Mark Scifres: The Importance of Cyber Security

by Katie Sloan

Cyber security has never been as important as it is today and no business is immune. It affects every industry — from real estate, education, medical, financial, legal, state and local government entities, to technology and more. The list is endless.

Hackers may be looking for vengeance, seeking ransom monies or could be just downright malicious in nature. Whatever their motivation, there are daily reports surfacing in the media about the devastation hacking causes and how businesses are trying to bounce back. 

Hacking and network ransom attacks impact multi-dwelling units (MDU) as well. With IoT running across the board in virtually every housing unit — covering everything from thermostats and doorbells to heating and cooling systems, and so much more — property owners will not want to experience any internet downtime. Keeping residents happy and reducing churn is the goal.

Bouncing back from a cyber attack can hurt a business in many ways. Steps must be taken to notify those affected as well as investigate, repair and implement damage control. Experts have determined it takes millions of dollars to bounce back from these events, which threaten our customers confidential information as well as our own business, including our hardware, software, and ultimately, our data. 

College students today want the content they need, when they need it and in the way that they want it. Installing a robust firewall is of the utmost importance in meeting their needs in this content-driven age. To secure your telecommunications offerings as a property owner, you’ll want to invest and provide the most efficient next generation firewall protection plan.

Firewalls should be installed upon construction of the network infrastructure, but they can also be installed afterward. This should be done immediately if there is no firewall protection plan in place. A next generation firewall protection initiative is built to keep treasured investments safe while offering the very best internet connectivity.

A major motivation — beyond financial ruin — for implementing managed firewall services is that it protects your apartment or business network. For example, a property that we’ve worked with in Illinois had a package services vendor put three servers on the network with no form of firewall protection.

The three servers became infected and began passing bad IP traffic. The traffic was so congested that the entire property was threatened with blacklisting by providers sending the traffic overseas. Had the entire property been blacklisted, no traffic would go to and from the world wide web. A managed firewall had to be placed at each server to stop the infected traffic.  The vendor had no idea its servers were causing networking issues.

Shown below are several of next generation firewall’s most valuable amenities:

  • System protection from external users;
  • Optimal features including packet filtering, VPN help and network and IP mapping;
  • Premier inspection capacity that identifies attacks, malware and other security threats;
  • Supreme control of applications;
  • Robust intrusive inspections; and
  • Enhanced visibility across your networks.

Technology continues to evolve and businesses need to be proactive rather than reactive in this day of ever-changing cyber threats and attacks. They can cause catastrophic damage to a business and their customers.

— Mark Scifres, CEO and founder of Pavlov Media, is one of the leaders in the MDU data and video service industry. Scifres founded Pavlov Media in 1990.

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