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Cybersecurity

Uncovering the Cybersecurity Cornerstone, The Firewall

WRITTEN BY
Mark Rodholm

The Necessity of Firewalls for Cybersecurity

With all the buzz today around terms like cybersecurity, hackers, malware, and viruses, it seemed appropriate to address the cornerstone of a business (and in some cases) a home network. This cornerstone is the firewall. As with any technology, the firewall has evolved over the years. Many businesses have not recognized this evolution and are still plugging away with older less-secure technology. A firewall is your primary defense against the culprits trying to disrupt your operation, corrupt or even steal your data, in an attempt for financial gain. By now, we have all heard the issues that large corporations like TJ Maxx and Home Depot have had. Are you also vulnerable? Let’s take a quick look at the firewall today to see where you stack up.

4 Basic Types of Firewall

Today’s firewalls are offered in 4 basic deliverables: software, hardware, cloud, and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS). Software is generally thought of as the least secure; as data enters your network through your router and switch(es), it is then scanned for malware and viruses after it touches your drives. Hardware firewalls are the most common, and the majority of what we recommend. They reside behind your router, scanning every packet of data from the internet acting as a security guard against anything that wants to get to your network drives. Third, there is the emergence of Cloud-based firewalls which combine on-site hardware with software interfaces, that allow you (or your MSP remotely) to manage these processes. Cloud-based firewalls are widely considered to be the most secure but are more involved and are generally managed by those with certifications in the security field. Finally, FWaaS takes the cloud concept and delivers this without an appliance. Due to an increasingly mobile workforce, this is rapidly becoming a more popular option. A single firewall, additional performance efficiencies, and fewer user issues are just a few of the advantages to FWaaS.

Importance of Threat Management

Regardless of the solution, we often find that many businesses we consult with have outdated firewalls with no threat management strategy or any current support contract for someone to keep their network’s protection up to date. Could this be you? Here’s a good way to think about it- I can put a deadbolt on your door, build a secure wall, or give you armed guards outside this secure wall to keep most criminals out; but ultimately, it is up to you who you let in. Your true protection is to stay current on your threat management technology and your threat management procedures. As one of our partners, Fortinet explains, “Firewalls provide high performance, consolidated advanced security and granular visibility for broad protection across the entire digital attack surface. Enterprise firewalls reduce complexity and improve overall security posture by providing full visibility into users, devices, applications, and threats on the network, with the ability to apply advanced threat protection anywhere in the network.”

Cybercriminals are escalating their attacks and continually expanding their efforts, requiring more effective and advanced ways to deliver threat protection. Are you prepared? Is your firewall current? Do you have a plan? Do you consistently train your staff on what to look for, and what not to ‘click’ on? Enterprise firewalls are increasingly processing larger volumes of encrypted data requests that need to be inspected and remediated immediately and automatically where threats are discovered.

Firewalls are one of the best types of network security businesses can utilize. Verticomm's experts can help you identify which types of firewall are most suitable for your business's security needs. Reach out to one of our experts to find out how Verticomm can maximize your network security, today!

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