Firewalls can protect users against attacks from compromised websites that they might genuinely need from work, through intrusion prevention. Even government websites and the New York Times have been compromised by hackers! Sometimes there isn’t much that can be done to stop an attack, since no security solution can be 100% due to the reality of zero-day attacks (brand new security attacks that no one has ever seen before), but the overwhelming majority of network security attacks can be stopped if a company is vigilant and invests in a network security solution. Considering the average cost of a data breach is over $5 million dollars according to research by the Ponemon institute, preventing an attack is in the best interest of any company.
The most important thing to remember with a firewall solution is that for any company that accepts credit cards needs to have a firewall in place, period. It is a requirement to not only have a firewall in place, but also to have one that has been properly configured to protect customers from an attack. This means that setting up the firewall with default login rules is a great way to flush that investment away because not changing the factory settings means that you didn’t properly configure the device! Also, note that a firewall isn’t the only required element to be compliant, but it is a very important piece of the puzzle. There are other regulatory agencies that may require a firewall to be in place to protect sensitive data, so be sure to check with your industry to see if you need a firewall to adhere to existing regulations.
Firewalls are a key part of network security because they are able to update faster than traditional antivirus solutions (though having traditional antivirus isn’t a bad idea as well!) and can protect multiple pieces of IT infrastructure at once – it isn’t uncommon to protect multiple servers or even an entire office setting with a single firewall. Having a firewall with deep packet inspection in place (where all traffic is fully scanned and decrypted) is important to keep out attackers that might slip past other solutions that you might put in place; it does negatively impact latency, but the additional security is going to be worth it for just about every industry. Of course, the traditional benefits of firewall solutions aren’t the only ones, and for many organizations the add-on services might even be more important. Content Filtering allows employees to manage and block types of websites that can be blocked off to reduce distraction in the workplace. This can also lock off inappropriate content and websites that have no place in the website or business. Application Control services enable administrators to block off or restrict access to applications that might be undesired, such as messengers or bit torrent applications.
So what should you know before getting a firewall? A good first question is what, if anything, do you have in place today? Many firewall vendors offer competitive promotions to displace older security hardware, so if you have any type of older firewall in place today, you can mention that to your sales team so that they offer you the upgrade SKU, which usually includes discounted subscription services such as content filtering and application control. When it comes to actually scoping the firewall for your organization, it is good to know the number of users that will be on your network at any given point in time; using an entry level firewall to handle a load of 1000+ users is going to effectively DDoS your own system, so be sure to let us know just how many users you expect on a peak day, not an average day.
Vault Networks has multiple relationships with key vendors in the network security space, such as Fortinet and Dell, and can procure firewalls to secure your IT infrastructure in our data center. This applies to colocation services, dedicated private cloud, as well as our vnCloud servers. To learn more about how firewalls can protect your business, reach out to us by calling (305) 735-8098 option 2 or by emailing email@example.com.