Firewalls have become commonplace in equipment such as wireless routers and even Windows 10. They’re an important protection that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic looking for anything suspicious.
You can think of a firewall as a ring of security guards outside a big event, they’re there to keep an eye on traffic flow and make sure no one gets in that doesn’t belong there.
They do the same thing for your business network and devices. Firewalls keep out dangerous threats, like malware and bot attacks, while also giving you the ability to control how your network is used.
If you’re a home user, then the firewall that comes free with your internet service or with your home’s wireless router, should be fine for you because it’s designed for residential use.
But, if you’re a business, even one that is run out of your home, then a consumer-grade firewall is not going to give you the type of data security protection you need to ensure your network isn’t hacked and your data stolen.
43% of data breaches target small business networks.
When you’re hit with the cost of a data breach is when you realize the importance of using cybersecurity systems that were designed for businesses. As many as 83% of small and medium-sized companies lack the funds to bounce back from a cyberattack.
Since a firewall is a network’s first line of defense, it’s important to get one that’s built for business if you’re protecting a business network.
What Do Business Firewalls Have that Consumer Ones Don’t?
A Hyundai and a Cadillac are both cars, but there is a big difference between how they’re build and the features they offer. Likewise, there are big differences between consumer-grade and business-grade firewalls.
While they both may be called a “firewall” they have very different features and level of protection.
Consumer-grade firewalls tend to be very basic and may only have a couple of different settings, such as the ability to allow a specific program through the firewall and a notification setting.
Business firewalls are much more advanced, and they’re designed to handle the higher traffic numbers that company networks typically see.
Here are some of the features you’ll find in a business-grade firewall.
Detection of Unusual Behaviors with AI
Business-grade firewalls include advanced technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning that allow them to detect unusual behaviors in network traffic that may be from a virus that’s so new, it hasn’t been catalogued in any threat databases yet.
Today’s threats need advanced systems to keep them from infecting your network and devices and to get those, you typically need a firewall designed for businesses.
Web filtering helps keep your users from landing on dangerous websites that automatically download malware on to computers or that might have a spoofed login page designed to steal username/password combinations.
Business firewalls include web filtering both to increase your online security and to allow you to block any sites that aren’t productive, and that your employees don’t need access to while they’re working. You don’t get this type of web site control with most consumer-grade routers.
Hackers will often use vulnerabilities in specific applications to gain access to your network and the data it protects. Having control over which applications are allowed to run a process or not helps defend against these types of threats.
Additionally, when you have one specific application using up all the bandwidth on your office network, it can be frustrating for other users having to deal with lag time and slow upload or download.
A firewall designed for business use includes application management controls that give you administrative functions at the application level and allow you to block or limit bandwidth usage, and set up black lists and white lists.
Unified Threat Management
A UTM firewall combines several types of network security into a single platform, making administration easier and giving your business the type of protection it needs to prevent data breaches.
Features you’ll see for additional security in business-grade firewalls include:
Sandboxing to keep out new “zero-day” malware and viruses
Deep memory packet inspection in real time
Mobile network access control
VPN for Remote User Access
When you have users accessing your network from multiple locations, it can cause a security problem especially if they’re on a public Wi-Fi or unsecured network.
Using a business-grade firewall gives you the ability to implement a virtual private network (VPN) for those logging in remotely, which basically gives them an encrypted tunnel that will protect data going between their device and your network, no matter what type of Wi-Fi they’re connected to.
Network Traffic Reporting
Business-grade firewalls are designed to give you the types of reports you need to keep an eye on your traffic, understand how your network is used, and receive alerts should anything look suspicious.
Reporting is important because it gives you full visibility into what’s going on with your incoming and outgoing network traffic and allows you to spot patterns and make adjustments as needed for efficiency.
Is Your Firewall Properly Protecting Your Business Network?
If you’re unsure whether or not you have the network protection you need, Pro Tech Guy can take a look at your current firewall and its settings and make suggestions that will increase your cybersecurity and keep you protected.
Contact us today for an IT security consultation. Call 508-364-8189 or reach us online.