always. Now an essential part of the IT function, delivering secure remote access that reduces the risk of attack by a cybercriminal, is vital.

You can centralise your reporting processes and automate routine everyday tasks. Helping to reduce your administrative overheads, allowing you more time to spend on your core business and security objectives.

Reduce downtime. By configuring appliances and using the Global Traffic Optimiser solution, you can ensure your business's continuity and scalability while continuing to meet service-level agreements.

Make use of the onboard memory to store critical business information/data. With 12.5 times more capacity compared to the SRA series, the SMA allows you to store reports, logs, file transfer inspections, backups and restores, and more.

Focus on usage and reduce costs. If you have appliances globally, the good news is that you no longer have to apply user licenses to each device. Instead, a central user license is set up with the CMS reallocating these to all managed and used SMA appliances. Perfect if some licenses are required at different times due to different time zones/working hours.

Ultimately, and in its simplest form, SMA offers any licensed device secure access to networks and cloud resources. It is an advanced access security gateway that fits perfectly into any existing and new IT infrastructures.

To find out more and upgrade to the SMA solution, call us on 0333 2405667, we’d be happy to help.

SonicWall Ways in which Capture Cloud Platform Protects Businesses

by Admin Admin

Keeping systems and networks continuously protected is what SonicWall does best.

That and developing these systems so that they provide even further enhanced capabilities to customers, all while keeping products cost-effective and efficient to run.

With the speed and number of cyber threats that target businesses daily, SonicWall is using the Cloud Platform to protect businesses further by:

  • Helping and supporting companies who operate cloud applications
  • Providing more cost-effective solutions for businesses of all sizes across all sectors
  • Offering more endpoint protection, supporting the empowerment of teams and administrators
  • Ensuring smooth wireless security with better planning and visibility
  • Incorporating mesh networking and zero touchpoint deployments.

How the capture cloud platform protects businesses

Through some of the best firewalls and app security measures, you can imagine.

For example:

SonicWall TZ300 – offers the best protection for small businesses who are looking and who need enterprise-level protection, all for a reasonably low price. The SonicWall TZ firewall series is best for network connections that are always up. For those high speed small or home networks, networks which are running cable, DSL or FiOS, or for teleworkers who require VPN connections, the SonicWall TZ is the ideal solution.

Soho Firewall – looking particularly at the 250 and the TZ350 range, these firewalls help to consolidate performance, security, and networking, saving your business time and money all through reducing costs and operating systems. With this firewall, you’ll find SD-WAN, zero-touch deployments, and auto-provision VPN.

Cloud Security 2.0 App – one of the best home firewalls around. This security app works with Office 365 and G-Suite to provide increased protection from phishing attacks, email fraud, and zero-day threats. It can also identify malicious PDFs and Microsoft Office Files, mitigating the damage these can cause in cloud solutions (solutions like your Office 365 software, or G Suite and Dropbox, for example).

Secure email solutions – with SonicWall email security 10.0, businesses can have the multi-layered protection they need to keep inboxes safe. This solution provides attachment sandboxing and time to click URL protection. Focusing on protecting you from ransomware, having your business emails compromised, an array of phishing attacks, and email fraud – to name a few!

SonicWall Cloud Manager – this is a Wi-Fi network management system that is not only centralised, but it can be scaled to your business needs — helping you to simplify wireless access and control across a network of any size. You are in complete control all through a single pane, as well as through the SonicWall WIFI mobile app. Setting up wireless mesh networks and onboarding wireless access points have never been easier or more secure with the Cloud Manager app.

Speaking of access points – the SonicWave 200 series is a new advancement enabling businesses to better protect their online selves by enhancing wireless user experiences. This solution is extremely secure and, most importantly, affordable. Activating a host of security solutions through the SonicWave access points, such as Capture Advanced Threat Protection sandbox service, and Content Filtering Service, even when firewalls are not deployed.

SonicWall Planner – this Wi-Fi surveying tool helps businesses to secure their wireless networks while maintaining and enhancing user experience resulting in better and increased workforce productivity. Taking into account your business location, i.e., floor space, building materials, office space, power requirements, signal strength, etc., businesses can now make informed Wi-Fi coverage decisions that are best suited to them.

SonicOS 6.5.4 – supporting all SonicWall firewalls and hardware platforms, the SonicOS is the most up to date version of the SonicWall firewall operating system. Including improvements in network security, authentication, and wireless capabilities, this solution now provides businesses with much more comprehensive logging and reporting data and analysis.

SonicWall Capture Client – this solution can be one of the biggest benefits to a business. Allowing administrators to track threats more comprehensively, as well as kill them off before they reach their destination, the Capture client offers endpoint detection and response capabilities to support all business activities.

Businesses must protect their data and their information at all costs. With cyber threats showing no sign of slowing down, companies must deploy the best solutions for their networks.

The SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform is designed to do just that.

Protect your business, offering you the best solutions at the most competitive prices.

For further information and advice, give us a call on 0333 2405667, our team will be happy to help.

Using a firewall with PoE integration

by Admin Admin

hen it comes to setting up and protecting network devices for business, it can not only be time-consuming, but you can also end up with a lot, and we mean a lot of cables and power outlets running across your floors, hiding under desks, etc.

For example, printers, security cameras, access points, point of sale terminals, IP phones, and any other devices that you can think of that requires power and a connection to a switch or firewall/router.

With wires, wires, and more wires running through your business, is there a better way? An easier way?


PoE Integration

For us, the fewer cables and wires in and around businesses, the better, and this is not just a dream but a reality when you use a firewall with Power over Ethernet (PoE).

PoE integration ultimately helps to reduce the need for additional equipment as well as lowering installation costs by passing electric power and data through Ethernet cabling and ultimately providing power and data connection to a range of networked devices all through one cable, helping to expand IP-based security all through highly efficient means.

