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Category Archives: Cyber Security News

Maze Ransomware – What You Need to Know

Maze Ransomware

What You Need to Know



What’s this Maze thing we keep hearing about?

Maze is a particularly sophisticated strain of Windows ransomware that has hit companies and organizations around the world and demanded that a cryptocurrency payment be made in exchange for the safe recovery of encrypted data.

There’s been plenty of ransomware before. What makes Maze so special?

Like other ransomware seen in the past, Maze can spread across a corporate network, infect computers it finds and encrypts data so it cannot be accessed.

But what makes Maze more dangerous is that it also steals the data it finds and exfiltrates it to servers controlled by malicious hackers who then threaten to release it if a ransom is not paid. Increasingly, other ransomware (such as REvil, also known as Sodinokibi) have been observed using similar tactics.

So simply restoring from a backup..?

…isn’t enough. Yes, restoring your data from a secure backup can get you back up and running again (if the backup hasn’t itself been compromised, of course), but it doesn’t undo the fact that criminals now have a copy of your company’s data.

Nasty. So this is a combination of a ransomware attack and a data breach?

Yup. And as a website operated by the criminals behind the Maze attacks claims, if the ransom is not paid, they will:

  • Release public details of your security breach and inform the media
  • Sell stolen information with commercial value on the dark market
  • Tell any stock exchanges on which your company might be listed about the hack and the loss of sensitive information
  • Use stolen information to attack clients and partners as well as inform them that your company was hacked.

This is much worse than just being hit by ransomware

Yes, it is. It appears that Maze ransomware gang is not only capable of writing sophisticated malware. They have also found a very effective way of increasing the pressure on its corporate “clients” to pay up.

One has to assume that the attackers saw that many organizations now have more rigorous backup regimes in place and realized that they needed to up the ante if they were to maximize their potential criminal earnings.

How much information does the Maze ransomware typically steal from a company?

It’s hard to say, as only the companies concerned and the criminals themselves will know how much has been taken. However, the Maze website has this to say:

Usually we have over 100Gb of data from single client. Sometimes up to 10Tb of commercial and private information. We are looking for NDA marked information and everything that can be used as a base for the lawsuit agains our client.[sic]

Wait. You mentioned this before. The Maze guys have a website?

Yes, on their website they list their “new clients” (their term for recent corporate victims who have failed to pay up and who might be trying to keep news of their security breach out of the press.)

The website includes details of when victims had their computer systems hit by the Maze ransomware as well as links to downloads of stolen data and documents as “proof.”

There are even convenient buttons on the website to share details of breaches via social media.


In the above image, I’ve blurred out the names of Maze victims exposed on the cybercriminals’ website. Sadly, the hackers have no qualms about offering unredacted downloads of the data they have stolen.

This is terrifying. What types of organizations have been hit by Maze?

Cognizant, the multinational IT services giant, revealed last week that it had been hit by Maze.

Other victims have included medical research organisations, professional security services and law firms.


How does the Maze ransomware infect an organization in the first place?

The attackers use a variety of different techniques to compromise your network. This can include exploitation of known vulnerabilities that have not been patched, remote desktop connections with weak passwords, malicious email attachments and/or links. In some cases, the attack may actually come from a client of yours or partner who has already fallen victim to the hackers.

So what should my company be doing to protect ourselves from the Maze ransomware?

You should still be making secure offsite backups. You should still be running up-to-date security solutions and ensuring that your computers are protected with the latest patches against newly-discovered vulnerabilities. You should still be using hard-to-crack, unique passwords to protect sensitive data and accounts as well as enabling multi-factor authentication. You should still be encrypting your sensitive data wherever possible. You should still be educating and informing staff about risks and the methods used by cybercriminals to electronically infiltrate organizations.

If my company has been unlucky enough to have been hit by the Maze ransomware, should we pay the ransom?

That ultimately is a decision that only you can make. Bear in mind that the more companies that pay a ransom, the more the criminals are likely to launch similar attacks in the future.

At the same time, you may feel that your business needs to make the difficult but pragmatic decision to pay the criminals if you feel your company cannot survive any other way.

Whatever your decision, we encourage you to inform law enforcement agencies of the incident and work with them to help them investigate who might be behind the attacks.

And remember this: paying the ransom does not necessarily mean you have ridden yourself of the security problems that allowed you to be infected in the first place. If you don’t find out what went wrong and why and fix it, then you could easily fall victim to further cybercrime attacks in the future.


Maze ransomware hits US giant Cognizant

Maze ransomware hits US giant Cognizant



The latest company to fall victim to a ransomware attack is Cognizant, a large US IT services company which admitted at the weekend that it had fallen victim to Maze.

The three-paragraph statement offers little detail except, perhaps, the most telling:

Cognizant can confirm that a security incident involving our internal systems, and causing service disruptions for some of our clients, is the result of a Maze ransomware attack.

That one word, Maze, hints that the company is already steeling itself to report the ransomware attack as a full-blown data breach.

Maze has been blamed for extorting a succession of large organisations since last summer, and is known for stealing as well as encrypting files in an innovation used by the criminals to increase the pressure on victims to pay up: We’ve scrambled your sensitive files but will also leak them to the world if we don’t get what we want.

