Use Cisco Umbrella as your personal Bouncer

Cybersecurity is a hot topic as of late, but few people know what the first ever program that we now know as a virus by the name of “Creeper” was created all the way back in 1971. Contrary to most viruses we see nowadays, it didn’t replicate itself, but rather jumped from computer to computer and tried to delete its own existence after having shown its message on the victim’s screen: “I’m the creeper – catch me if you can!”.

The Rise of Malware

With the rise of the internet in the 1990s, the floodgates opened for malware – short for malicious software – of any kind. In 1999, the IT security institute AV-TEST had 98,428 samples of malware in their database. The spike in malware gave birth to the antivirus industry: Big names like Panda Antivirus, Norton Antivirus, AVG Technologies, Bitdefender and Kaspersky Labs were all born in that 10-year span at the end of the last millennium.

Fast forward to 2020 and the total number of malware programs out there sits just above 1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a trillion), with almost 350,000 added every day. And while back in the early 90s, the internet was a fancy way to send a letter and later on download the occasional song off Napster, usage has absolutely exploded ever since. In 2020, 4.57 billion people worldwide have access to the internet – that’s roughly 59% of the world’s total population. And not only is the number of internet users steadily increasing, each user also has multiple touch points to the internet, often at any given point in time. If you are reading this article on a computer, you most likely have 2 already – your computer and the phone in your pocket. And while it’s virtually impossible to get an accurate number on the total number of devices connected to the internet overall, experts estimate that the fastest-growing segment alone – IoT, or Internet of Things – will contain over 31 billion connected devices by the end of 2020. 

Your Personal Bouncer – or Why You Need Cisco Umbrella

In sync with the rise of internet usage around the world, malware has become smarter, more complex and harder than ever to detect, posing a huge risk to any business. The average cost of a cyberattack on a business is now US$ 200,000, putting the survival of many companies at stake in case of a breach. At the same time, working from home is on the rise like never before, potentially leaving employers more vulnerable than usual. 

This is where Umbrella comes in: Think of Umbrella as a bouncer at a famous club – the club being your computer, and by extension your business. You are the owner of the club, and you decide who gets in and who stays out. You want nice people, having a good time – no criminals, no drunkards, no gangs. 

The bouncer – Umbrella – has a list with all the allowed guests. But where previously bouncers used to have a piece of paper with names on it, making it super easy to assume someone’s identity and just slip in under a fake name, this bouncer has a digital list which gets updated hundreds of times every hour and has an integrated biometric scanner. 

Someone coming up pretending to be a person on the list? Nope. 

Someone changing their hairstyle to look like someone you know? Nope. 

Someone putting on a face mask, pretending to be a guest on the list? Nope. 

While many tools offer some form of security for your system and the connected devices, there are usually weak links in the chain that can be exploited. With 85% of all internet traffic travelling across Cisco systems at some point in time, Umbrella has access to a treasure trove of information that was previously unheard of. Specifically, the key advantages of using Umbrella are 3-fold: 

  1. This is the only door in. There is no backdoor, no side entrance, no windows. Don’t get past the bouncer? Not getting in.
    Translation: Umbrella sits at the very connection of your device to the internet, a place where anything coming in or going out has to pass by.
  2. The bouncer never leaves his post. Ever.
    Translation: Since being started in 2006, the systems Umbrella is built on have had an uptime of exactly 100%.
  3. The guys in the back room are in touch with all other club owners, and make sure the list is always up-to-date.
    Translation: More than 300 dedicated researchers at Cisco Talos and exclusive partnerships with over 900 ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) make sure that nothing even remotely suspicious gets onto your device. 

Sound too good to be true? Well – we thought so, too. But we’ve started using Umbrella, and have never looked back. And if you think that a piece of technology this advanced must surely be a resource hog, complex to install and expensive to maintain, think again: 

  • Umbrella is a little tool that sits in the background, usually using less than 30MB RAM, 2% CPU power and 17MB hard drive space. This basically means you won’t notice Umbrella at all. 
  • Umbrella can be remotely installed within minutes, and managed centrally providing a complete overview of any activity on any device in the network. 
  • Umbrella is available starting at $5/license. A small price to pay considering damage inflicted by cybercrime is expected to soar past US$ 6 trillion by 2021.

Is your network secure? Are your employees secure, working from home? Don’t risk your business – get Umbrella today. Join 100 million users who reap the benefit of 180 billion internet requests screened by Umbrella – every single day. Contact us and we’ll make sure you’re up and running within 24 hours!

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