For those mid to large range organisations with larger networks, you may have a PoE switch, which provides power and data to your PoE devices. And for all this is a good solution, there is still a cost associated with purchasing the switch.

For smaller networks, where you have only a few devices, purchasing a PoE switch can be seen as a waste of money. In such instances, we would recommend a Sonic firewall with built-in Power over Ethernet.

Why use a firewall with PoE integration?

Firstly, because these firewalls are designed for small businesses and those with remote workers or branches in different locations.

Using systems such as the SonicWall TZ600P and the SonicWall TZ300P helps to reduce costs and ease overall use all through offering integrated support for all PoE and PoE+ devices.

The SonicWall TZ firewall series provides power directly to a connected PoE enabled device, which can include:

  • Printers
  • Wireless access points
  • Point of sale terminals
  • Cameras
  • And any other IP devices you might have and use.

Secondly, because instead of two cables, there is now just one. Your device also doesn’t have to be near an outlet, and you don’t have to purchase a PoE switch – saving you the headache of designing office and floor layouts to suit cabling requirements and the cost of the switch.

Note: Both of the TZ firewalls mentioned above support PoE and PoE+ standards.

PoE and PoE+

PoE+ helps to satisfy higher wattage loads, supporting up to 25.5w of DC power, making it significantly more efficient to power devices that require 25wdc.

Helping to boost PoE output, the range of new features and capabilities of PoE+ solutions, have far-reaching, positive effects. One of which is helping to accelerate the deployment of all IP devices across several applications, taking things above and beyond professional security.

Using firewalls with integrated PoE helps to future proof your network systems, by providing a power and data transmission foundation. A foundation that you can continually assess and develop security solutions from.

However, when looking at using a firewall with PoE integration, you will need to consider:

The number of devices within your network

The distance limitations and potential voltage drops as a consequence

The appropriate and best firewall application for your business.

Benefits of using the TZ series SonicWall Firewalls

1. They consolidate a host of necessary security and networking features, allowing businesses to take advantage of high-speed wireless connectivity while using LANs to segment traffic.

2. Businesses with branches located in different areas can take advantage of the connection capabilities using the site to site VPN. There’s also a reduction in cost and complexity when building a secure private network when using the Secure SD-WAN.

3. You can bring on new sites using zero-touch deployment, thus removing the need for permanent onsite personnel to provision the firewall. Using the SonicWall Capture Security Center, you can manage, through a single pane of glass, all SonicWall devices via the cloud.

And the biggest benefit?

4. Security. With more high-profile network breaches than ever before, across a range of sectors, businesses need to put the right solutions in place to protect their business. The TZ600P and TZ300P are designed to stop ransomware, phishing attacks, crypto-jacking, and much more.

SonicWall firewalls provide the highest security levels in the industry. Continually updating networks and systems and never resting on our laurels.

We aim to ensure that your business data and confidential information is safe from cybercriminals 24/7.

Find out how you could be using a TZ firewall with PoE integration to support your network today.

Call 0333 2405667

The SonicWall TZ Firewall Series

by Admin Admin

As you grow and scale your business or home network, you, unfortunately, can open yourself up to further cyber crime and attacks.

Sonicwall TZ300 firewall

Having the right firewalls and security systems in place is what makes the difference when scaling.

Keeping you and your business safe online is essential. You need to be safe in the knowledge that no one can reach your confidential data or access personal information that they shouldn’t have access to.

The good news is that SonicWall firewalls offer the highest level of security with products that are cost-effective and affordable.

With the new firewall series, small and medium-sized businesses can now have a firewall that operates at faster broadband speeds and is priced much more competitively.

The best firewalls within this series include:

  • SonicWall SoHo firewall
  • SonicWall TZ300
  • SonicWall TZ400
  • SonicWall TZ500
  • SonicWall TZ600

Products that can scale as you grow, this series has the flexibility to meet all of the demands of a distributed environment and more. Allowing for a centrally managed system, these products ensure standard protection across all locations, all provided by a SonicWall firewall.

Keep your networks secure and stay ahead of threats with a firewall perfectly suited to your business.

Why Sonicwall TZ?

Designed to be better.

A series of firewalls that protect small and medium-sized businesses, inspecting traffic and entire files with no restrictions on size or ports/protocols in use. The TZ Series offers the same level of security that you would expect to see in large corporations and institutes. Offering customers intrusion prevention, anti-malware, URL and content filtering, mobile access that is 100% secure, and application control.

Designed to be faster.

With faster broadbands and faster wireless connections, you need a firewall that can keep up. SonicWall firewalls cannot only keep up the pace but are also specifically designed to single out malware which may be hiding amongst encrypted SSL traffic. SonicWall Firewalls also provide the integrated controller which is of course wireless, offering extreme speeds with no additional costs.

Designed to be affordable.

SonicWall TZ300 offers Deep Packet Protection all at high speed but without the hefty price tag. What’s more, the Total Secure bundle also includes application control, content filtering, SSL inspection, intrusion protection, antivirus, and the appliance itself.

Designed for growing businesses.

Known as being the latest ideal solution to stop cybercriminals compromising your business, SonicWall firewalls offer it all. Helping to solve all security and performance requests, the SonicWall series is priced cost-effectively, making them suited to a range of businesses and home office networks.

The Ultimate Firewall Appliance – SonicWall TZ300 Review

The SonicWall TZ300 is the perfect solution in providing cyber protection for small businesses that need and want enterprise-level protection, all for the best possible price.

The TZ300 is ideally suited to:

  • Network connections that are `always up.`
  • Home networks or high-speed small businesses
  • Systems that run cable/DSL/or FiOS
  • Teleworkers who need VPN connections

Dell SonicWall’s latest TZ appliances offer a performance boost over previous products in the range as well as providing the best wireless network management features around.

