The biggest mistake you could do is, to not protect yourself from hacking attempts with cybersecurity tools. 

Do you find yourself unprotected for cybercriminals in 2020? 

If you’re tired of that endless brainstorm that takes choosing a new cybersecurity tool… Then today’s guide is exactly what you need.

Of course, there are hundreds (or even thousands) of them, and each serves a specific purpose. Let’s classify them considering performance, ease-of-use, and price. 

Top 7 Network Firewalls & Security Monitoring tools

Network firewalls are the front-guard of your business. They maintain the control of who accesses your online assets, keeping intruders out.

Let’s see what are the Best 7 Network Firewall & Security Monitoring tools.

Fortinet 

Sketchy websites, malware downloads, and encrypted data are the main threats that this always-updated hardware excels at blocking. 

Its AI-enabled software technology doesn’t stop checking for threats from the network’s active users… It recognizes the most advanced malware, even if it hasn’t encountered it before. 

Cisco Meraki MX

Cisco’s brand line of products enjoys a great reputation. Do you know why? Their premium, comprehensive solutions feel “enterprise-level” even when they’re not.

As a small business owner, you can test it out by choosing the entry-level option (MX64 cloud-based management, with content filtering, malware protection, and VPN configuration). This one is capable of handling 50 clients simultaneously.

SonicWall

Are you a small business owner that offers online services? Here’s where the versatile SonicWall enters the podium.

You can benefit from its high-performance machine learning system. Just set-it up fast with the “zero-touch deployment” feature, and start handling larger data demands.

Firewalla

Early startups and home businesses don’t have many options to choose from… Fortunately enough, Firewalla fits this role perfectly.

Both plans offered are better than the market’s average, differentiated through 2 solutions:

1) Red model (budget-friendly with lower speed) and 2) Blue model (Higher data passthrough demand).

2020 has introduced plans for larger companies… But overall, they all feature threat alerts, ad blocking, built-in VPN, among other bundled. 

OPNSense

Their hardware is powered with the free, open-source firewall solution (features most benefits previous major vendors/developers offer).

From weekly security updates to semi-annual releases, and learning documentation to start right away… OPNSense is well-suited for the smallest and largest organizations.

Splunk

Quickly conducts real-time security audits and keeps your network monitored 24/7 through historical searches data. 

Security experts use Splunk’s user-friendly interface to capture, index, and collect data… It then generates reports, alerts, and all types of graphs on its dashboard.

Nagios

Does your company need to monitor connected hosts and all systems in real-time?

This tool will notification every security problem that may present on the SMTP, NNTP, ICMP, POP3, and HTTP!

Top 5 Antivirus Software

Picking the best antivirus software for Windows means finding one that keeps your PC safe, with ease, without taking a lot of your system’s resources, at a great monetary cost.

Here’s what to look for.

Norton

According to PassMark’s ranking, Norton is one of the most lightweight antivirus solutions (if we compare it with other premium-quality vendors). 

With its smart firewall and browsing protection included, you can enjoy PC maintenance that boosts its performance and backs up at least 2GB of online storage… All, without losing custom control over the configuration elements of your PC. 

McAfee

This solid antivirus software has aged outstandingly well, going from old to a modern solution. 

McAfee Total Protection is capable of handling five devices at the same time out of malware infections – AV-Test approves it with a high score on performance & protection. 

Malwarebytes

If your devices aren’t yet infected, Malwarebytes offers both real-time malware detection and protection. If it’s, it can perfectly clean them up, right away.

It doesn’t even matter what device you’re using (Windows, Mac, or Android)… Its endpoint, multi-layered technology does the work that others don’t. 

Bitdefender

Also known as Bitdefender Total Security, you can be sure that this worthy adversary will keep you away from most online threats. 

Why? It provides social network protection, privacy firewall, and vulnerability assessment… Besides 24/7 support and other anti-theft/fraud features.

Microsoft Defender

Built into Windows and turned on by default… You can rest with peace of mind now (at least, knowing that it covers the basics).

