A firewall is your first line of defence against online threats, and it’s an important feature of any cybersecurity strategy. As a business owner, you need to be aware of the damage that cyberattacks can have against your business and ensure the right measures are in place to stop them. Firewalls are a useful tool for preventing unauthorized access to your network and protecting your company’s data.
In the modern world, the threat of cybercriminals has become increasingly important for businesses to look out for. Malware attacks such as viruses and ransomware can lead to compromised, stolen or destroyed data, costing businesses around the world millions of dollars in lost work and lawsuits. The threat of malware is on the rise, and although many businesses make use of antivirus systems, these are often not enough.
The first step in securing your business against online threats is ensuring that you have good network security and a solid firewall. In this guide, you’ll be able to find out more about what a firewall is and how to use it for your business. You’ll also learn what is a firewall as a service, including the ways businesses can benefit from it.
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What is a Firewall?
Firewalls are a tool designed to safeguard a computer from hackers, malware, and viruses. They work by monitoring data entering the network or computer and ensuring that nothing unwanted or harmful gets through. Basic computer firewalls are integrated into the security settings of most computer operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, and are a crucial element of most genuine security software.
However, simply having a firewall in operation doesn’t mean that the computer is fully protected. A basic default firewall is often insufficient to protect against sophisticated attacks. As a result, networks and computers that are more at risk of an attack, such as those used by businesses, often need a more sophisticated firewall.
These security measures are either classed as software firewalls or hardware firewalls, each of which offers its advantages. Out of convenience, most small businesses opt for software firewalls. This form of firewall is installed directly on computers and protects only the computer they are installed on. They’re easy to install and configure and will often come included with antivirus software. However, they don’t necessarily provide the same level of protection as a hardware firewall, which is a physical device that can limit access to multiple devices on a single network.
Although they’re designed to shut out unauthorized access, poorly maintained firewalls can lead to problems. A firewall that isn’t set up correctly can block useful programs, leading to workflow problems and often resulting in the firewall being shut off by the user. This can present a security risk, which is why it’s so important to properly configure the firewall.
Why Should Businesses Use a Firewall?
There are multiple benefits for a business using a firewall, including:
Cybercriminals hack into networks to steal or corrupt data, which can be devasting for a business, no matter its size. Any unauthorized access to system files could result in the disclosure of private client information, the loss of critical data, and the compromise of other security features.
For most small firms, the penalties of a security breach are too much to bear. A large percentage of businesses that experience a cyberattack fail within six months, around 60% in total. On top of losing valuable files for work, companies can be fined for breaching data protection laws when suffering a network breach.
Any company with a managed firewall is better protected against these issues. A firewall can alert business owners to an attempted security breach while preventing access if an unauthorized user tries to access the network remotely. This will allow the business to respond to the threat and keep the company’s network secure.
Although firewalls aren’t antivirus applications, they do help to protect against malware and viruses by blocking access to unknown applications. The firewall functions as a first line of defence against viruses by identifying and preventing any network threats. Companies should use both firewalls and antivirus software to achieve total coverage and complete protection.
Malware works through a type of software that is downloaded and installed onto a device. Malware attacks usually happen as a result of clicking on links or downloading unknown files or programs. Once on the system, the software will be able to execute unauthorized action on the network. A good firewall should be able to prevent this, stopping the malware from performing any actions as it hasn’t been verified as safe.
Lastly, firewalls help prevent access to certain content online. Aside from focusing on traffic coming into the business network, they can monitor and restrict access to certain websites. Many businesses will use firewalls to block access to websites and applications that may result in a loss of productivity, helping staff remain focused.
On top of improving productivity, this can also help to prevent access to sites where malware links are common. Social media sites are often one of the main sources of malware, as people often click on links without checking if they’re sent by a friend. Hackers take advantage of this by gaining access to people’s accounts and using them to spread malware. By restricting access to these sites, a business can also improve its cybersecurity.
Firewall As a Service
Firewall as a service (FWaaS) is an innovative cloud firewall that provides next-level protection to businesses. The FWaaS works by offering extensive Layer 7/next-generation firewall (NGFW) capabilities, including access controls such as URL filtering, advanced threat prevention, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and DNS security.
Organizations can use FWaaS to get rid of firewall equipment and simplify their IT structure. Change control, patch management, coordinating outage windows, and policy management difficulties associated with NGFW appliances are eliminated. This is thanks to centralized management from a single console, which allows companies to implement consistent security policies across a network.
Companies can set up and use FWaaS to move cybersecurity either entirely or partly onto the cloud. The firewall is managed by the cloud provider, which will also maintain the hardware infrastructure used to maintain the company’s network security. Depending on the subscription. Many businesses require a service-based firewall because it allows them to scale up and down without worrying about providing additional hardware.