You’re probably aware that firewalls are an important element of any internet security strategy, but how much do you really know about firewalls? While it’s true that firewalls can be used to protect personal information, they can also be used to protect your business from attacks launched from the outside world. It’s this latter use that many businesses fail to take advantage of, which can put them at unnecessary risk. Here are four ways in which firewall security can benefit your business.
Knowing the Perils of Running a Small Business
When it comes to protecting your business from harm, a firewall is often overlooked. But what exactly is a firewall and why does it matter for small businesses? A firewall creates a protective barrier between your computers and other connected devices on one side and your internet connection on the other, protecting against unauthorized access and malicious software (known as malware). This can be done through hardware solutions or through software solutions. However, for small businesses that rely heavily on their internet connection—such as home-based business operations or retail businesses with an online presence—firewall security is critical.
What is Firewall Protection?
No matter how careful you are with network security, you can never guarantee your IT systems will be safe. Hackers are getting smarter every day and they’re finding more and more ways to infiltrate your business networks. That’s why firewall protection is so important. A good firewall will help keep out outside threats and ensure that people on your internal network remain safe from harm as well. All organizations have critical data that needs to be protected.
The Need for Internet Security in a Connected World
Are your company’s assets, sensitive data and intellectual property safe on a network that’s not protected by an effective cyber security solution? If you don’t have a firewall in place, your business could be facing costly consequences. Every year there are thousands of reported cybersecurity incidents. The data is readily available online from government agencies, trade groups and even independent research firms. They tell us that nearly 1 billion cyber attacks occur each day across the globe—and most of those attacks target small businesses like yours. With such large numbers of attacks occurring on a daily basis,
it’s not surprising that four out of five businesses have been victims of some type of cyber-attack within the last year alone.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing a Firewall
The first thing to do is consider what your budget is. While some firewall solutions are free and even open source, many come with a price tag. You’ll also want to make sure you find one that fits your business needs. For example, if you’re running a small business and only have computers on-site for employees, then you won’t need as robust protection as if you were running an enterprise-level network or connecting clients’ computers directly to your network. Additionally, take into account how important security is to your company’s image or operations before selecting a firewall product.
Things to consider when choosing a firewall
There are many factors to consider when choosing a firewall solution. However, three major components should be high on your list: network protocol support, performance, and management. Here’s what you need to know about each of these components: Network Protocol Support : Depending on how your business is set up, you might have physical and virtual servers that are running Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems. If you do use those operating systems (and most businesses do), then make sure that any firewall solution you choose supports them natively. You’ll also want to ensure that any firewalls you’re considering work well with open source applications like Apache and MySQL/MariaDB if your business uses those as well.
How to install and maintain your business firewall
Having a business firewall is great, but it’s absolutely useless if you don’t keep it up to date. Make sure you take time to do regular maintenance, update your software and have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. You should also learn how to install and maintain your own firewall (many companies actually require employees to know how); often times all that’s needed is some googling, some reading, and a little elbow grease.
If you’re not using firewalls, then you need to get on board. If you are using firewalls but they are not configured correctly, then you should invest in a complete redesign of your firewall. At that point, it becomes a matter of how long your business can survive without advanced firewall security. In today’s world of hacking and viruses and other online threats, do you really want to take chances with your network security? Don’t be foolish: protect yourself with secure firewalls.