For US companies, a data breach is a big deal which brings with it regulatory oversight as well as hefty potential costs if any customer information is found to be part of the stolen data.

It’s also commercially awkward to admit an attack is causing problems for customers even if the company is far from the only prominent name affected by Maze in recent months.

In late March, Swiss cyber-insurance company Chubb admitted it had been hit by an unidentified attack, which some took to confirm an unverified claim by the Maze gang that it had successfully stolen data from the company weeks earlier.

The attackers even, cheekily, justified their actions in a statement that reportedly began:

We want to show that the system is unreliable. The cybersecurity is weak. The people who should care about the security of the information are unreliable. We want to show that nobody cares about the users. […] Now it’s our turn. We will change the situation by making irresponsible companies pay for every data leak.

In January, Naked Security reported on a confirmed Maze attack in December which so annoyed the victim company, cable maker Southwire, that it filed a civil suit against its makers that mentioned the ransom demand of $6 million in Bitcoins.

If these and a series of others credited to Maze in recent weeks serve as a warning, what are they a warning against?

The short answer is a ragbag of tactics that read like a penetration test gone rogue.

That could include known vulnerabilities in any kind of privileged asset such as load balancers to Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) servers. If it can’t reach these directly, there’s always standard phishing attacks and boobytrapped Word attachments to fall back on in the search for a network foothold.

None of this is exactly hard to predict. In December, the FBI even put out a private warning about Maze tactics to US organisations.

The challenge is that today’s successful compromises reflect the security weaknesses that have built up from yesteryear. Companies sometimes suspect that they have weaknesses but simply fail to find them as quickly as the attackers do.

How to protect yourself from ransomware

  • Pick strong passwords. And don’t re-use passwords, ever.
  • Make regular backups. They could be your last line of defense against a six-figure ransom demand. Be sure to keep them offsite where attackers can’t find them.
  • Patch early, patch often. Ransomware like WannaCry and NotPetya relied on unpatched vulnerabilities to spread around the globe.
  • Lock down RDP. Criminal gangs exploit weak RDP credentials to launch targeted ransomware attacks. Turn off Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) if you don’t need it, and use rate limiting, two-factor authentication (2FA) or a virtual private network (VPN) if you do.
  • Use anti-ransomware protection. Sophos Intercept X and XG Firewall are designed to work hand in hand to combat ransomware and its effects. Individuals can protect themselves with Sophos Home.


Firewall Support

Firewall Support

Hardware & Software Firewall installation, configuration and Remote Support Services

Hardware & Software Firewall installation, configuration and Remote Support Services

Hardware & Software Firewall installation, configuration and Remote Support Services

Customer satisfaction is Firewall Firm’s s number one priority. Firewall Firm’s Support Services provide global support for all Configuring Software and Hardware Firewall products and its support services. Firewalls also Prevent Computer Viruses on Internet gateway level with benefits of Advanced Anti Malware and phishing attacks, Learn about firewalls, malware, and cloud storage with Firewall Firm. A firewall has the capability of protecting the network while the gateway antivirus protects virus on computer and its software. Firewall Firm provides Best Firewall Network Security & Cyber-Security Services & Solutions. Firewall is a network security device that also monitors traffic to or from your network. It allows or blocks traffic based on a defined set of security rules. Secure access between separate network segments using a bridge as firewall.

SonicWall Firewall Support

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Sonicwall Highend Firewall & HA Support

SonicWall Firewall Support

Are you using Sonicwall firewall and facing some issues regarding it? If yes, then you have reached the right place. We are one of the prominent SonicWall firewall support service providers, who always readily available to resolve the technical issues that you are facing right now. The sole purpose of our support service to enhance the users’ experience by troubleshooting the technical glitches in no less time. We have a team of talented professionals who are round the clock available to sort the issue and leave you with a smile. Whether you are facing configuration mistake error, network firewall software isn’t managed or DDOS attack, without thinking much feel free to contact us via email or phone number. When you call us, all you need is to do, share your queries with our professionals. As soon as we receive your query, we will work on it and come back to you with comprehensive solutions. We understand your queries and 24X7, 365 days available for you to resolve those queries within expected time.

Get in touch with us via email or call:

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Sophos Firewall Support

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Sophos Firewall Support

Sophos Firewall Support

Are you using Sophos Firewall and getting any error? If yes, then you have arrived at the right place. We are one of the leading Sophos firewall support service providers. We have a team of talented technicians who are round the clock available for the customers to resolve technical glitches they are facing right now. To avail our tech support service, all they need is to dial our Sophos firewall tech support number and share your queries with our professionals effortlessly. As soon as we get your query request, we will work on it and come back to you with the comprehensive solutions.

Get in touch with us for resolving technical issues:

Through Sophos firewall is an advanced technology-based firewall. But, as nothing is perfect in this world, it causes some errors which unable to resolve by the users. That’s why Sophos firewall support services come into the picture. Our assistance is 24X7, 365 days available for the clients to troubleshoot the issues in no less time. In the event, if you face any issue regarding this firewall, feel free to contact us. You can call our customer care number or share your queries via email. You will get a response from our team as soon as we get your query request.

People from the non-technical background, often feel difficulty in identifying the issues. In order to help them, Sophos company has made reputed Sophos firewall support services. Here the tech geeks are readily available to identify and troubleshoot the error.

