Why your firewall is letting 60% of internet traffic through unscanned

January 2nd, 2017 - Category - IT & Cyber Security

Shocking statistic?

That firewall you pay for, is letting a massive SIXTY PERCENT of internet traffic into your networks, without scanning it.

60% of the information that enters your network, is not scanned, and could contain malicious scripts and dangerous malware.

This is thanks to something called SSL encryption.

Why is 60% of traffic going through my firewall not being scanned?

In order to understand why this is happening, you need to understand what SSL (secure socket layer) encryption is.

Websites with an SSL certificate, begin with https not just http.

This means that all connections to these websites are secure, and data transferred to and from these websites, can only be read by the intended recipient. This was once mainly used for payment gateways, so cyber criminals wouldn’t be able to snoop on connections and steal credit card information.

Many Firewalls Can’t Scan Encrypted SSL Traffic!

SSL.jpgThe HUGE PROBLEM businesses now face, is that if they don’t have a modern, more expensive firewall, then it is very likely that traffic passing between their networks and websites with SSL certificates, is completely unfiltered by the firewall. Many firewalls cannot scan traffic encrypted by SSL!

It’s important to remember that anyone can purchase an SSL certificate for their website. Just because a domain has https in front of it, doesn’t mean it’s a trustworthy domain. All it means is that information sent to and from the domain can’t be accessed by third parties outside of that connection. 

How Google is Making the Internet More Dangerous for You!

Google, with all its power and influence, has tried to push for more websites to enable SSL.

Google’s popular browser, Chrome – which has 55% of the market share of internet browsers, also warns you when you’re connecting to a non-https website – effectively labelling all http websites as ‘bad’.

Google also now requires websites to have SSL certificates in order to use Google Adwords, Shopping and Remarketing services.

Additionally, Google announced, back in 2014, that they will also give ranking boosts to websites that are SSL enabled.

This has all resulted in a massive upsurge in the amount of websites with SSL certificates.

Don’t assume SSL enabled websites are safe! They are not!

Anyone, even a cyber criminal, can purchase an SSL certificate for their website, regardless of what that website is.

This means that the green padlock sign you see in your browser is not an indication of safety! It just means you have a secure connection that others cannot eavesdrop on (potentially with an unsafe website!).

In addition to this, and perhaps most dangerously, there have been known cases where users have been infected by connecting to legitimate websites who themselves have been compromised – despite having SSL enabled sites.

Hackers have managed to compromise popular websites, adding a line of malicious code,  and getting users to run the code by clicking on a link on the site – disguised as something they would usually click on like “download your statement”.

These popular websites often have SSL certificates, therefore data sent from them is encrypted, and your firewall would let this malicious data packet into your business networks!

Start Improving Your Cyber Security Today

We’ve put together an easy to read, easily understandable guide with lots of tips on cyber security – download yours here:

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Download Example Security Policy Template


Mit Patel

About Mit Patel

Mit - Managing Director. In 2002, Mit founded Netstar. He has helped grow Netstar to become an indispensable partner to some of London’s finest businesses, including well known names in the Financial Services industry. Mit works across all aspects of the business including strategic planning and key account management. Mit is focused on ensuring the delivery of a high quality service, and providing strategic value to help our customers overcome their business challenges.

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