Supporting access points for integrated wireless network provisions and management, you can subscribe to round-the-clock support, IPS, anti-spyware, gateway activities, and content filtering services.

Wireless management also comes enabled as standard so that the TZ300 can handle up to eight SonicPoint APS; however, it’s important to note that the anti-spam is a bolt-on option.

With versatility, a significant feature, setup of SonicWall firewalls is quick and easy. Here you can plan your antivirus scans, choose the best option for you when it comes to web content filtering, customise your policy with blacklists and whitelists determining when you want these to be active, apply acceptable use policies and more.

Ultimately you have control of activities such as web browsing, messaging and file transfers, blocking certain activities, or address book requests, all as you see fit.

Better security means better business

Extending protection beyond the home office to include branch offices and retail sites, SonicWall can be the most reliable link in the security chain.

Providing the right tools to solve your network security needs, continue to thrive and grow by taking advantage of everything online has to offer, knowing that you’re protected 24/7 by SonicWall security.

For the next generation of protection for your network, call 0333 2405667, and see how we can keep your business secure from all online threats.

Read next blog: Firewall with PoE integration.integration.

Upgrade your old Firewall for the latest SonicWall Firewall Software

by Admin Admin

Choosing the right firewall for you and your business is by no means an easy task. There’s not only a lot of people, so a lot of opinions to take into consideration, but there is also what is best for your business, your systems and network, your previous history with firewalls, and what has worked well and not so well for you and your networks.

Ultimately you want to prevent cyberattacks from happening full stop. So, having a firewall and sandbox in place that works with your current networks and doesn’t affect performance and your business operations in any way, shape, or form is ideal.

Latest Sonicwall Firewall

Ideally, you would like to control your entire system and platform from one single view. Accessible from anywhere, using an end-to-end platform that offers you a high-class solution all at the most competitive price!

Sounds like a lot to ask for right?

Not with SonicWall Firewall Software.

Offering you a cybersecurity platform which has the experience and the advanced skills to stop cyberattacks in their tracks. Rest assured that your business data and network systems are in safe and capable hands with a firewall you can trust.

SonicWall Firewall Best Practices

Helping to protect you and your business, always, is what SonicWall firewalls do best.


Because our firewall software offers a layered approach to cybersecurity. A layered approach that can be applied across entire business platforms, protecting you from start to finish. For example, the

Capture Cloud Platform uses real-time detection identifying all and any breaches, helping to prevent threats from occurring across wireless and wired networks, emails, as well as cloud and mobile.

SonicWall firewall is also one of the most highly ranked firewalls when it comes to fitting with the majority of budgets. Achieving the “Recommended” rating by NSS Lab for its innovative firewall solutions, the effectiveness of its security levels, and its value for money.

These firewalls also help with malware through `block until verdict` capabilities and anti-evasion.

Ensuring that even those advanced and more sophisticated malware and cyberattacks can be prevented.

Staying on our toes, the continuing advances in the software developed has allowed for an increased level of security against threats and online attacks that have never been seen before. With Real-Time

Deep Memory Inspection built-in as standard, businesses can now identify and mitigate all memory-based attacks.

Attacks that include Spectre, Meltdown, PortSmash, Foreshadow, corrupt PDFs, and Microsoft Office documents.

From a management side of things and making your reporting life easier, analytics can be carried out in one single view. Providing complete visibility as and when you require, the software is also agile and can manage all SonicWall security packages centrally. Providing greater clarity, at a faster pace and all with much more precision – all from one console.

Decrypting, inspecting, detecting, and mitigating those `hidden` cyber threats can all be carried out through SSL/TLS traffic and SonicWall DPI-SSL scans.

This isn’t always an option with some firewall providers.

But, SonicWall is different.

Providing dependable ransomware protection, protecting against attacks such as Petya, Notpetya, BadRbbit, Cerber, Wannacry, and Nemucod, before they even reach your systems, encrypting your data.

Offering endpoint protection for today's busy commercial environments, SonicWall Capture Client can provide your business with so much more when it comes to cybersecurity.

Protecting your business from cyberattacks should be your number one priority, as when these attacks strike, they can have a disastrous and more far-reaching impact than you can imagine.

For further information on the latest SonicWall firewall software call us today, we’d be happy to help.

Are you aware of the latest phishing attacks threatening your systems?

by Admin Admin

Email security has had to most certainly `up its game` over the years. Staying ahead of malware and ransomware attacks, growing in sophistication while still allowing your business to do what it needs to for it to work.

With reports continually in the news regarding threats and attacks on people’s data and private and confidential information, it's no wonder that SonicWall email security has seen a rise in demand.

latest phishing attacks threatening your computer system

Phishing is now the most common attack carried out by cybercriminals. Becoming more sophisticated in their approach and targeting, these email threats now demand recipients to act. To click on a malicious link, open a corrupt and virus-ridden file, providing personal details so access to information can be stolen, and so much more.

These threats continually try and work their way around email security software. With a recorded 26 million phishing attacks taking place worldwide (according to the 2019 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report), the average SonicWall customer faced a staggering 5,488 phishing attacks alone.

Common Phisher Tactics

As we become better at spotting and blocking unsolicited emails and links, etc., businesses are also now taking the necessary precautions in training staff to be able to detect such malicious threats too.

However, those carrying out the phishing attack are also changing their tactics, reducing the volume of emails they send out and instead, sending much more targeted phishing attacks.

Below, we’ve provided the top 5 tactics phishers will use to steal your identity, deploy malware, infiltrate your systems and networks, and damage your brand.

1. Compromised credentials

Compromised credentials spawn from account takeovers, using ID and password combinations to carry out attacks from the inside. It ultimately involves compromising employees work credentials by launching a credential phishing campaign or worse, by buying these credentials on the Darkweb. These stolen credentials are then used to access certain information, systems, data, etc. In January this year, Troy Hunt, security research, found approximately 773 million email addresses and over 20 million passwords available for sale on Hacker. How long they had been, there is anyone’s guess and is also the scariest part.

