Network Security 101: How Firewalls Protect Your Business from Web-Based Threats
Welcome back to the third and final instalment of Network Security 101, a mini-series that covers the fundamentals of cybersecurity for your business.
Here’s what we’ve covered so far:
- An introduction to cybersecurity, reveals the shocking truth about how vulnerable small businesses are to cyber-attack.
- Cybersecurity basics explains the various types of cyber threats and how they work.
- 5 things SMEs should be doing explores practical steps that are easy to implement which every business should have in place to enhance IT security.
This post breaks down everything you need to know about the first –and, arguably the most critical– step any business can take towards threat prevention, managed firewalls.
On-Premises Managed Firewalls: Integrated, Multi-Layered Cyber-Security
What is a Firewall?
A firewall is a network security system that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic, allowing or blocking specific traffic based on predefined security rules.
We say system because a firewall can be software or hardware, but a combination of the two is optimal.
Most descriptions say that a firewall acts as a shield or a barrier, which is correct as it prevents unauthorised access to or from a private network. However, to do so, it has to monitor and “screen” each packet of data to determine if it may pass or not. So firewalls also act as a central point of entry and exit for network traffic.
Good reasons why we zero in on managed firewalls specifically:
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”, as soon as a device connects to the Internet it is vulnerable to cyber-attack. Firewalls mitigate IT Security risks from the onset preventing intrusion as well as the spread of harmful malware on your network.
2. More than antivirus.
While antivirus software is undoubtedly an essential component of your IT security, it’s not enough as a standalone solution. Antivirus protects against unwanted programmes. Firewalls inspect all the data moving on your network with the ability to detect and block undesired traffic. That means it can block intrusions and leaks!
As we have mentioned, firewalls enforce a predetermined set of rules to allow traffic in and out of your network. More than just blocking potentially harmful traffic, your firewall can also be configured to deny access to specified websites, such as online shopping on your company network. It acts as an extension of your security policy adds an extra layer of protection against user negligence or even deliberate attempts at circumvention.
4. Cost savings.
Most small businesses shy away from adequate online protection because they think they need several programmes or have to employ a full-time in-house resource to maintain them. Managed firewalls solutions like ours include monitoring, testing, and patching (with no need for special system requirements or additional hardware) for one convenient, affordable monthly fee.
Truth be told, the costs of not only rectifying a breach but losing valuable customers and reputational damage far outweigh any fee charged for robust protection against attack in the first place.
In A Nutshell, Convenience.
The beauty of a managed firewall solution is that it’s affordable, all-in-one, and requires no more resources than an Internet connection to get your business protected against a wide array of web-threats.
The system is constantly working to enforce your security policy, protecting your business from:
With managed firewalls, your provider is responsible for the set-up and maintenance of your firewall system as well as providing on-going support. You can continue business as usual without draining valuable resources or burdening your budget.
BitCo’s On-Premises Managed Firewall products and services go beyond perimeter protection; providing a new Web and Unified Threat Management (UTM) security feature that combines best-of-breed technologies.