Fortunately for us, they update it with high-frequency and are flexible enough to let us control what to block and what to not. Although this might become a double-edged sword.

Top 5 Anti-Phishing Tools

Are you afraid of phishing attempts that could take everything from you? 

Cybercriminals are expert liars and know how to disguise themselves correctly with this method…

The following will solve that problem, keeping away email cyber criminals with up-to-date databases.

Mimecast

Some ask for email security and others for cyber resilience. Multiple solutions are integrated into 1 single solution. This is one of the best options for spam detection as well.

It repels all types of known targeted attacks. Blocks risky websites to avoid infecting users with malicious code activity. Last, but not least… It secures any email and their files within. 

Moduscloud

Enterprise-level companies have their own cloud-based/SaaS offer focused on their needs… 

Meaning, it doesn’t require hardware or update installation! 

Sign up online now if you want to enjoy domain-level email protection and inbox backup (for server outages). 

Of course, all personalized attacks and domain spoofing intents will be out of luck with the essential anti-phishing layers of protection.

Ethical Phishing

Instead of getting your systems and devices infected… Or watching over your employees…

Run targeted phishing campaigns through the analysis of links and attachments that your employees might click on. 

The experts have also made available a phone call, SMS, and personal encountering alternatives.

Google’s Phishing Protection

Cybercriminals are quite smart and will try to take advantage of any resource online that distinguishes itself as legit. 

Google’s Phishing Protection is capable of detecting and classifying these online threats… And with your help (report), it adds the URL up to Google’s blacklist. 

Over 4 Billion users have secured their computer and mobile devices with the centralized Cloud Security Command Center. 

Office 365 Anti-Phishing

No-one’s safe from phishing scams… But Microsoft users are at least well-protected with the Office 365 Advanced Protection (Anti-phishing feature).

The spoof intelligence, EOP policies, Email authentication, and attack simulator… They all will help protect your organization from upcoming phishing attempts.

Top 5 Encryption Tools 

Do you still believe that malware is the only threat capable of stealing your banking credentials? Think again.

In the meantime, there are hundreds of methods used to steal your username and password (and other dozens are being created right).

Don’t take too much time to decide using the following encryption tools.

It’s now or never.

Tor

Famous for appearing on controversial “dark web” headlines… The Tor browser resulted in more useful than what urban legend presumes.

In the first place, this Encryption tool is one to consider for achieving real online anonymity.

Besides that, it is capable of encrypting your footprints out of web servers, thanks to system routes requests. 

KeePass

This simple, but extremely useful identity/password manager will make your life easier.

Get rid of that journal where you keep all your login credentials and add them into one platform. It’s protected with a master key, and then allows the copy and paste of username and password (to avoid keylogging predators). 

John the Ripper

Is your password safe enough? Well, you can know the answer after a quick test with this tool. 

Identify what makes a password secure, and design yours quickly following parameters that experts advise. 

Enhance password security with complex variables as ciphers and hash-type passwords. 

Folder Lock

You can either encrypt or straight lock files at your will. What does that mean?

It offers an extra privacy layer that previously mentioned programs don’t… By hiding everything from the device and OS.

It works like this: Add password + An invisibility cloak to your confidential files and folders.  

SolarWinds Bare Metal 

Encryption is quite a paradoxical process: people prefer doing so rather than deleting files because they might need them for later… But then, you find out how vulnerable they truly are when decrypting them back. 

The Bare Metal tool takes this into account, by locking down those already decrypted files. Only having access after passing the extra authentication.

Top 5 Web Vulnerability Scanners

One of the best actions you can take regarding cybersecurity is to regularly scan your systems… On the search for vulnerabilities. 

Analysts recommend you to scan your web quarterly after the first one. 

Especially, if any change is applied… All the following web vulnerability scanners are capable of detecting missing patches, outdated protocols, and certificates.

Nmap

This free, open-source tool scan networks and IT system with one goal in mind: identifying security vulnerabilities currently existing on your website. 

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. 

It also maps out future potential attacks and secures an extensive defense approach for the networks, types of firewalls, packet filters, and running OS. 