2. Fake websites

Malicious URLs are one of the more innovative approaches a cybercriminal can take. Creating phishing websites to gather login details and personal information.

It’s reported that over 1.5 million phishing websites are developed and deployed every month, with the detection of such sites becoming much harder because phishers will use multiple redirections and URL shorteners.

It’s also good to be mindful that some phishing sites even have HTTPS and SSL certificates in place, making it much harder to spot a fake at first glance.

Popular document sharing and collaboration sites are the most targeted. Creating fake login forms and using them as a platform to distribute malicious payloads.

3. Business Email Compromise (BEC)

BEC is a serious scam which targets those businesses working with foreign suppliers, or indeed those businesses who regularly carry out wire transfer payments. In each case email accounts are compromised through social engineering or computer intrusion techniques, conducting unauthorised transfers of funds.

Unfortunately, these types of attacks are difficult to spot and stop because they don’t actively contain any malicious links or corrupt files, rather just another email from a “trusted sender” requesting a transfer in funds.

SonicWall email security software works hard to counteract such attacks, as well as provide teams with the vital signs on how to spot a fake.

4. Targeting of Office 365 Applications

With Office 365 growing as the most popular choice when it comes to a cloud-based email platform, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Microsoft is now the most impersonated brand online.

As the Office 365 subscription platform is open to anyone with a credit card, cybercriminals are finding these security features very accessible and easy to target.

5. Corrupt/Malicious Files

Sending a corrupt attachment or PDF is the most popular form for malicious payloads such as ransomware and malware. Taking advantage of people’s trust that PDF files are safe, these new PDF fraud campaigns are increasing at pace.

Email security is your best defence against all and any attacks. Protecting your business, your employees’ credentials, and your reputation and brand all at the same time.

Don’t let phishing attacks threaten how you run and manage your business.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

20 proven techniques to improve cybersecurity in the workplace in the long run

by Admin Admin

techniques to improve cybersecurity in the workplace

In 2017 cybercrime affecting businesses rose to a staggering 63%. With 17 million people in Britain targeted by phishing, ransomware, online fraud, and hacking, and an estimated 4.6 million pounds stolen during this period,

Cybercrime report in 2017

can your business afford the critical downtime these cyber threats cause?

Losing confidential and private information is one of the main issues faced by businesses, with breaches occurring due to no formal written internet security policies for employees, as well as a lack of firewall best practices and email security software implementing; businesses are now more exposed than ever.

Below we've provided 20 proven techniques to improve cybersecurity in your workplace, preparing it for now and for the future.

Let’s get started...

  1. Educate your workforce on what cybersecurity actually is.
  2. Trust us, information from the top is allowed.
  3. Set reminders
  4. Review processes / Practices / Culture
  5. Tell it ASAP
  6. It’s everyone job to stay online to stay online
  7. Safeguard your digital growth
  8. Be ready to respond to a digital attack
  9. Value your work
  10. Make a cybersecurity strategy a priority
  11. Make a point about passwords
  12. Install the right software and keep it updated
  13. Always backup your backups!
  14. How private is private if the information isn’t encryptedencrypted
  15. Be careful what you post about yourself and others
  16. Install a firewall for better security
  17. Look for the “s” in HTTPs when online
  18. Learn from past mistakes
  19. Employ a hacker
  20. Stay up to date

1. Educate your workforce on what cybersecurity actually is.

It's naive of us to think that everyone knows and understands all of the different forms of cyber-attacks, what they look like and what they mean. But, why should we, surely, we have our IT departments to take care of all of that?


Your IT teams can only do so much, and what they can't do is stop employees clicking on links they shouldn't because they're unsure, visit sites they shouldn't because they don't know what's appropriate, or worse, sharing information online without using appropriate security encryption methods first.

dangerous sites that could affect your PC

Steps to take to ensure this doesn't sound like your workplace.

  1. Make sure you have IT workplace policies in place, in-depth, and in a language everyone can understand.
  2. Please make sure everyone, and we mean everyone, in the organisation reads these.
  3. Monitor behaviours and explain that as an organisation, you have to stop doing unsafe behaviours just to get a task finished quicker!
  4. Look to create better workflows to combat point 3 and avoid the clunkiness.
  5. Provide constant internet security information in bitesize chunks, as and when appropriate. Employees will follow if they know why.

2. Trust us, information from the top is followed.

Leading by example is a common phrase and one which your cybersecurity protocols should also follow.

Cybercrime protocol

From the CEO to floor staff, everyone needs to be singing from the same security hymn sheet for it to be taken seriously and for it to be taken on board.

Steps for implementation:

  1. Put cybersecurity on the risk management agenda (create a risk management agenda if you don't already have one!)
  2. Filter down your communications and the key highlights from discussions.
  3. Look to designate a security officer to maintain and control the flow of information up and down your businesses lines of hierarchy.

3. Set reminders.

setting reminder for best practice

Not only will all of this combined information be appreciated; it also makes people much more aware of internet security and how they play a vital role.

To help achieve this objective further:

  1. Make sure you schedule in regular communications
  2. Look to set weekly, even monthly reminders, and
  3. Place on team meeting agendas as a regular topic for discussion.

4. Review processes / Practices/ Culture

Reviewing what you currently have in place allows you to make the right and necessary changes to be flexible in your approach to cybersecurity.


  1. Create documents that discuss how to create strong passwords and how to update them.
    Password Guide
  2. Explain how to back up work safely and securely and what systems and software to use.
  3. Explain and show how to avoid malicious links in emails, what appropriate use and behaviour is required on social media, how to manage devices, what apps are ok, and you approve of during work, and how to work remotely, safely, etc.
  4. Review your current processes and look at what you need to incorporate and how best to communicate this to your workforce within your current culture.

