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Your Company Really DOES Need a Firewall – And Here’s Why

Let’s face it. Most business is done online, or with a HUGE online component.

Cloud storage, search, email, social media, and social selling (#linkedin) all play a big role in even the most face-to-face businesses.

And for that connection to be secure, companies must implement a number of security measures to protect their assets and data.

A firewall is an indispensable part of any business network security.

What IS a Firewall?

A firewall is a network security system situated between a company’s internal network and an external network such as the internet. It can be either a software program, a physical hardware device or cloud based. 

The primary role of a firewall is to monitor, filter, and control incoming and outgoing network traffic.

Based on previously defined security rules and policies, it can either permit or block that traffic.

This creates a safety barrier against hackers and malicious traffic.

Firewall rules can be based on:

Firewalls emerged in the early days of the internet. They offer a critical layer of defense in cybersecurity and are recommended as a standard practice to protect your business network.

Different Types of Firewalls

Firewalls are either categorized by their general structure or by their method of operation. They can be divided into eight types:

2 Costly Things Businesses Get Wrong about Firewalls

Your business is not “too small” for a cyberattack. So it’s not too small for a firewall.

One of the common misconceptions that business owners and managers have is that only large companies and financial corporations need firewalls to protect their networks. Statistics, however, reveal a different reality. 

78% of cyber-attack victims are SMALL businesses. It’s obvious that no company is “too small” to be a target for cybercriminals. Sadly, 60% of those small businesses don’t survive a cyberattack.

So yes, a firewall is a must-have for every business that has a network, regardless of the size of the company.

My business is all backed up in the “cloud”, so I don’t need more security

Urban-city

Another misconception is that cloud-based businesses don’t need a firewall. That’s actually a huge mistake because cloud security is not enough on its own.

Even though the cloud can protect hosted environments and documents from unapproved access, it won’t protect the existing network infrastructure and devices when accessing the internet.

This means that any exchanged data between the servers and those devices could be intercepted by cyberattacks. Hence a firewall is still a necessity to secure the business infrastructure. 

What makes firewalls so important to your network security?

Securing remote workers

With remote work becoming the new norm, remote employees need to securely connect to the company’s internal network. 77% of companies said they deployed firewalls as top security controls to secure remote work. This reflects the importance of firewalls in securing external workers’ access to a company’s network. And in preventing users on shared and insecure internet connections from disrupting that network.

No one wants data loss and leakage

Insider threats, viruses, and damaging malware, unintentional or negligent data exposure, cyberattacks, etc, can all cause data loss or leakage. By inspecting all outbound traffic for sensitive data and inbound traffic for attacks, any malicious or sensitive data that’s identified is automatically blocked or masked by the firewall.

Enhancing cybersecurity

Firewalls are the first line of defense against cyber threats. If not properly secured, a business network would be left at the mercy of hackers and ransomware viruses. In many cases, it only takes one attack to bring a business to its knees. In a data-driven world, having a strong firewall in place is an effective way to detect and block spam, viruses, worms, or other kinds of harmful Internet traffic. Firewalls can also identify and log attempts of intrusion and other violations to business policies.

Blocking access to unapproved websites

The internet is full of distracting and unsafe websites. Some of these websites might contain viruses or malware that could infect the company’s network, other websites can drain employees' productivity. Firewall settings can be programmed to control outbound traffic by blocking unsafe and non-work websites that employees shouldn’t be squandering their work time on, like social media platforms or explicit content.

Meeting compliance requirements

There are some industry regulations like PCI or HIPAA that require organizations to have a firewall so they can adhere to guidelines and standards governing digital use. Especially in sectors like law, healthcare, or finance. Companies usually turn to a managed services provider to help them understand how they can install and configure their firewalls so they stay compliant.

Firewalls are Important and YOUR Business should have one!

Firewalls are not just a “nice-to-have”, they’re actually vital to network security for large and small companies alike.

By monitoring inbound and outbound traffic and ensuring its legitimate, firewalls add a solid layer of protection to the business systems against malicious users and programs.

Firewalls gain their security power from the predefined rules. To remain effective, those rules must be constantly maintained and updated. They should also be tailored to the organization’s security requirements and level of threat. 

That’s why that maintenance is one of the 5 Reasons to Use a Managed IT Service too.

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