No matter how large or small your business is, you’re just as much of a target for online threats and cyberattacks. In fact, small businesses are typically targeted often00 because many hackers find they have less security protecting their network than larger enterprise companies.
43% of cyberattacks target small businesses and some of the most dangerous types of attacks involve ransomware which is designed to make your files unusable. The hacker then demands of ransom of several thousands of dollars to return your files. Many organizations that don’t have proper backup and data recovery end up having to pay.
We’re talking about the online threats out there for small businesses to help illustrate the point that firewalls are not just for larger companies. They come in all sizes and can be vital to the security of a smaller company.
What is a Firewall, Exactly?
Most people have a general idea of what a firewall is but aren’t sure about the specifics. A firewall is like a security perimeter around your office network. It can be in the form of hardware, software, or both.
A firewall monitors all traffic in and out of your network and stands guard against unauthorized connections and malicious scripts trying to make their way in.
For example, if an unknown computer or program is trying to gain access to your network, a firewall will stop it until given instructions to let it in. A firewall helps keep your network and all the computers and other devices connected to it safeguarded from online threats.
Here’s Why It’s Important to Have a Firewall
If you’re worried about a firewall making it more difficult to access the programs you need, it’s easy to configure them in minutes to know which applications to trust and which not to, so they don’t interfere with your day-to-day computing needs.
Here are the security advantages of using a firewall to protect your office devices.
Prevents Unauthorized Access
Having a firewall is like having a bouncer at your club. It’s always watching for and blocking unauthorized entry. Firewalls monitor incoming requests based upon IP address and can be trained to identify spammers and threats and automatically block them to keep your network and users protected.
Blocks Phishing Emails
Phishing is the #1 threat when it comes to data breaches and they deliver all types of malware, viruses, and other dangerous code. Firewalls can identify messages that have links to malicious content and keep them from getting into your employees’ inboxes.
Block Inappropriate Websites
You can block unproductive websites, such as social media, or sites with illicit content so they’re not accessible from within your office. This not only keeps your users safe from “drive by download” sites, but also helps keep them more productive during the workday.
Keeps Your Website from Getting Hacked
Downtime for your website may cause your customers to think you’ve gone out of business. Too often companies host their website on their server without putting in the proper protections to keep it from being hacked or infected with malware.
A firewall on your web server can keep your website protected from intrusions and mitigate the chance of unwanted downtime.
Verifying Remote Connections
Today’s businesses often incorporate remote workers to expand their talent pool and reduce costs. That means remote connections into your network, and without a firewall that knows who is allowed in and who’s not, you could end up letting in the wrong kind of traffic that launches a bot attack or infects your network with ransomware.
Firewalls are an active participant in your company’s data security. They monitor traffic, both incoming and outgoing, 24/7 and can alert you to any threats or unusual activity.
Most business owners or their staff don’t have time to be constantly monitoring network traffic logs. A firewall does that for you and will alert you to any unusual increases in traffic from a specific IP address or anything else out of the ordinary so you’re always aware of any potential threats to your network safety.
Monitor Bandwidth Use
Another useful feature of firewalls is the ability to monitor bandwidth use. Is there a spike in non-business video watching that’s using tons of bandwidth? You can control and prioritize bandwidth to ensure it’s being used for business traffic and not being sapped away by non-business activities.
Provide a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Many firewalls have the ability to offer site-to-site security connectivity through VPN services. This allows mobile users to securely access your network safely, even if they’re on a public Wi-Fi connection.
Find the Firewall that Fits Your Business Best
Wondering what type of firewall will fit your technology and budget best? Two River Computer can show you all your options and help you find one that makes the most sense for your needs.
Don’t leave your network unprotected! Contact us today to learn more at 732-747-0020 or online.