When it comes to ample cybersecurity for your small or medium size business, a firewall is at the top of the list of essential solutions. It’s one of the most basic and crucial forms of cybersecurity, which is why choosing the right one for your business is so important.
In short, a firewall is a piece of software, hardware, or a combination of the two, that is used to regulate the traffic to and from your system. In a nutshell, firewalls keep out unauthorized traffic so that they do not have access to your company’s sensitive information. It’s the first line of defense for your business — make sure you’re building a tall brick wall rather than a flimsy, chain-link fence!
Consumer-grade vs. business grade firewalls
If you’re a small business, or even a lean start-up that is trying to pinch every penny possible, then it might seem like good sense to shop around online, or at brick-and-mortar stores, to find a firewall to install at your office.
Not only are consumer-grade firewalls easy for just about anyone to install, but they also come with a cheaper price tag. Many people assume that all firewalls are equal, but the unfortunate reality is that you are leaving your business woefully vulnerable when you install an out-of-the-box, consumer-grade firewall.
Firewalls that are specifically designed for businesses are much more sophisticated than consumer firewalls and they provide a more effective layer of security. From detecting application-specific attacks to blocking traffic based on geographical location, business-grade firewalls are going to keep you better protected from the barrage of attacks you will no doubt face during your time in business.
Firewalls must be tailored to your company’s needs
Another very common misconception among business owners is that firewalls are a one-size-fits-all security solution. Some might think that there is a magic, generic firewall that will provide them with the proper protection.
In reality, different businesses need very different characteristics out of their firewall. That’s why it’s so important to take a hard look at the needs of your business — preferably under the guide of a qualified IT professional, who can ask you the right questions — in order to ensure you have all the necessary features.
New, advanced firewalls provide greater visibly and control. You can better monitor end users that are using your network and make applications accessible to some (those who need it) and not others. This was never possible with port-based firewalls
What about remote workers? Are you like many businesses around the country that have staff members who work from home or remotely? You need a firewall that is able to provide them safe, reliable and secure access to the network.
And, yes, cost can play a factor in your decision, but it should not be the driving factor.
Connect with an IT professional and discuss firewalls
A firewall is a very important investment in your company’s cybersecurity. Make sure it is a wise one by taking your time and working with trusted professionals who can tailor an effective firewall to protect your company.