Nikto

The best cybersecurity experts make use of this tool because of how much threat information has stored on its database (over 6400 different types). 

Can you imagine how safe you would be if you could compare data of all of them, and compare them with the results of your site’s vulnerability scan?

Of course, they cover servers and networks too, and it’s being improved/updated all the time by its developers. 

Nexpose

You can start using this convenient tool to identify and minimize all possible weak points of your online infrastructure.

Of course, what’s better than having real-time, live exposure to everything that happens on your network?

This one registers the most recent threats into one huge database… And allows to identify them by their severity levels.

Burp Suite

Community, Enterprise, and Professional plans are all you need to determine what compromising threats might be around your network security.

They all vary in price, but most can handle the most essential part of it: Vulnerability management. 

Of course, the Free one (Community) is aimed at small businesses.

But the Enterprise and Professional services are perfect for mid to large organizations. 

Nessus Professional

While all the previous 3 searches for vulnerabilities… This is mostly used to fix them.

It manages the right way all those incorrect settings configuration, OS misconfigurations, wrong patches, and bugs.

Its Free version lets you scan 16 different IPs, but the Pro one is where the fun starts.

Both admins and security staff can access a long list of security plugins, or develop their own (open source) to expand their network/computer scanning. 

Top 5 Penetration Testing Software

You already saw which tools are used to scan known vulnerabilities… 

But now we’ll talk about those that actively seek to exploit weaknesses in the same system. 

This could show more insecurities than you have ever thought of.

And although it requires a bit more expertise to execute Penetration Testing… It doesn’t need to be executed with much frequency, and its reports are concise and to-the-point (attack/exploit method description, the value of exploited data, and overall recommendations).

Good news: all the following makes it easy for you and your IT team. 

Metasploit

This outstanding set of tools lets your team carry on with different penetration testing practices. 

Security experts tend to use it to evaluate the entire IT infrastructure for later strengthening by testing different security systems: online-based/web-based applications, networks, and servers. 

Indusface WAS

You can go for the manual Penetration testing approach… Or use their web application for an automated scan of links, malware, and other top elements that may host vulnerabilities. 

Its new-age crawler is capable of scanning single-page applications now, or pause it and resume for later.

Enjoy 24×7 support to discuss guidelines and test the unlimited Proof of Concept requests (to eliminate false positives) with no Credit Card requirement in between!

WireShark

Unlike others, this data packet analyzer can take live information from Token Rings, Frame Relays, Bluetooth, SSL/TLS, WEP, and the rest of Ethernet-based connections.

If any threat or vulnerability as SQL injection attacks or memory buffer overflows happen… Its results will show up on the easy-to-understand report.

Your team and clients will appreciate that. 

Intruder

Built by a team of experienced security professionals… Intruder makes enterprise-level scanning possible and accessible to all pockets.

Besides, it takes the hassle out of the process, by focusing on what truly matters (scan for the latest vulnerabilities)… In an efficient manner (over 9,000+ security checks available). 

Kali Linux

As you might guess for its name, this toolkit includes over 300 site-securing techniques that perfectly audits Linux servers as well… 

This was designed for all levels of security expertise. So you don’t need to be an IT professional to operate the penetration tests.

Besides, their active community and extensive database of threats and exploits are unique.

Top 5 Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) Software 

What happens when a hacker has already entered into your system?

Two different situations might occur:
1) The hacker takes valuable, private information out of your network…

2) Or your Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) deactivates compromised devices, so no information is transferred. 

I guess, if this happened to you, you would choose the situation (2) without much thinking.

Let’s see what are the EDR tools that major companies must have in 2020…

SentinelOne Active EDR

When you look for a new EDR tool, you take into consideration that it’s easy to use and that it shows threats on the network in a responsive style. 

But even more, you need fast detection and execution. 

Compared to other EDR options, this one doesn’t hold data on the cloud and waits for human response. Instead, the decision-making algorithm researches and calms the threat down. After then, a contextual incident report is produced for human review

Old-time solutions have failed so many times in the intent of providing enough protection. This is why someone had to improve with the use of AI and Machine learning.

