ControlScan Wraps Small Biz Websites in Layered Security

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted January 30, 2015

ControlScan, a provider of payment card industry (PCI) compliance products, has branched out into comprehensive security for small and midsized businesses (SMB).

The Atlanta-based company built a reputation for securing the devices and networks that handle credit card information for small businesses, Jyothish Varma, senior director of security product strategy for ControlScan, said in an interview with Small Business Computing. Credit card fraud is only one of the many security threats facing small businesses today. Threats like distributed denial of service attacks (DDos).

During the holidays, Microsoft and Sony suffered the effects of DDoS attacks. In short, they can bring business to a grinding halt.

What is DDoS? And Why Should I Care?

DDoS, as this Webopedia entry on the topic explains, is a type of denial-of-service "attack where multiple compromised systems—which are usually infected with a Trojan—are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack."

Hundreds, if not thousands, of these infected systems are then instructed to send bogus traffic to a website or online service, hogging bandwidth and overwhelming a target's Web servers—the virtual equivalent of filling a tea cup with a fire hose. And also a good reason to use safe email and Web-browsing practices and to make sure that your company computers' malware protection is up to snuff.

Aside from inconveniencing users of their respective online gaming networks, Microsoft and Sony bounced back, business as usual. If a smaller firm's online store is hit, the results can be much more damaging. Small businesses that depend on their ecommerce systems "cannot afford to be down for even an hour," said Varma.

Securing Small Business Websites

His company's answer is ControlScan Web Security Services. Offered in partnership with Web security firm Incapsula, the suite of managed services comprises an advanced firewall, unified threat management (UTM) solution and content distribution network similar to what bigger enterprises use, but at prices small businesses can afford.

Instead of costly dedicated solutions, which can be a challenge to deploy, integrate and manage, ControlScan provides "layered security at a price point that is very palatable to [small business customers]."

ControlScan Web Security Services combats malicious sources of website traffic by including:

  • A PCI-certified Web application firewall that analyzes the traffic and blocks unwanted site visitors and Internet bot
  • Automated applications tasked with disrupting a Web service
  • Technologies that prevent downtime by staving off the flood of traffic produced by DDoS attacks
  • Global content distribution network (CDN) promotes high availability and improved site performance for both site operators and end-users by serving up content from multiple locations

A layered approach to security is often the best, reiterated Varma. "A firewall [alone] is not going to protect your Web application," he said. A host of other vulnerabilities and threats can leave websites susceptible to attack, including SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS), he warned. In 2013, "35 percent of breaches were Web application attacks," said Varma, citing data Verizon's 2014 Breach Report.

These features combine to provide small businesses with enterprise-grade Web protection without additional systems on-site, plus peace of mind knowing that security professionals are managing and monitoring the environment. "You are not required to deploy any appliance on your premises," Varma said. All that is required is a "simple DNS change" and all traffic flows through the solution. "You're essentially getting a clean pipe," he said.

ControlScan Web Security Services are available now. Prices start at $59 per month.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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