We believe in customers’ satisfaction. For that, we are readily available for them to troubleshoot the technical issues related to the Sophos Firewall. The team uses advanced technology and tool to ensure that the error will not occur again. Just dial our Sophos firewall support number and share your queries effortlessly.

FortiGate Firewall Support

FortiGate Firewall Support

FortiGate Firewall Support


FortiGate Firewall Support

FortiGate Firewall Support

Fortigate Firewall support services:

It’s amazing to know that how firewalls protects our system from the external threats and keep our data safe. There are so many firewalls in the market, but when it comes to advanced technology based firewalls, FortiGate is the best. In the event, if you face any issue with this firewall, you can share your queries with the Firewall Firm’s Firewalls support services team. Here, the tech geeks are round the clock available for the customers to resolve their technical issues. They are talented, skilled and experienced in resolving the technical issues and improvise the experience of the users.

Get in touch with us for resolving issues:

We are one of the leading third party independent FortiGate firewalls support service providers, whose major objective to resolve the issues of the users in no less time. To avail our tech support services, all you need is to do, just dial our tech support number or share your queries via email. As soon as we get request of your queries, we will work on it and come back to you with the comprehensive solutions.

Meet the most experienced professionals of our team:

A team of well-qualified professionals applies the most advanced approaches to resolve the technical issues so it will get repeated. We believe in 100% customers’ satisfaction. For that, we offer the top-notch quality based comprehensive solutions to our customers. Our experts are ready to offer you the best solutions for all kinds of requirements related to the Fortigate firewall. So, if you are seeking for the best Fortigate Firewall Support services, then without thinking much, feel free to contact us right now. We assure you that, we troubleshoot your queries in no less time. Dial our number or share your issues via tech support email ID.

FortiGate Firewall Technical Support number is available 24×7 worldwide. Get in touch with FortiGate Firewall Customer Care Support Number for more immediate troubleshooting approach. FortiGate Firewall tech team contact numbers to help you anytime anywhere.


WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard Firewall Support

WatchGuard is an advanced technology-based firewall that offers an exceptional level of security to your system. In the event, if a WatchGuard firewall user faces any issue, they can share their queries at WatchGuard firewall support services. Here, are the professionals round the clock available for the customers to troubleshoot their technical issues. The sole purpose of the tech support services to resolve customer issues and guide them in a better way. Whether you are facing issue in installing, updating or uninstalling firewall, without thinking much, get in touch with us. We have a team of talented and skilled tech geeks whose aim to troubleshoot the users’ issues and improvise their experience. Whatever issue you are facing with firewall right now, don’t hesitate, share your queries with our team. As soon as we get your queries details, we will work on it and resolve your issues in no less time.

Welcome to our 24X7 and 365 days available WatchGuard Firewall Support Services

Our firm is widely appreciated as one of the prominent WatchGuard firewall support service providers. Since we launched our tech support service, we have been resolving the technical issues of the customers in a better way so that the errors will not occur again. The major objective of our tech support services to resolve any kind of issue that our customers are facing with WatchGuard Firewall.

Call to action:

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Managed Firewall Support Services, Firewall Support Service

Managed Firewall Support Services, Firewall Support Service


  1.  Failing to save the CONFIGURATION: 90% of the times we don’t save the configuration which gives the problem when we reboot the Firewall or Router.
  2. Configuration done by the Engg is not meeting the company policy
  3. Rules are not used still there in the ACL
  4. Duplicate Rules no documentation of the rules.
  5. Firewall connection exceeds as not taken in account eh VPN or SSL connections while making a DECISIONS or the Firewall is OLD
  6. Memory full issue there is bug in the rules or the configuration making firewall slow or reboots automatically.
  7. Firewall OS is older and new OS is not supported.
  8. Unwanted application are taking lot of bandwidth like video youtube etc. then bring down the productivity of the organisation.
  9. Link problem. The like is not stable and goes down or flaps too much.
  10.  NO QOS done for the rules and on the application.
  11. OSPF or BGP not configured properly.
  12. Poor VOIP quality which may be due to link flap or too much bandwidth taken by other applications
  13. Duplexing not done properly.
  14. Passwords are simple or easy to decode authentication is not upto the mark
  15. MS-SQL is open from the outside for the applications via server with just application authentication.
  16. Anti-spoofing not configured on the interfaces
  17. No logging is done for the system changes.
  18.  Any TCP or UDP packet can go out.
  19. Proxy services are not stopped
  20. Certification not configured on the firewall to have the ultimate Security.

The Last one is important and no one configures firewall for that (certification)

Every one is thinking that firewall is now matured and nothing is need more.

But after ransomware things have changed.

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12 Security tips for the ‘work from home’ enterprise

12 Security tips for the ‘work from home’ enterprise

If you or your employees are working from home, you’ll need this advice to secure your enterprise.

If you or your employees are working from home while our governments lurch awkwardly through the current crisis, then there are several security considerations that must be explored.

Your enterprise outside the wall

Enterprises must consider the consequences of working from home in terms of systems access, access to internal IT infrastructure, bandwidth costs and data repatriation.

What this means, basically, is that when your worker accesses your data and/or databases remotely, then the risk to that data grows.

While at normal times the risk is only between the server, internal network and end user machine, external working adds public internet, local networks and consumer-grade security systems to the risk mix.