5. Tell IT ASAP

Mistakes happen, this is inevitable. Especially as the complexity of phishing attempts grow in sophistication, bypassing even the most robust firewalls put in place. If you do fall victim to a potential attack, don't cover it up. This can only lead to matters getting worse and bigger problems presenting themselves.


  1. Look at what your current culture and processes are for contacting IT.
  2. Identify whom you need to speak to and call them asap.
  3. Provide as much information as possible, and they will provide you with advice over the phone as to the "next steps."

Knowing whom to call and how to inform the right people is the best step in being able to help fix the problem asap.

6. It's everyone's job to stay safe online

It's not just the responsibility of the IT department to keep people safe online, nor is it solely the responsibility of senior management to put the right infrastructures in place too.

Everyone must take responsibility for their role and activity using the internet and web-based applications.

But, do your employees know how to stay safe online?


  1. You need to provide the relevant training, identifying the most common threats such as phishing attacks and ransomware, showing what such things look like, what forms they come in and signs to look out for if you're at all unsure.
    Common online threats
  2. This needs to be backed up with formal policies and,
  3. Regular communications to reinforce what people should be looking for if they think they're PC is under attack.

7. Safeguard your digital growth

Advances in digital technology and innovation can drive growth; however, they can also create bigger opportunities for cybercriminals.


  1. Change business processes to incorporate digital transformation
  2. Secure applications
  3. Manage identities and,
  4. Monitor your suppliers – all on a regular basis.

8. Be ready to respond to a digital attack

In today's digital era, you can't rest on your laurels; you need to be prepared at all times for when a cyber-attack might strike.

Hacker cracking information

  1. Make sure you have the right tools and software in place (software such as SonicWall Firewall, SonicWall email security, and SonicWall online) to protect your business systems.
  2. Look at cyber insurance.
  3. Create a cyber plan, allowing you to cope with costs and deal with any negative impact.
    Cyber insurance

9. Value your work

You need to protect any, and all, information about you, your business, and your work – it has value, just like money, and cybercriminals thrive on this type of information.

Steps to take to protect your most valuable possession include:

  1. Being thoughtful as to where you store, send, and display this information.
  2. Think before you connect, look at wi-fi routers as well as public networks that aren't secure.
  3. Make sure to use strong passwords, and don't connect to unknown or generic wi-fi networks.
  4. If you do access public wi-fi use a VPN and,
  5. Make sure to turn wifi and Bluetooth off when your device is not in use.
    Turning bluetooth and wifi in public or when not in use

10. Make a cybersecurity strategy a priority

No one is invincible to a cyber-attack of some sort. To strengthen your resilience to such attacks:

  1. You need to build cybersecurity into your culture.
  2. Set up regular security strategy meetings.
  3. Form a strategy document that classifies and outlines the data that you handle and the level of security you need to protect it.
  4. Make sure you have the most effective email security software and firewall best practices in place, all appropriate to the sensitivity levels of your data.

11. Make a point about passwords

We've all heard it a hundred times, but we need to reiterate it once more (probably more but at this point just once). Employees need to know and understand the importance of their password choice.

Steps to achieve this

Put password guidance in place which covers:

Password Guidance

  1. how to use a password manager to create strong and unique passwords
  2. why passwords should be changed frequently
  3. why you should never reuse a password
  4. how employees should never use the same password on multiple devices
  5. and please please make sure to emphasize that passwords should never be written down, "somewhere safe."

12. Install the right software and keep it updated

Antivirus software is there for a reason. Protecting businesses against ransomware, trojan horse programs, botnets and more, companies need to be utilising antivirus programmes and add ons to protect from unscrupulous attacks continuously.


  1. Install the right software to your platform, updating this regularly (a great way is to set reminders as a recurring task) and follow your antivirus instructions.

13. Always backup your backups!

Cybercriminals steal your data and keep it hostage until you pay up. It sounds dramatic, but it's true. Data can also be compromised due to natural accidents too such as floods and fire etc. To help make sure your data is backed up safely and securely:

Backing up important files

  1. Instruct a disaster recovery plan identifying the exact steps you would need to follow if your company's data was found to be at risk.
  2. Just because you have the cloud doesn't mean you're all backed up; you need to have a contract in place that provides appropriate backup services.

14. How private is private if the information isn't encrypted?

Encryption is the best way to protect privacy and confidentiality, yet not everyone knows how to use it, set it up, and communicate it throughout the organisation.


  1. Make sure that as an organisation you're using end to end encryption. This is the highest level of encryption for all confidential documents and information.
  2. Information and attachments should be encrypted before they leave your device and remain encrypted until they reach the intended recipient.
  3. Work with your IT department to make sure this level of encryption is standard across all company devices.

15. Be careful what you post about yourself and others

Posting status updates and tweets online can seem harmless at the time, but it is also one of the biggest areas which land people in a whole host of trouble. Opening up you and businesses to being hacked, suffer from identity theft, etc., all because people monitor your activity and what you say online, and then use this information against you in some form or another.

stop sharing your location online

Steps to avoid such adverse events from happening:

  1. Don't leave yourself open; don't announce times and dates when your business will be left unattended, for example!
  2. Don't break NDA's
  3. Don't post personal information about others.

16. Install SonicWall firewall security

You want and need to prevent unauthorised access from a private network, at all times.

Firewalls are the perfect solution to increase your network's security.

However, for them to be effective:

  1. You first need to turn them on or install them as additional security features onto your network's platform.
  2. You can then look to create a set of rules, rules which will allow you to let the software know, what it should allow through its filters and what it should stop, what websites can be accessed and what ones it should block, even setting restrictions on incoming and outgoing emails if you would like.

