Thanks to the global reach of the internet, threats to your environment can come from all over the world. By implementing a security measure known as Geo -IP filtering, you can significantly reduce the risk of successful cyber-attacks. Geo-IP filtering works by blocking connections to your network based on the geographic location where the connection request is originating. That location is determined thanks to the information that an IP address provides.
This form of IP filtering will trace an address back to its country of origin and can block the IP from connecting if it resides in “high-risk” countries. If your business does not typically interact with Nigerian or Russian entities, blocking these countries can passively stop the large number of attacks that originate from these locations. While the list of “worst offenders” is dynamic, the major contributors typically remain in the top 10.
The majority of spam emails often originate from countries on this list. Spam is global issue and most countries do little, if not nothing to prevent spammers from setting up shop. They become sanctuaries for these criminals and allow them to continue their illicit activities. Therefore, businesses need to take measures in their own hands and start blocking known IPs from problem countries.
The technology required to block IPs and spam by geography is now widely available. It may even be included in your current firewall’s security offering. Next-Gen firewalls can not only block entire countries but have the ability to granularly allow or deny IP addresses to ensure legitimate communication is allowed on your network. This aligns with a common IT practice, the rule of least privilege. It is better to allow changes on a as needed basis to prevent unintended access instead of allowing all connections on the off chance you need to communicate with a server in China once a year.
Geo-IP filtering works on outbound traffic as well. For example, India has the largest botnet concentration in the world. Preventing end users from inadvertently or intentionally connecting to IPs based in this country can limit the risk of attack due to human interaction or error.
We are all aware that cybercrime and criminal traffic is on the rise. The other side of that coin is that we know where most of it comes from. Armed with this knowledge and the right tools, malicious traffic can be blocked before it has a chance to penetrate your network or inbox. Geo-Ip filtering is not the definitive solution, but when paired with other security measures your network will gain a significant layer of protection. Do you know if you are blocking foreign IPs? If you want to learn how a Next-Gen firewall can protect your business give us a call or head over to the contact us page and let us know!