Here are some of the approaches to take to minimize these risks.

1. Provide employees with basic security knowledge

People working from home must be provided with basic security advice: to beware of phishing emails, to avoid use of public Wi-Fi, to ensure home Wi-Fi routers are sufficiently secured and to verify the security of the devices that they use to get work done.

It is likely that attempts to subvert security using phishing attacks will increase at this time.

Employees should be particularly reminded to avoid clicking links in emails from people they do not know, and installation of third-party apps should be confined to bona fide app stores, even on personal devices.

Your people need to be in possession of basic security advice, and it is also important that your company has an emergency response team in place. People need to know who to contact in the event they detect a security anomaly.

2. Provide your people with VPN access

One way to secure data as it moves between your core systems and externally based employees is to deploy a VPN. These services provide an additional layer of security, which (in simplified terms) provides the following:

  • Hiding the user’s IP address
  • Encrypting data transfers in transit
  • Masking the user’s location

Most larger organizations already have a VPN service in place and should check they have sufficient seats to provide this protection across their employee base. Smaller enterprises may need to appoint a VPN provider.

There are lots of VPN service providers, but not all of them can be trusted. (Especially avoid the free services.) ExpressVPN and NordVPN appear to be good choices, but it is in your best interest to do your own due diligence before selecting a provider for your company.

Once chosen, you should ensure that all remote employees are provided with access to the service, and that they use it for all business-related activity.

3. Provision security protection

Make sure up-to-date security protection is installed and active on any devices that will be used for work. That means virus checkers, firewalls, device encryption should all be in palace. I have two articles which should help with some of this:

  • The macOS security guide
  • The iOS security guide

4. Run a password audit

Your company needs to audit employee passcodes.

That doesn’t mean requesting people’s personal details, but does mean passcodes used to access any enterprise services are reset and redefined in line with stringent security policy.

Alphanumeric codes, use of two-factor authentication should become mandatory, and you should ask your people to apply the toughest possible protection across all their devices. You should also ensure all your business-critical passwords are securely stored in the event anything happens to key personnel. An enterprise-focused password manager such as LastPass may help here.

5. Ensure that software is updated

Encourage your teams to upgrade their software to the latest version supported under the company’s security policy. (Some enterprises lag the release schedule for Apple software, though most don’t.) Activate automatic updating on all your devices.

6. Encourage the use of (secure, approved) cloud services

One way to protect your employee end points is to ensure your confidential information is not stored locally.

Content storage should be cloud-based where possible, and employees should be encouraged to use cloud-based apps (such as Office 365). It’s also important that any third-party cloud storage services used are verified for use by your security teams.

NB: This is particularly important if your business requires use of critical personal data.

7. Reset default Wi-Fi router passwords

Not every employee will have reset the default password for their Wi-Fi router.

If you have an IT support team, then providing telephone guidance to secure home routers should become a priority. You do not want your information being subjected to man in the middle, data sniffing or any other form of attack.

You may also need to make arrangements to pay for any excess bandwidth used, as not every broadband connection is equal. Some providers (most recently, AT&T) are making positive sounds around extending available data packages in the current crisis. Employees should be told to avoid public Wi-Fi, though doing so is made a little more secure if used with a VPN.

8. Mandatory backups

It will be useful to ensure that online backup services are used, if available.

Otherwise, employees should be encouraged to use external drives to back up computers. If you use a mobile device mananagement (MDM) or enterprise mobility management (EMM) service, then it is possible you’ll be able to initiate automated backups via your system’s management console.

(NB: I’m a little concerned about backup to local storage in employee homes, as this simply becomes another potential security problem.)

9. Avoid the use of USB sticks

Don’t use USB sticks at all if you can avoid it. There have been too many examples of such devices being infested with malware. The Department of Homeland Security has a page about this.

10. Use an MDM/EMM solution

It may make sense to deploy an MDM or EMM system at this time.

This will make it much easier to provision and manage your fleet of devices while also separating corporate from personal data. It also ensures device and Mac security can be better controlled.

This is a whole topic in itself, but the experts at companies such as Jamf, Addigy or even your Apple business advisor should be able to provide useful advice.

11. Develop contingency plans now

Triage your teams. Ensure that management responsibilities are shared between teams and ensure you put contingency plans in place now in case key personnel get sick. Tech support, password and security management, essential codes and failsafe roles should all be assigned and duplicated.

12. Foster community and care for employees

The reason many people are working from home is because there is a health pandemic. The grim truth is that your employees may get sick, or worse, during this crisis.

With this in mind, community chat, including group video chat using tools such as FaceTime or Zoom, will become increasingly important to preserving mental health, particularly for anyone enduring quarantine.

Encourage your people to talk with each other, run group competitions to nurture online interaction, and identify local mental health and grief counsellors who may help if the crisis becomes more extreme.

I have heard of one group of people working remotely that are using a home exercise app and Group FaceTime to exercise together during the day, which they think helps boost team feeling even while working remotely.

The bottom line is that your people are likely to be under a great deal of personal stress, so it makes sense to raise each other up through this journey.

