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Is it time to review your firewall security?

Posted 26 Apr, 2019

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Firewalls have always been an essential tool in the fight against cyber criminals. But many businesses, faced with complex firewall choices, have stuck with the same solutions for too long.

The increasing focus on data security means that ignorance is no longer an option; your network security could make or break your business, and that means it’s crucial to review it. When was the last time you checked that your firewall was still fit for purpose?

Why you need a firewall

Firewalls have long been essential in the fight against cybercrime, and different grades of firewall have been available to both home and business users. As more of us work online, the firewall has gained importance as the gatekeeper that distinguishes business traffic from harmful hacks and abnormal requests.

The case for a firewall is even more pronounced since GDPR came into effect. Now, the theft of personal data could result in huge fines and potentially devastating negative PR for a business. Even the smallest company isn’t safe; hackers are specifically looking to break into companies that are less prepared for an attack.

So every business, no matter what its size, must consider it a priority to have effective firewalls in place. But not all firewalls are made equal and getting the right firewall protection is a case of picking something affordable and effective.

Understanding firewalls

There are three main types of firewalls in business, scaling up from the more basic to the most advanced.

On-Premise

As the name suggests, an on-premise firewall is located in-house and acts as a local firewall for a single site. On-premise firewalls can be suitable in very specific cases where cost is a concern, or where there is no need for a complex firewall that requires extensive set-up time or management.

Hosted Virtual

Hosted virtual firewalls are an economical but flexible solution for businesses with multiple sites. Sometimes, a multi-site business may not exert huge demands on its internet connection but could still be vulnerable to attack due to the way the offices communicate. If your business has outgrown its on-premise firewall, a hosted virtual firewall is the next step.

The price of a hosted virtual firewall can be scaled according to demand, with tier 3 customers typically requiring more resources than those at tier 1. Virtual firewalls provide the flexibility for bursts in performance, without the requirement for a dedicated unit.

To ensure ongoing reliability, both our hosted and dedicated firewalls work in pairs. With two firewalls operating from two different locations, the business isn’t going to be left vulnerable if one of them was to go offline.

Hosted Dedicated

Hosted dedicated firewalls offer the same flexibility and inter-site functionality as a virtual firewall, but with dedicated capacity for a single business. These firewalls are ideal for medium to large businesses that have a noticeable increase in firewall traffic at peak periods. Being in control means that capacity doesn’t have to be shared.

Dedicated firewalls have multiple service tiers, much like virtual firewalls, so the capacity of the firewall to be tailored according to business size and budget. As standard, these firewalls operate in pairs, exactly like our hosted virtual firewalls.

Keep one step ahead

As your business grows, and the grip of laws and regulations tighten, it’s inevitable that security practices will require regular reviews to stay one step ahead of the curve. The continual evolution of regulations like the GDPR have created uncertainty in business and -very likely – put all companies at an increased risk of non-compliance unless they keep pushing forward.

Once a data break or a hack has occurred, the genie can’t be put back in the bottle. The only way to protect your business is to make absolutely sure that your network is secure. That way, it can’t happen in the first place.