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Strongbox Security

Dallas company has a lock on security tips.

Companies are finding out the hard way that network security is about more than just protecting yourself against hackers. Corporate e-mail liability and other internal vulnerabilities can cost businesses dearly. We recently spoke with Strongbox Security CEO Marc Mattox about the company’s automated network security solution, and why every business should think seriously about network security.

Tell us about Strongbox Security.

Strongbox Security was founded in 2001 after I realized a market and legal need that almost all of the existing network security companies were not focused on. Even with a defense-in-depth strategy, very few security companies were addressing customer vulnerabilities on their internal machines, where the most important information resides. I started asking the question, “How would a company really know if it was being exploited by malicious employees or attackers that found a way to circumvent perimeter defenses?” The answer I came up with was that they wouldn’t know unless a solution to vigilantly probe for internal network vulnerabilities on a regular basis was in place on their internal LANs.

In response to this dilemma, we designed a solution that produces easy-to-read reports that are essentially recommendations built into each software module to specifically describe, step-by-step, how system administrators should secure their specific associated vulnerabilities and bring their machines into compliance with the network security policies of their company. With our service, IT departments no longer have to spend their day researching security-related vulnerabilities or patches; we provide a “hacker’s-eye view” for them along with tools that single out suspicious computers that could be leaking valuable information.

How important is network security in any business?

Security, now more than ever, is very important, but it will never drive revenue unless you’re a company like Strongbox. What security it will provide though, is revenue protection. What many executives don’t realize is that if they don’t take sufficient measures to protect and minimize the risk to the company’s data, legally the corporate veil can be pierced and the executive could be personally liable for breaches. This holds true for even small business owners who are unaware of the online security risks.

Is maintaining strong network security more or less difficult for small businesses?

It should be easier if the business owners understand the risks of connecting to the Internet, but the problem is that very few of these business are aware of these security risks. Small-business owners and employees just don’t have the time or the resources to purchase expensive corporate firewalls or antivirus software and continually monitor their network, while keeping up with the latest developments. Even most network administrators who are employed by small businesses don’t understand the ramifications of not having proper network security measures in place and are too busy to take the time to understand. Outsourcing allows the small business to focus on its core business while leaving the network security to the experts.

Does it make sense for all businesses to outsource to a network security firm such as Strongbox, regardless of its size?

Size is not a factor, but resources are. I believe some sort of outsourcing is the only alternative for effective network security. Many companies are afraid to give away this control for lack of trust, but once this issue can be overcome, outsourcing can have a tremendous upside. Companies need things like intrusion detection, vigilant round-the-clock network monitoring, and continuous risk assessments–all of these security measures require highly skilled people. To avoid the expense associated with hiring and retaining network security professionals, companies will at some point need to outsource or bring in a solution like Strongbox that helps existing IT staffs secure their networks.

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