Virtual Private Network ( VPN )


Virtual Private Network ( VPN )

Virtual Private Network ( VPN )

Virtual Private Network ( VPN )

Firewall Firm, a VPN Service provider company in India, providing VPN Services on Firewall and providing support 24×7 for work remotely. A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running on a computing device, e.g., a laptop, desktop, smartphone, across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. Encryption is a common, though not an inherent, part of a VPN connection.

VPN technology was developed to allow remote users and branch offices to access corporate applications and resources. To ensure security, the private network connection is established using an encrypted layered tunneling protocol, and VPN users use authentication methods, including passwords or certificates, to gain access to the VPN.

A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated circuits or with tunneling protocols over existing networks. A VPN available from the public Internet can provide some of the benefits of a wide area network (WAN). From a user perspective, the resources available within the private network can be accessed remotely.

In other applications, calling a proxy a VPN is a marketing technique on the part of consumer VPNs. Internet users may secure their connections with a VPN to circumvent geo-restrictions and censorship or to connect to proxy servers to protect personal identity and location to stay anonymous on the Internet. Some websites, however, block access to known VPN technology to prevent the circumvention of their geo-restrictions, and many VPN providers have been developing strategies to get around these roadblocks.

Enterprise Infrastructure VPNs



by Cisco

“Cisco VPN is guenue and user-freindly software with less complex while establishment.”




by Fortinet

“Forticlient easy to install but muti function, Endpoint antivirus and VPN function too.”

Mobile VPN

by Pulse Secure

“The most important shield for your device”



Citrix Gateway (formerly NetScaler VPN, NetScaler Gateway or NetScaler Unified Gateway)
by Citrix

“”Single url remote access and Secure interface.””



Cloud VPN

by Google

A Cloud VPN is a cloud-based network infrastructure that delivers VPN services.
Palo Alto Networks


by Palo Alto Networks

“Palo Alto GlobalProtect is a great option for a VPN client on Mac and PC”

Secure TLS

by Pulse Secure

“Very flexible product that can solve all our connectivity problems”
Watchguard Firewall

Mobile VPN with SSL

by WatchGuard

“Mobile VPN with SSL: Perfect VPN tool for connecting from differnet locations.”


by Apple

“Supremely Useful VPN Configuration Tool”

Check Point Capsule

by Check Point Software Technologies

“Checkpoint capsule for OOB”

VPN (Virtual Private Network) Service providers in Delhi NCR India

Work from Home Securely: Enterprise

Is your remote workforce expanding beyond your current mobile access or VPN solution? Deploy VPN Services to concurrently and safely connect remote employees and devices.

for more details, please contact us on

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10 Top Firewall Providers for 2019

10 Top Firewall Providers for 2019

Key Points to Consider When Purchasing a New Firewall

You’re either secure or you’re not, there is no middle ground when it comes to having proper network security.

This is why when it comes to mobility and wireless, security needs to be at the foundation of your wireless platform.

One of the most critical pieces of your security infrastructure is deploying the right firewall.

We’ve come along way since the days of traditional port-based firewall systems, and there a lot of solutions to choose from. To help you find the right firewall, here are key points to consider before you buy.

Visibility & Control Of Your Applications

Traditional port-based firewalls only provide you with limited control and visibility of the applications and end-users accessing your network.

Obviously, you don’t want everyone accessing applications like YouTube or Facebook, however, what about your marketing team, or teachers that are streaming a video for a specific lesson?

With the right firewall in place, you can apply policies to certain end-users, allowing access to those with jobs pertinent to the applications being used.

What about end-users like guests or if your company is a hospital, what about your patients?

Different end-users can have different polices applied that prohibit them from accessing certain applications.

Furthermore, next-gen firewalls can limit access to certain parts of applications. For instance a user might be able to use Facebook calling and messaging but not be able to post to their timeline or on a friends “wall.”

Protection and Prevention From Threats

Did you know your port-based firewall can’t “see” any of the applications or users gaining access to your network? This is a big issue today with data breaches, if the firewall can’t see the devices or applications being used- how will it protect your network and your end-users?

A next-gen firewall can see and control all of the applications and sensitive information on your wireless network. They can limit traffic and risks to your network by only allowing approved applications to be used.

You can even scan these approved applications to ensure there are no potential threats. As an added bonus, because applications have to be approved by the firewall, it can also reduce bandwidth consumption helping to improve your overall wifi performance.

Legitimate 1 Gigabit Throughput

Port-based firewalls often claim with each port you get 1 gigabit, however once all of the services are turned on like malware, you can cut that throughput by a third.

With next- generation firewalls 1 gigabit is as claimed, you get 1 gigabit of throughput with ALL of the services turned on.

It’s About Your Devices Not IP Addresses

Think of modern firewalls like telephone books. Instead of searching to find a user using an IP address, your next-gen firewall is capable of finding a device by user name.

This way you know exactly how many devices each of your employees are using to access the network, and if they cause a breach you can find the device and wipe it clean.

Remote Users

With the influx in employers allowing remote workers in every industry, employees need to be able to access your internal network and applications from any location.

Whether it’s from home, the library, a coworking space or even a Starbucks, they should be able to connect and complete their work.

The same rules and policies should be enforced by the firewall outside of the hospital, school grounds, warehouse, or university. This keeps traffic coming in and out of your internal server safe and threat free.

Streamlined Security Infrastructure

Buying more security components (appliances) hoping they fix your security needs isn’t always the answer, and often times ends up being costly and ineffective.