Good firewalls monitor all incoming and outgoing data, consistently and to a high standard.

consistently and to a high standard

17. Look for the "s" in HTTPs when online

This is not a point that everyone knows about; however, it's an important one to inform workforces, as almost everyone within an office environment will use the web at work. We're also naive to think that this usage is 100% work-related 100% of the time.

Before jumping online and heading onto any old website, you need to:

  1. Look for the padlock icon in the websites address bar – if it doesn't have one the site is unsecured, and your details could be compromised.
  2. Look for the "s" in the HTTPs, if it looks like it's missing the site is again unprotected, and you shouldn't enter any information or details

Using https for site security

18. Learn from past mistakes

Learning from mistakes is the only way we as individuals as well as organisations can move on. Learning from highlighted practices reported in the news as well as competitor information is also essential.

To take heed of past learnings you need:

  1. To conduct a review of the situation that has occurred.
  2. Discuss the event and record and report this as part of your incident response plan.
  3. Make any necessary adjustments, communicating this with the rest of the business appropriately, and making sure you work hand in hand on these adjustments with IT!

19. Employ a hacker

Ok, so a little extreme but you've got to admit, interesting.

Not all hackers are bad and are out to steal your data to sell online; some actually want to help the world.

To make sure you find the right hacker, you need to:

  1. Look for what is known as a White Hat Hacker. White hat hackers come on board to combat Black Hat Hackers and ultimately place your company in a position of fighting fire with fire.

Black hat and white hat hacker

20. Stay up to date

Industries are becoming much more aware of cybersecurity, what it means to businesses, as well as what it costs if things go wrong. There is also numerous regulation and standards that companies must meet when it comes to protecting private and confidential information, and processes must be in place to avoid any unnecessary fines.

In this sense it's important:

  1. To stay up to date with:
  • best practices
  • Operators
  • suppliers, and
  • technologies.
  1. Updating your software regularly and being flexible enough to adapt to new tools and technologies as and when they come to market.
  1. Install the right and the best firewall and email security your business needs, and stay protected at all times.


Cybercrime is unfortunately very real. How we protect ourselves and how we protect our businesses is of the utmost importance.

These tips will improve cybersecurity in the workplace in the long run, and we'd encourage you to take at least two tips away immediately to implement into your work practices, of course, we'd love you to implement them all, but let's be realistic and tick two off today!

If you found this list useful and interesting, please feel free to share online.

​The Ultimate Guide on How to protect your PC from computer invaders

by Admin Admin

The Ultimate Guide on How to protect your PC from computer invaders

How to protect your PC from invaders

he internet and being online is one of, if not THE, ultimate resource for everyone in today’s modern and dare we say it, “digital world.”

We use it for everything! To communicate with others, to carry out research, to work, to shop, to play etc, - when it comes to the internet the list could go on and on.

It’s convenient; it’s there at the tip of our fingers, and now with wi-fi hotspots, we’re never really without a connection!

However, we’re also now much more vulnerable to identity theft as well as invasion of privacy.

We leave digital footprints everywhere and putting your data in the wrong place, or the wrong hands can prove extremely costly, to you.

This guide highlights the cyber crimes you need to be aware of, the common challenges that we find ourselves facing daily, and how we can overcome these challenges by making some simple adjustments to how we view and use the internet and its different platforms.

Table of Contents

Protect your PC - You are not safe online

Protect your PC - Attack of the invaders

Protect your PC - Keep your computer safe

Protect your PC - Firewalls

Protect your PC - Anti Virus Software

Protect your PC - Email Security Software

Protect your PC - Advanced internet protection technique

1. You are not safe online!

You are not safe online

Computer invaders aren’t going away; they’re simply changing focus and adapting their malicious developments to target and try to break even the toughest of anti-virus and firewalls!

1a) Common threats

Some of the most dominant and well-known cyber threats currently out there include:

Ransomware and Malware – both used as a tool to carry our targeted threats, infecting computer systems as they go, and costing customers highly.

Data Breaches – still one of the most prominent threats of today – stealing personal information or company-wide information poses a serious threat for fraud and identity theft.

With business data most commonly found to be used for blackmail purposes or indeed to sell on for money.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) – these threats are driven not just by financial gain but also used to voice ideological, political or just malicious judgement and opinion.

Payment card fraud – be aware of fake companies who introduce themselves at point of sales online to access and abuse certain transactions, profiting from your compromised information.

Crypto jacking – linked with cryptocurrency, crypto jacking attacks aim to exploit a computer users’ bandwidth and processing power to mine for cryptocurrency. Such attacks can cripple a victim’s system by manipulating their processing power.

Phishing emails – the most common form of threats and attacks due to their realism. Phishing emails set out to obtain personal data, hijack accounts, steal identities, carry out malicious activity from your PC and more!

SPAM – spam is often used to gain access to very targeted networks.

1b) Their effects on a PC

The effects all of these threats have on your PC or computer network can be fatal, fatal for the computer.

Depending on the security you have in place, as well as the type of virus/malware, and the expertise of your IT team, will all depend on whether the virus and hack can be contained and removed completely before any further malicious activity is carried out.

Making operating systems run much slower than they should or stop working completely is just one of the effects these cyber crimes can have on a PC system.

That and all of your files can become encrypted and used to access personal or sensitive information, or worse your computer may also be used to carry out the malicious activity without you even knowing it is happening!

Your computer might also crash regularly, continuously show pop up error messages, and create problems when trying to connect to secure networks.

This last point is of high importance for remote workers, using their personal PC’s at home, which might be infected or hacked in some way, to go then on to log in to their workplace’s private network server, can open up more doors for the computer invaders to access!

1c) Staying safe

There are several ways to increase your security online. These include:

Reviewing your online activities – what sites are you shopping on? What content are you posting and where are you posting this? How safe are the sites you are visiting?

