In the world of digital business, there’s no safety in being small when it comes to threats online. Whether your business is a Fortune 500 company or a small professional office, your company needs a firewall.
Not having a firewall is a lot like not having home security system. No one thinks they’re going to be the ones who face a home invasion, but home invasions happen all the time. But a lot of people think the expense is too high, so even though they think a security system is a great thing to have, they pass on it.
However, the percentage of people who HAVE experienced a home invasion who use a security system afterwards is MUCH higher. Once you realize how much it costs you to NOT be protected, the monthly fee seems much smaller. They realize the benefit of being proactive rather than reactive.
And whether it’s a home or a business, don’t you want your biggest investment protected?
Exactly What Is A Firewall?
Simply put, a firewall is a “first line of defense” between your network and the rest of the internet. A firewall is a software that enforces a set of rules that help decide what data packets (which we talked about previously) are allowed to enter or leave a computer network.
A firewall’s main job is to protect your business by filtering traffic and lower the risk that any malicious packets will be able to impact the network it is protecting.
A firewall not only protects your business from outside threats, but it also prevents risks posed by internal operations like employees visiting unsecured websites, downloading malware unknowingly, etc.
There are two types of firewalls, software and hardware firewalls.
- Software Firewalls – Software firewalls are common for home computers and individual devices. Software firewalls are programs that are installed on your PC, tablet, or phone. They offer a greater flexibility in what is blocked on a device by device basis, and they are very effective at blocking website content.
- Hardware Firewalls – Hardware firewalls are physical network devices that plug into a network that are meant to protect the entire network. They work by protecting all of the devices on a network at the same time and limiting the kind of data that can come into and out of the network.
Does My Business Need A Firewall?
In short, yes. Every business needs a firewall. But why? Here are a few important reasons:
- Protect Against Cyberattacks And Unwanted Intruders – Cybercrime is always a concern for businesses. And according to a recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures, cyberattack rates are climbing faster than any other crime and will cost the global economy $6 trillion annually by 2021.
- Regulate Employee Activity / Boost Employee Productivity – Firewalls provide heightened control of employee activity by limiting access to certain files on the server for lower level employees, blocking features or functions of certain websites, or even blacklisting the whole site.
- Control Network Bandwidth – A firewall can do more than just provide security. You can also use a firewall to ensure high speeds on prioritized activities. For example, you can limit the network bandwidth allowed for things like streaming non-work-related activities like videos, music, and images, which reserves the bandwidth for higher priority business related traffic.
- Meet Compliance Requirements – Regulations such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR and Sarbanes Oxley have strict and technical compliance requirements, and they are constantly evolving as well. A good firewall can ensure your company meets these legal requirements, avoiding heavy penalties.
- Monitor Network Activity – Another great use of a firewall is to monitor network activity to know when potential threats are taking place and where they come from.
Considering the projected cost of cyber attacks soon reach $6 trillion, the cost of a firewall is more than worth it based on security alone. But having a firewall is about more than just security. They also help with bandwidth and employee productivity, and ultimately can increase profitability.
ANC can help with installing and configuring your firewall to ensure that your network is protected, efficient, and poises your business for growth.