Adding more and more components means there’s more to manage and update, which can decrease your efficiency by creating a unnecessarily more complex system.

Next-gen firewalls already have the necessary security infrastructure components built-in, including:

  • Anti-virus protection
  • Spam filtering
  • Deep packet inspection
  • Application filtering

It’s a comprehensive security component that enables you to not have to worry about what other pieces you’ll need to add in order to make your network more secure.


Last but not least, cost is always a factor when it comes to choosing the right firewall. It’s important that you think about not only how much something costs but how it will fit into your budget.

Often times we fail to see the harm in not purchasing something, and waiting until something goes wrong. Well if something goes wrong, and data is leaked, it can end up costing you a lot more than just money.

Modern firewalls are more affordable than you might think, especially when compared to the cost of a major network security breach, or the decreased efficiency you’ll experience from having poor wifi performance due to an old or insufficient firewall.

We’ve found that with the correct firewall in place, they pay for themselves almost instantly.

At IT Monteur’s Firewall Firm, we deliver affordable, robust, and secure Firewall & wireless platforms – it’s all we do. If you have any questions about choosing the right firewall or would like to discuss an upcoming project, Please contact us on

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Firewall Providers

1. Fortinet






Maybe it’s the company’s independently certified and continuous threat intelligence updates. Perhaps its the ability to protect against malware attacks lurking in encrypted traffic. Whatever the reason, Fortinet remains a popular firewall solution. It stands alone atop Gartner’s list — by a wide margin, thanks to a stellar 4.5-star rating from users.

One reviewer, a network engineer, praised its ease of use and value. The IT pro writes: “Overall, we have been extremely satisfied ….” Another user, in the industrial automation space, highlights one feature in particular. “The dual-wan feature also gives you the ability to have load-balancing or failover for multiple WAN connections.”

A partnership with Symantec to integrate into the latter’s cloud-delivered network security service, Secure Web Gateways, will ensure continued utility and relevance for Fortinet throughout 2019.

2. Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks





Another highly regarded firewall provider found a new dance partner of its own in late 2018. Palo Alto

Networks announced its acquisition of RedLock, which leverages AI to connect seemingly disparate dots that provide a comprehensive picture of potential threats to an organization’s cloud environment. Already a Gartner superstar with a 4.5-star rating equal to Fortinet’s, adding this strength and capability to Palo Alto Networks’ offerings can only help.

A senior network engineer describes Palo Alto Networks’ firewall as consistently updated, stable, and robust, and a CIO credits it with making his team “much more productive and efficient.”

Palo Alto Networks features worth a look are the scanning engine it uses to prevent the transfer of unauthorized files and sensitive data, and its integration with enterprise directory services such as Active Directory, eDirectory, LDAP, and Citrix.

3. Cisco






One reviewer calls Cisco’s firewall solution “mature, solid, and easy to understand.” It’s great if you can find such characteristics in a person and even better if your firewall solution shares them. There’s a reason for Cisco’s “Customer Choice 2018” achievement from Gartner, after all. A network administrator using Cisco’s firewall claims it has “more functions than I can use” but is easy to maintain and manage.

In addition to manufacturing security solutions, Cisco has been making news lately. The good kind. “Three years ago, it was still like is Cisco serious or not?” one IT leader expressed. “Now you’ve got single sign-on Multi-Factor Authentication, Cloud Access Security Broker, all under Cisco Umbrella …. Those are all good moves. Even in the market, customer perception is tenfold better compared to three years ago.”

Considering Cisco? Then check out the automation capabilities of Cisco’s networking and security operations, as well as its next-generation IPS, advanced malware protection, and sandboxing features.

4. Check Point




Keeping pace with the multi-star user ratings of more prominent players in the firewall space, Check Point receives high marks and high praise. “The feature set of Check Point’s next gen firewalls keeps expanding to include new ways to address security concerns,” one reviewer shares, noting their “very positive experience” with the solution. Another reviewer cuts straight to the point when he calls it “the best firewall in the market.”

Check Point touts the industry’s broadest application coverage: more than 8,000 applications and 260,000 social network widgets. This allows companies to administer rules to features that people use daily, such as instant messaging, social networking, video streaming, and games.

One of Check Point’s stated goals is “superior protection across the entire security gateway.” Capabilities such as that help it reach such goals. Its recent moves to bolster integration with the Amazon Web Services Security Hub will also help.

5. SonicWall




Though smaller in market size to other firewall providers on this list, SonicWall still lays claim to protecting more than 1 million networks worldwide. It’s earned that business, in part because of features that defend against zero-day vulnerabilities, prevent the unauthorized takeover of virtual systems, and stop unauthorized access to protected data assets.

And doing all of that doesn’t require a team of IT pros beyond the initial installation. One reviewer writes, “Setup has a lot of features, so I suggest you get some help with someone that is familiar with SonicWall.” Another calls it “an extremely easy to use firewall” and adds, “The settings are easy to configure even though initial setup may be challenging for your specific environment.”

One thing to consider if you’re looking at SonicWall: while it is making inroads to virtual environments, it seems to be doing so at a pace that sets it behind others in the field.