Top-tier hackers want more than just data. This is why it’s essential to have a system that detects unknown threats, and automatically proceeds to block them off.

In the end… Such an advanced process would have to be complex. But the cloud-based WebUI proves the opposite. Easy to set-up and manage… The configuration process is comparatively shorter than the others.

CB Defense

Is there an EDR tool that studies enterprise networks and devices, even when they’re offline? Here it is. 

Only a system like this one can predict threats when they show little to no signs… Rapidly tracking the source of the problem, and all the potentially affected endpoints. 

And if there’s not enough time, you can ban specific computers or apps inside the network, to recover advantage. Of course, they have added a built-in antivirus to enforce malware defense. 

Crowdstrike’s Falconinsight 

Imagine you have a tool that monitors network activity all 365 days of the year.

Now, imagine that the same stores the activity data of what happens in real-time… And lets you search/review specific events with a powerful search administrator. 

If this appears to be the SaaS solution your company needs, think now that it can even save you that search time. Because it flags threats automatically and suggests quick solutions to shut down intruders. 

Webroot

Cybercriminals make it extremely hard for Security teams to stop threats (they use different techs, throughout different stages, over multiple targets).

But something had to exist to keep users, businesses, and all devices threat-free.

Only layered multi-vector protection as what Webroot’s offer can analyze files, apps, email, ads, web browsers, and its URLs, so smoothly and efficiently.

Being cloud-based, installation and management is minimalist. Besides, it allows an up-to-date execution throughout several machines, with different customer profiles, without affecting the computer’s performance. 

Top 5 Network Intrusion Detection Tools 

Even when both Network Firewall and NIPS (Network Intrusion Prevention Systems) sound quite similar… They are not.

All the tools we’re going to mention now have one main purpose: to analyze the content of network packets… And finally, take action if it detects malicious signs on them.

Being said, we are going to study different alternatives used by IPS and IDS to detect threats. Some of them use signature-based detection… And others, anomaly-based detection.

All of them are effective.

Snort

Focused on open-source networks, this tool is used to analyze all traffic passing around to capture possible intrusion attempts

In the first place, it takes a comparison from other attack profiles recorded on the database.

Then, it alerts and prevents/blocks anything identified as “evil”.

What I like the most about it, is that it is compatible with all OS and hardware. Besides, it’s capable of analyzing even the most unique threats from networks (CGI, Fingerprinting, Stealth port, and similar attacks).

Acunetix

Social Engineering and internal threats/implemented firewalls are among the resources hackers use with most frequency.

But even so, organizations tend to fall loose on the security of web-based apps (shopping carts, online forms, login pages)… So this is where this unique initiative shapes its form.

It crawls system architectures on the search of a thousand of different conventional and non-conventional threats. If something is found, it tests its effectiveness before the event.

Forcepoint

SD-Wans tend to be configured by Network security admins to restrict access to exploiting intruders to resource contents. 

But when this is not enough, with a proper tool like this one… They can rapidly detect uncommon activities inside the network. Only that way, it gets easier to act. 

Cloud users can enjoy functions such as cloud server blocking/warning, and higher levels of access for critical data. 

GFI LanGuard

There are a few tools capable of scanning vulnerabilities, applying patches, and continuously monitoring networks (all-in-one). 

All of that combined with its power of identifying additional vulnerabilities from devices connected to a network (Computers with Windows, macOS, Linux, and smartphones). 

Musubu

This is how overall network security looks like.   With its enhanced set of data points, you can differentiate if a threat comes from the broad original core or an internal subnet.

Only the open-source detection engines of musubu could provide such detailed business intelligence (threat score, classification, location information, and less false positives). 

Summary

There’s a time in your company’s lifetime when you have to focus on its cybersecurity.

And because there are so many different aspects to cover up at the same time (that not even your IT team can take care of completely)…

Solutions (Hardware & Software) are offered in the market.

And they keep existing today because they WORK.

So, we took the time to research… So you don’t have to.

The same applies to the resolution of problems:

We can handle IT support and all business security measures you can think of.