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How A SWARM Report Can Help with Your Cybersecurity Plan

By:Christine Fettinger

If you want to prevent cyber threat surprises and make more informed cybersecurity decisions, you need to know everything that comes – or is trying to come – through your network. SonicWall’s SWARM report does exactly that. It accurately identifies real-time intrusions, exploits, and other network-based threats that target specific areas of your network or infrastructure.

A SWARM report (SonicWall Application Risk Management Report) is an assessment of your cybersecurity that helps you to identify any real-time vulnerabilities and network threats. Each report is given a Security Index score. This score is based on your current network activity and any network threats that have been identified by SonicWall’s next-generation firewalls. The report is intended to prevent any further cyberthreat surprises.

A SWARM report allows your organization to:

  • Understand the multitude of threats you face so you can prevent security surprises
  • Identify security gaps and be prepared for more emerging threats
  • Make better-informed security investments and decisions
  • Have visibility into application and user traffic, which includes top applications, users, and URL categories plus session counts
  • See an accurate analysis of your current network activity with the threat index score

This no cost program doesn’t disrupt network traffic and gives you a detailed report that will help you map out your own cybersecurity plan

The SWARM report gives you a complete snapshot in time of threats that have been identified by SonicWall’s next-generation firewalls. Armed with this report, you will know when and where the bad guys are trying to get in, then you can work on stopping them in their tracks.

Creating A Breach-Proof Cybersecurity Plan for Any Business

Cybersecurity is obviously no joke, and no matter the size of your business or how many employees you have, it is a vital part of today’s business. Everyone in your organization needs to be up to date on how to spot a cyber threat and what to do about it.

There are some fundamental things that you should be doing to help protect your business from cyber threats. As hackers find new and innovative ways to come at your data, you need to be a few steps ahead of them. Let’s discuss a few areas in which you can “seal the breach” from hackers:

  • Use up-to-date anti-virus software and firewalls

This an area where the SWARM report can really help. It will tell you where the hole is so that you can work on getting it plugged before a would-be hacker gets in. You should be checking for updates periodically and installing them automatically. Cyber criminals will happily exploit any unsecured system for a one-time breach or even an ongoing theft.

  • Establish company policies for handling and storing sensitive data

Not every person in your organization needs to have access to sensitive data. Restrict who has access and make sure they are changing their passwords every ninety days at least, if not more often. Also, don’t keep more data on a client than you need, and don’t hold it any longer than you have to. The less data you have on hand, the less you lose during a breach. While SonicWall’s SWARM report is designed to aid in making sure that you don’t need to worry about this, you should still make it a priority. Even with the best cybersecurity available you should still remain vigilant and on top of data security.

  • Establish guidelines for companywide computer use

Your employees should not be using company computers or devices for use with family or for personal use. This prevents them from inadvertently sending out sensitive data. This goes the other way too. Employees should not be allowed to use their own personal devices to download business data. This should include items such as thumb drives, tablets and phones.

  • Institute a mobile device policy

Set up a protocol so that employees may access data from a secure location on their phone, but without having to download the data. Enable access codes, encryption and remote wipe software on all company devices, then keep a log of all issued and approved devices and who they went to.


  • Stay up-to-date on software patches

Make sure you are installing every hardware and software update to your system. This keeps hackers from being able to take advantage of vulnerabilities. Be sure that these updates take place across the board. Have every computer in your organization update and make sure it gets done to avoid any breaches.

  • Use passwords

Use the built-in password functions of the laptops and other devices. Don’t allow employees to store passwords on their work computers or devices. A combination of letters, numbers and symbols make for stronger passwords. Passwords should be changed at least every three months.

  • Encrypt sensitive files

You want to keep out unsavory types and those meddling hackers, so encrypting your files is a must. This way, even if they get ahold of your data, they can’t view it or alter it. Encrypting data that is being sent over the internet or to the cloud for storage is also recommended. Then, even if the data or files get intercepted mid-stream, they are still unable to be read or changed.

  • Dispose of old files and devices properly

Simply deleting a file on your hard drive does not mean that it is gone forever. Deleting only tells the hard drive that the space if freed up and can be used. The data can still be retrieved. The only way to ensure that hackers or anyone else can get at the deleted files is to destroy the physical drive. When you upgrade equipment, such as computers, remember to destroy the old drives. But computers aren’t the only drives that you should worry about. The copier has a hard drive as well. Think about what else in the office might have data on it and secure it.

  • Educate your staff on social engineering attacks

Social engineering attacks trick people into giving up sensitive information usually by posing as someone within the company or a vendor. Educate your staff on what to look for and how to protect themselves and the company from these malicious attacks. Phishing is one of these social engineering attacks that disguise a virus within the email. Once the attachment is opened, the virus goes to work attacking data and sending information back to the hacker. Make sure your employees are questioning anything that seems odd or out of place.

  • Back up your files

Keep copies of your data separate from your original files. Whether online in the cloud or offline at separate site from the original, always backup your data. It is best to have it backed up on the cloud and offline in another location. This way, if you are hacked or data gets lost, you will have a much better idea of what is missing and be able to get it back.

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your important data is to know what the threats are before they happen and how to stop them. With the SonicWall SWARM report you will have the knowledge of every attempt on your system and where in the network it is targeting. This is a powerful tool that can make your cybersecurity plan a lot more bulletproof.