10 Top Firewall Vendors


Overall Rating







Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks

Check Point Software Technologies

Check Point Software Technologies

Check Point Software Technologies







Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks












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11 TOP Firewall Features for your Business

A firewall should be part of your overall cyber security mitigation strategy. You’re not a big bank or Apple, so your business is safe from hackers. Right? Unfortunately not. Many hackers actually target smaller to medium organizations because they know SMEs are less likely to invest in cyber security.

So how can you protect your business and client information from falling into the wrong hands? A firewall can help form part of your overall strategy.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a network security system that controls incoming and outgoing traffic on a computer or business network. This control is based on a set of policies or rules. These policies or rules are configured on the firewall or via the firewall management console.

A firewall basically helps protect the devices, applications and data that sit behind it on the internal network. This can be at your office or between offices or even services you have sitting at your hosting provider or cloud provider.

Installing a firewall on your network or in front of your cloud services means you are helping protect your users and data on the network from nasty attacks and vulnerabilities from the internet.

11 TOP Firewall Features for your Business

1. Bandwidth control and monitoring

Bandwidth control or sometimes it can be referred to as traffic shaping is one of the best. We don’t always have unlimited amounts of bandwidth so it’s vital to take control of the bandwidth available. With a firewall you can control bandwidth available for sites, applications and users.

You may want to give your graphics department more overall bandwidth. Or you might want to stop cloud based file synchronization services from hammering your bandwidth. Things line OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive can cause serious issues.

With bandwidth control on your firewall you can allocate a set amount of dedicated bandwidth for your VoIP phone system. You can even allow other cloud based services like Skype for Business or Hangouts to have priority. This will help stop the dreaded jitter that makes any phone or video call painful.

You can control when backups for example happen between sites so that those backups aren’t causing problems during business hours. You can allow backups to have a large chunk of the connection out of hours.

You could enforce backup traffic to travel over cheaper links. And more important traffic can be set to go over your higher quality links when quality really matters.

2. Web filtering

Most firewalls allow you to block access to websites. This can be done on a case by case basis or your firewall can include a subscription that helps you choose categories you don’t want people to have access to. Such as illegal activities, downloading illegal content, gambling and many many more.

The firewall vendor will continuously update their lists for you as those types of websites will always be updating their IP addresses and domain names. Vendors like Cisco and Fortigate take the hassle out of this for you with their automatic updated lists.

3. Logging

Having access to logs on a firewall gives you up to the minute information about what is happening on your network. Good firewalls give graphs in real time and they also show you what vulnerabilities or attack are happening in real time.

4. Internet aggregation and SD WAN

Link aggregation and SD WAN is a great feature for businesses who need multiple links to the internet. Or where you are using multiple links and you would like to connect to other sites such as branch offices or cloud services.

The ability to use multiple links allows you to have redundancy or even use multiple cheap links with different providers to meet your bandwidth requirements.


5. Sandboxing

Sandboxing takes a file or executable as your are downloading and opens it in a completely isolated and separate environment. This environment replicates the end user environment away from your production environment without putting your users at risk. A sandbox then opens it, runs it scans it and looks for malware or activity that is suspicious.

If the files or link looks ok it will pass it on to the end user. Sandboxing is one of those things that the end users have no idea is there but it is another layer protecting them from a cyber attack.


6. Integrated wireless controller

Using a firewall with an integrated wireless controller is a fantastic way to save money and bring all of your policies and control into one place or platform.

You can easily setup different SSIDs, policies and take full control over your environment. Depending on the model of firewall you choose will depend on how many wireless access points you can use. Low entry level models will allow 2-10 access points and larger high end models will allow hundreds.

You can even setup all of your sites using the same policies so your users can roam between sites without any need to connect or enter in passwords at each site.


7. Deep Packet Inspection

Deep packet inspection is a great feature we just can’t live without anymore. This technology allows the firewall to really take a close look at the packet that is being passed though.

It can look for hidden viruses, and malicious activity that is hidden within the packet. The firewall can then decide what to do with the packet. It can block the sender or drop the packet.

The really great thing is if the firewall determines it’s a new source threat it will sent a note back to the vendor that will then be reviewed and update other firewalls around the world helping other networks keep safe.


8. Virtual Private Networks

Virtual private networks (VPN) are great for users connecting back to a site or the office. VPNs can also be used to connect two sites together.

You want to make sure that device if it’s another network/firewall or if it’s an end user computer that it is secure and safe. With a VPN you can allow users to access applications and data securely from remote locations. And best of all you aren’t opening up public facing ports or applications.


9. Malware and virus filtering

Next generation firewalls are always filtering for malware new and old. Viruses, compromised websites, files containing viruses, bot nets trying to hack you, man in the middle attacks you name it! They can even scan encrypted traffic such as SSL and TLS connections to make sure they are safe and trusted.


10. Intrusion prevention system

Intrusion prevention systems (IPS) is the latest advancements from intrusion detection systems (IDS).

Intrusion prevention goes one better by monitoring the network traffic using policies. It looks for suspicious activity. If it detects suspicious activity on a network it will block the traffic and then provide a report.


11. Identity management integration and single sign on

One of the greatest features is that firewalls allow you to integrate with single sign on platforms either directly or via a radius server. If you have an environment where cyber security is paramount and you are controlling your users by department or function or even site then integrating their access into group management and single sign on cuts down the administrative overhead.

