What’s a firewall and does my business need it?

written by Michael Anderson posted on October 2, 2018
Firewall
“Block that score! Block that score! Zero yards, zero yards, not one more!” – old football cheer

Just like a football team’s defense attempts to prevent the offence from scoring a touchdown, a firewall attempts to protect your network from unauthorized attempts to access your system, including hackers, viruses, and malicious code.

A firewall can be hardware, software or both. A firewall is part of the network that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic, determines whether to block or allow traffic based on predetermined rules, and acts as your organization’s first line of defense in securing and controlling internal networks.

Does your organization need a firewall? If it allows access to the internet and has multiple users on your network, the answer is most assuredly “yes.” Most of your devices’ operating systems (phones, computers, tablets) come with a basic built-in firewall. For best results, however, you should also incorporate a dedicated firewall application into your business.

A firewall:

  1. Keeps malicious software and viruses out of your network to prevent data breaches.
  2. Provides security when customers enter their personal information on your organization’s website.
  3. Keeps your organization in compliance with legal requirements.
  4. Blocks messages linking to unwanted and unsuitable content.
  5. Hides and protects your internal network addresses.
  6. Sets rules to block employees from accessing websites for reasons of productivity and cybersecurity.

A good firewall application will:

  1. Carry out predetermined security rules.
  2. Monitor incoming and outgoing traffic.
  3. Report threats and activity.
  4. Block outside attacker threats (hackers, viruses, and Trojan horses).

In the past, firewalls may have been responsible for slowing down a network, but today’s firewalls operate without affecting your network’s performance.

Even after you incorporate an organizational firewall, you still need to manage it correctly and incorporate complementary measures – including VPNs, SSL/TLS encryption, strong passwords, and employee training – to ensure you have the best possible data protection and network security.

If you have questions about your organization’s existing firewall or security, or want to incorporate firewall security into your organization, contact Michael Anderson at michael@365tech.ca. We are always happy to answer your questions.

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