Install the latest anti-virus software and firewalls. With free and paid for protection now available, there is no excuse not to protect your PC. (SonicWall online is a great place to help you get started).

Make sure to use a personal private network. Not only will this compliment your anti-virus software by further protecting your privacy online, but it will also help to safeguard passwords, hide IP addresses, and allow you to remain anonymous online.

Be aware of the information you share on social media. Especially Facebook, whose business model is designed on using your personal information for advertising and marketing purposes.

Only use secure shopping sites

Use strong passwords (you will read this point a lot throughout this guide)

Delete or clear your tracking cookies. Deleting your online activity means it’s harder to follow you and collect personal information about you.

2. Attack of the invaders

Atttack of the invaders

With global cybercrime damages predicted to reach $6 billion in costs (annually) by 2021, the online threat is not only real, but it is also continually evolving.

2a) Cybercrime at its worst - stats, history, and challenges to overcome

The second most investigated crime accounting for 50% of crimes in the UK is….Cybercrime.

Hackers are invading PCs on average every 39 seconds!

The number of ransomware families has increased from 30 in 2015 to 98 in 2016 with the demand also increasing from $294 in 2015 to £1,077 in 2016.

Ransomware families increase

Records lost to hacking in 2017 stood at an average of 780,000 per day.

2015/16 saw identity takeover become the fastest growing type of fraud in Australia and New Zealand.

In the past year, nearly 200 million people across 21 different countries experienced some form of cybercrime!

The cost of online crime and activity is real:

  • The cost of data breaches annually now stands at a staggering $2.1 trillion
  • In 2017, the total revenue coaxed out of people and businesses from cybercriminals worldwide stood at $1.5 trillion!
  • $3.8 million, is the cost of data breaches to businesses (on average)
  • $600 billion – the global cost of cybercrime in 2017

Advanced issues found

Challenges come in many shapes and sizes…

Take, for example, the recent hacking of Facebook user accounts. Affecting nearly 50 million users worldwide, over 14 million people had their location and search history exposed for all to see!

On this occasion users of the site did nothing wrong and nor was there anything they could do to stop or pre-empt this from happening (besides not having a Facebook account at all), because the hackers behind the security breach took advantage of a Facebook privacy feature, leveraging it to steal digital “tokens”, which would provide them with full access to user’s accounts.

Now, as one of the largest breaches in Facebook's history, engineers for the firm got to work to fix the hack and advised a further 40 million additional users to log out of their accounts as a precaution. Logging out and logging back in, allowed Facebook to reset users’ access tokens, protecting their accounts.

Further investigations are still ongoing to the extent of how these “bugs” can be rectified.

This type of breach is not uncommon as we look further into cybercrime and in particular. WikiLeaks, who released over 8,000 CIA documents (of course classified) in 2017 and the same year, a team of hackers also released a series of sensitive emails from French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.

Mobile platforms are acting as the fastest growing target areas for hackers, with 60% of online fraud carried out through mobile platforms and 80% of mobile fraud carried out through mobile apps.

These attacks are not only real, but they’re big!

3. Keep your computer safe

Keep your computer safe

With the severity of online threats at an all-time high, we’ve compiled a list of top tips on how to protect you and your PC from computer invaders.

Without needing to install a thing:

  • Avoid sites which you don’t trust or don’t look 100% genuine
  • Don’t open emails from unknown/not trusted senders
  • Don’t open attachments from just anyone!
  • Take your passwords more seriously! With more than 60% of people using the same password across multiple sites, make sure you use longer passwords, with a combination of characters, numbers, and upper and lower case, etc. Avoid obvious ones such as children’s names or birthdays!
  • Check your security settings in your browser. Reviewing and setting these at the level that you need and want, you can tell websites not to track your movements and location, and you can block pop-ups and malicious irrelevant ads, etc.
  • Network security – disabling autorun on Windows, for example, can stop up to 50% of malware threats!
  • Wi-Fi security at home – make sure to change your routers default settings by enabling a non-default password and network name.
  • Wi-Fi security, public – disable sharing and make sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), conceal your IP address and secure your data by encrypting your internet traffic.

The need for software installation:

  • Install the right firewalls and anti-virus software depending on your needs and configuration settings required. Also, make sure to keep your firewall turned on!
  • Keep your windows operating system up to date, checking for the latest security updates and patches available (make sure windows automatic update is switched on too).
  • Install anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Providing real-time protection, helping to identify and block any unwanted mail and threats.
  • Backup your folders regularly, look to invest in cloud software or external hard drives, etc. making sure you have a backup plan if the worst wereto happen.

4. Firewalls


Most firewalls, over the years, have been developed in response to a security threat received. With action then taken to develop and produce more advanced firewall technology to stop the threat from happening again.

4a) How they work

When we think of firewalls, we need to think of them as invisible walls that monitor everything which passes through them, in both directions, making the wall solid if a threat is found, not allowing it to pass through.

A firewall will ultimately stop hackers from accessing your computer via Wi-Fi connections and the internet and can help in two ways:

  1. It can allow traffic to pass through, except for data that meets a predetermined set of criteria.
  2. It can stop all traffic unless it meets a predetermined set of criteria.

Firewalls are a piece of security software that monitors “traffic” to and from your PC, acting as the first line of defence when it comes to protecting your data and any sensitive information.

4b) Why you need them

It is this misuse of confidential information and stealing of personal data which is why we need firewalls.

For example, hackers use Trojan viruses and key logging software to access computers and data. Things like passwords, bank details can all be taken and used without you realising for days (if not longer), racking up huge bills in your name as they go.

They can also use your computer against you, taking complete control without you knowing or it affecting the system in any way, and using it to run illicit activities online.

