network firewall

Firewalls: The Gate Keeper of your Network

You probably keep hearing that you need to get a better firewall for your business? However, you might not fully grasp what a firewall is or the benefits it has on your company’s infrastructure.

I like to call firewalls the gate keeper of your network – in short, it encompasses all sorts of things like:

  • First line of defense against outside attackers.
  • Prevents your computers from connecting directly to the internet.
  • Stops employees from browsing non-work related websites.

But on a deeper level, it routes traffic from outside sources to computers and servers on your network.

When you travel or work remotely, a firewall that is configured correctly is what allows you to access your data while away at the office (VPN, or external facing sites your company has).

The firewall is, in my opinion, the most important piece of equipment your company will invest in.

A cheap firewall lacks the features to protect your company’s data and devices. However, I don’t usually recommend the most expensive firewall for our clients.

You have to find the middle ground for what you are trying to accomplish vs. cost. A few brands that are always at the top of my list are SonicWALL, Cyberoam, and Cisco.

The biggest key feature for IT professionals in general is the threat management system and how a firewall detects and mitigates those threats.

Did you know that BP fights off 50,000 cyber-attacks a day?

I recently had a conversation with the CEO of an Energy Investment company that stated, “We are small, no one is going to want our data and even if they did what would they do with it.”

While this response is very common amongst small and medium sized businesses – cyber criminals don’t really want your data. They get affirmation from hacking into your network and can then control your computers to help them gain access to other networks.

Even if the data is sensitive, the firewall could be the matter of allowing your customer data to be leaked or not. It’s a small insurance policy for your company to invest in.

In today’s connected world, it’s not if you are going to be attacked by cyber criminals but when.

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