Cybersecurity threats are evolving in complexity, frequency, and vector. Current projections indicate that cybercrime will cost $10.5 trillion by 2025 globally. Security professionals respond daily to data breaches, phishing, theft, and brute force attacks.
An increase in cyber security threats and incidents cause private individuals, governments, and businesses to embrace innovative measures, tools, practices, and protocols to mitigate cyberattacks. Luckily, proxy servers are a practical way for individuals and organizations to enhance cybersecurity. Even so, how effective are proxy servers in cybersecurity?
What Are Proxy Servers and Why Are They Important for Cybersecurity?
Proxy servers are virtual or physical computers separating end-user traffic from the internet. Typical proxy servers mask IP addresses and prevent tracking by forwarding results between you and web servers. A proxy server offers various security and privacy functions and features, including:
- Data filtering and firewall.
- Connection sharing.
- Data caching.
- Performance improvements.
- Anonymous access.
But why are proxy servers important for cybersecurity? Cybercrime encompasses a range of illegal activities that impact businesses negatively. According to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) report, more than 790,000 complaints of suspected cybercrime occurred in the United States in 2020, resulting in losses totaling more than $4.2 billion.
Notable cybercrimes include email phishing, investment fraud, ransomware attacks, and identity theft. The report indicates that global cybercrime losses increased to $1 trillion from $945 billion in 2018. Cybersecurity experts expect these losses and incidents to grow in the years to come.
These statistics highlight the significance of cybercrime as a global cybersecurity issue. Assuming a cyber attack occurs, it can cause an individual to lose sensitive personal data or incur massive financial damages. With proxy servers, individuals and organizations can protect themselves against cyber attacks and threats.
Why Should You Use a Proxy Server for Cybersecurity?
There are numerous reasons for using proxy servers in your organization. Perhaps you want to bypass geographical restrictions, encrypt sensitive data, or remain anonymous online. Regardless, proxy servers are potent tools for any cybersecurity strategy. Read on to learn what they do for the cause.
- Prevent Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are a common cyber threat. Every day, you receive emails from organizations you trust. Cybercriminals can exploit email security loopholes to collect sensitive personal data, impersonate individuals/organizations, or distribute malware. For example, email-originated data breaches, identity theft, and extortion scams accounted for approximately $6.9 billion in 2021 in the US alone.
Businesses and individuals may install proxy servers to mitigate cyber threats and attacks. Deploying proxy email servers increases an organization's overall security and privacy. A proxy server also allows you to block certain email addresses or websites known to have unsafe web content. This way, you reduce your organization's susceptibility to hacking, ransomware, or malware attacks.
- Thwart Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
DDoS attacks are the most common cybersecurity incidents. Attackers typically flood a web server with numerous requests causing it to shut down. Responding to DDoS threats requires businesses to use a content delivery network.
CDNs are distributed proxy servers that mirror web content and services in different locations. This approach limits the scope, severity, and intensity of DDoS attacks. For instance, reverse proxies cache frequently visited web pages for faster retrieval upon request. In practice, proxies allow you to provide and access geofenced content without exposing your entire network resources to potential security threats.
- Present a Positive Brand Image
Businesses today incur massive losses from counterfeiting through identity theft. This cybercrime involves illegally acquiring sensitive personal or financial data to commit fraud online. Given the varieties of identity theft today, the security and privacy of mission-critical resources can increase your organization's brand image.
Fortunately, proxy servers facilitate the effective monitoring and management of web traffic. They accomplish this functionality by geo-restricting networked resources. Proxy providers offer a range of IP addresses for accessing hosted content, business data, and network resources based on location. Thus, integrating proxies in your organization increases its business information system's resilience, privacy, and security.
- Prevent Data Breaches
Data breaches can result in losing confidential, protected, and sensitive information. Whether accidental or intentional, cybercriminals can use leaked information for nefarious ends. For example, hackers may sell personal health data, login credentials, credit card numbers, and bank account details. Other adverse outcomes of data breaches include the loss of a brand's image and a tarnished reputation.
Besides, a data breach can expose your business to hefty fines, class action suits, or other legal consequences. So, incorporate proxies to identify, block, or disable website phishing sites.
- Increase the Privacy and Security of Online Transactions
Proxy servers offer numerous security and privacy benefits. You can set up your proxy server to encrypt online searches and transactions. Doing so reduces the likelihood of malicious individuals hacking or monitoring your network traffic. For instance, you can configure proxy servers to block access to malware-distributing websites.
Additionally, businesses can employ a VPN in conjunction with proxy servers to ensure that remote users access company resources securely. Proxy servers are critical for user access monitoring. You also gain important insights on threat vectors, actors, resource use, and incident response capabilities.
Individuals and organizations alike use proxy servers to browse the internet more privately. Typical proxies mask their users' IP addresses to prevent the leaking of personal information over the internet. This measure increases the privacy and security of online transactions by denying destination servers the ability to track client web requests. As a result, your organization enjoys secure and risk-free access to internal and external resources.
Proxy servers are an additional security layer against cyberattacks and threats online or offline. Despite the sophistication and rapid evolution of cyber threats, various proxies are available for shoring up the security of organizational computing resources. Most importantly, an effective cybersecurity strategy leverages proxies to enhance an individual's and company's security and privacy.
Data center proxies are renowned for their speed, integrity, high uptime, and unparalleled performance. So, consider incorporating a reverse or transparent proxy to protect critical network resources and the web. Make it a point to contract a trustworthy vendor, and remember that bad players exist in every field.