Firewalls and upgraded firewalls like SonicWall firewalls, help to stop this from happening, placing a barrier between you and the hackers.

4c) Best Practice

Firewall best practice when it comes to business is to install complex firewall software to protect the most extensive networks, having a team in place to be able to manage such security measures.

Helping to:

  • Prevent staff from sending certain types of emails or transmitting sensitive information
  • Stop employees accessing certain sites
  • Prevent outside computers accessing computers inside the network
  • Provide a variety of configurations

When it comes to firewalls for personal use, we recommend to, keep it simple. The primary goal is to protect your computer and private network from malicious activity.

5. Anti-virus software

Anti Virus

Anti-virus software, in its purest form, protects against different types of malware, protecting your PC and your personal information.

5a) How they work

Good anti-virus software helps to block ransomware and everyday threats by finding them on your PC and before they reach you directly, pulling them away, locking them in a secure container where they can’t infect your computer!

Anti-virus software is similar to anti-spy software in that it provides real-time protection (if you make sure to keep it updated regularly). Scanning all incoming information and blocking any unwanted information or threats which it detects.

5b) Why you need them

Malware and malicious software attacking our PC are one of the biggest online threats. A virus of any sort can be transmitted via email and over the internet, quickly causing lots of damage to your PC and files held on your system.

Malware in this sense also includes Trojan Horse programmes and spyware; all used to acquire your personal information for identity theft and fraud.

The right antivirus software will help to prevent malware and spyware from getting onto your computer and invading your privacy, but it is important to set up and use sophisticated and secure passwords. Using long passwords including a combination of numbers, special characters, and upper- and lower-case letters is most recommended.

5c) Differences between firewalls and anti-virus software

Both developed to offer you and your PC increased security, the key differences between anti-virus software and firewalls are:

  • Anti-virus can only be implemented in software, whereas a firewall can be both hardware and software.
  • Anti-virus performs continuous scans on the PC in question, detecting, identifying and removing any threats found, whereas firewalls monitor and filter incoming and outgoing information.
  • Anti-virus software can deal with external and internal attacks, while firewalls can only deal with external.
  • You can apply set rules to firewalls for monitoring and securing PC’s and networks; this isn’t possible with an anti-virus which will run regular checks scanning for malicious files or programmes.
  • A firewall can prevent untrusted and unauthorised applications from gaining access to your computer and networks, but unlike antivirus, it does not perform detection, identification, and removal.

6. Email Security Software

Email Security Software

When it comes to protecting your PC and computer systems, you need to make sure to invest in the right security software for you and your PC. However, you also need to bear in mind the need to defend yourself against all known and emerging viruses and hacks.

6a) Integrated email security software

Attacks are becoming increasingly innovative and varied, and because of this, integrated email protection software should be opted for rather than managing a collection of different software installations.

Making life easier an integrated platform means you can manage, control and contain everything through one application. You can monitor all incoming and outgoing activity quickly and efficiently and you can have a bird’s eye view of the security of your PC.

Managing multiple applications is not only a minefield but because they’re all designed to carry out different tasks and not “talk” to each other, it can make for complicated and slow security processes.

When considering an integrated email security package, look for one that can protect against malware as well as spam, phishing, potential data leaks and more!

The SonicWall email security and sensitive data detection solution can help. Deployed as a virtual appliance or software, this security system offers you flexibility and complete peace of mind that your PC and operating systems are protected.

7. Advanced internet protection technique

Advanced Internet Protection Technique

In this final chapter, we want to let you in on some of our tips and unique techniques that we’ve picked up and implemented over the years to increase PC security.

Tips that we’ve never shared before.

7a) Keep things up to date!

Now before you think, you’ve heard all of this before, and there is nothing left to say on the matter, give us a second!

Yes, when we say “keep things updated”, we’re talking about things such as updating and keeping the latest version of Microsoft - and yes, we know not everyone likes it, but it has upped the level of security it now offers to operating systems, so will help to add another layer of security to your PC.

But, what we also mean is that it’s also important to keep the more uncommon elements like your routers and Java up to date too.

Java is something that most of us don’t really know to update in the first instance, let alone do this regularly, and it is a huge target when it comes to computer invaders, so it’s important to know more.

In your start menu, search for Java, clicking and bringing up the Java Control Panel. Any updates and new updates will then be available by the click of a button in the bottom right-hand corner of the panel.

Within this section, we’d also recommend clicking on the security tab at the top and disabling, the “Enable Java” box.


Because this is notorious for vulnerabilities and opens up more opportunities and threats than adding additional security.

When it comes to routers, keep these up to date by changing passwords asap, and follow this up with disabling WPS, or Wi-Fi Protected Setup.


Because if we’re 100%, honest WPS is really shaky on the security front!

7b) Change your controls

Most computers and PCs will automatically be set up with you as the administrator with admin privileges and the ability to access everything without question.

Herein lies the problem.

In your control panel make sure to switch your privileges from admin to standard.


Because if a virus or piece of malware does accidentally find its way onto your PC, being set up as admin will automatically give the invader the same privileges, and trust us, this is something you definitely don’t want.

7c) Keep some things to yourself!

In an era where social media rules, (an estimated 2.77 billion people from around the world are now considered as social media “users”) we tend to give too much information away about ourselves, our family, and our lives in general.


Let’s keep some things under wraps, as not placing yourself in a vulnerable position will only strengthen your security position when it comes to identity theft and online fraud!

7d) Quickfire tips

Make sure your antivirus software offers real-time protection

Be aware that even the most trusted of websites can be compromised

Back up everything. Using both local and online backup systems, and

Sign out of things before closing everything down!


Computer invaders are not going away but being armed with the right tools and information can keep you and your PC protected.

If you enjoyed reading this guide, please feel free to share and comment below with any questions or insight you might have when it comes to computer invaders, we’d love to hear from you.