A firewall can never guarantee the safety of your data, it does provide a greater chance of keeping it safe. If you can’t afford to lose your data, or suffer a breach of confidential data, then a firewall will help form part of your overall cyber security mitigation strategy.

St John Ambulance hit with ransomware attack

  • The ransomware attack impacted everyone who had opened an account, booked or attended a St John Ambulance training course until February 2019.
  • The data includes names of those who booked and attended the course, course details, contact information, costs, invoicing details, and driving license data.

What is the issue?

St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity suffered a ransomware attack compromising the data belonging to individuals who undertook a training course.

The big picture

St John Ambulance became aware of the ransomware infection on July 2, 2019. Upon which, the first aid charity temporarily blocked access to the infected system. The charity organization confirmed that the attack did not impact its operational systems.

  • St John Ambulance notified the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Charity Commission, and the police authorities about the incident.
  • It has hired third-party cyber experts to enhance its security mechanism in order to protect its data systems.
  • The organization confirmed that the issue was resolved immediately within half an hour.

“We work as hard as we can to protect our data systems from these types of attacks and employ a range of third party partners and cyber-crime solutions to continually update our protection,” St John Ambulance said.

What was the impact?

  • The incident has impacted everyone who opened an account, booked or attended a St John Ambulance training course until February 2019.
  • The data includes names of those who booked and attended the course, course details, contact information, costs, invoicing details, and driving license data.
  • However, no credit card details or customer passwords were compromised.

“The only data that has been affected relates to our training course delivery. It does not cover supplies, events, ambulance operations, volunteering, volunteer, data, employee data, clinical data or patient data,” St John Ambulance said.

Recent DanaBot campaigns observed with new ransomware module

  • DanaBot campaigns targeted at European countries also drop a ransomware executable onto target systems.
  • The trojan also comes with new plugins, configuration files, and other updates.

Banking trojan DanaBot, which is known to target organizations across Europe, North America, and Australia, has been found being distributed with a ransomware module. Security researchers from CheckPoint came across this new variant in few of the recent DanaBot campaigns. According to the researchers, DanaBot also had new plugins, configuration files, string encryptions, file name generation algorithms as well as had a different communication protocol.

Worth noting

  • In a report by CheckPoint, researchers indicate that the new DanaBot is also spread through phishing emails that contain a malicious link. This link acts as a dropper for DanaBot.
  • On top of having a new communication protocol, the researchers found that the recent campaigns used additional plugins and configuration files for DanaBot.
  • Coming to the ransomware module, it was identified to be a variant of “NonRansomware”, which is known for enumerating files on local drives and encrypting them except for the Windows directory.
  • After execution, the ransomware runs a Batch script. This script performs a host of actions which includes disabling Windows Defender, removing system logs amongst others. Furthermore, it schedules a task that executes the ransomware every 14 minutes until a certain period and then proceeds with encryption.

Evolving malware

CheckPoint researchers hint that the threat actors behind DanaBot continue to keep updating the trojan. “For almost a year, DanaBot has been extending its capabilities and evolving into a more sophisticated threat. We assume its operators will continue to add more improvements,” they said.

“A lot of ransomware still remain a relatively stable source of income for cybercriminals. Therefore such simple ‘copy-paste’ encryptors as the one that was described here will continue to emerge constantly,” the researchers wrote, regarding the prevalence of ransomware attacks.

Hackers Abused MSPs and Their Remote Management Tools to Deploy Ransomware on Customers’ Networks

  • The remote management tools which were targeted include Webroot SecureAnywhere and Kaseya VSA.
  • The tools have been abused to execute a Powershell script that downloads and installs the Sodinokibi ransomware.

Attackers have hacked three Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and abused their remote management tools to deploy Sodinokibi ransomware on their customers’ systems.

The incident came to light after some of the impacted MSPs reported in a subreddit on Reddit dedicated to MSPs.

The big picture

Kyle Hanslovan, co-founder and CEO of Huntress Lab, analyzed the incidents and revealed the following,

  • Attackers compromised the MSPs via exposed RDP endpoints.
  • Upon compromise, attackers gained escalated privileges and uninstalled antivirus products such as ESET and Webroot.
  • The attackers then searched for remote management tools used by MSPs to manage remotely-located workstations of their customers.
  • They then abused the remote management tools to execute a Powershell script on customers’ systems.
  • The malicious script downloaded and installed the Sodinokibi ransomware on customer endpoints.
  • The abused remote management tools include Webroot SecureAnywhere and Kaseya VSA.

“Two companies mentioned only the hosts running Webroot were infected. Considering Webroot’s management console allows administrators to remotely download and execute files to endpoints, this seems like a plausible attack vector,” Hanslovan said.

Webroot makes 2FA mandatory

After the incident, Webroot mandated enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for accounts in order to prevent hackers from using any other potentially hijacked accounts to deploy ransomware.

“Recently, Webroot’s Advanced Malware Removal team discovered that a small number of customers were impacted by a threat actor exploiting a combination of customers’ weak cyber hygiene practices around authentication and RDP,” Chad Bacher, SVP of Products at WEBROOT told ZDNet via email.

“To ensure the best protection for the entire Webroot customer community, we decided it is time to make two-factor authentication mandatory. We did this by conducting a console logout and software update the morning of June 20,” Bacher added.

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