If you haven’t updated your firewall in the last few years, chances are you’re putting your business at risk. In today’s computing environments, firewalls block certain data from transitioning from one part of a network to another. This is particularly important when it comes to isolating the internet from a local area network, since traffic on the open internet is often malicious. In homes and small businesses, the router has some level of firewall functionality. In more elaborate deployments, the firewall can be a separate device, or even a software-based system that’s part of a virtual networking environment. When using our Technical Services and Solutions we’ll help you pick the highest quality firewall, set it up with ease, and ensure it has all the necessary security features so you can stay protected. If you are a small business owner or manager who uses a firewall either as a part of a router or standalone firewall device, here are the 7 questions you should be asking yourself:
- IS YOUR EQUIPMENT OUTDATED?
How long has it been since you’ve replaced your firewall? If it’s more than three or four years, you’re flirting with potential disaster and should highly consider replacing. Cyberattacks are incredibly profitable, which means that cybercriminals are investing in and developing techniques to crack security. Old firewalls can’t handle the sorts of attacks we’re seeing today because they’re not fast enough and don’t have the latest defense features. The cost of replacement will be a tiny fraction of the cost of what will eventually hit you if you don’t.
2. HAVE YOU UPDATED YOUR FIREWALL SOFTWARE RECENTLY?
Updating your firewall software is as important as updating your operating system software. Many attacks use older exploits so every time you update, you prevent the newest waves of attacks. If you haven’t checked and updated your firewall or router in the last few months, stop right now and go do it. Updates are crucial to preventing attacks, and if your firewall is older and no longer under support, you are probably not getting those crucial updates.
3. HAVE YOU BACKED UP YOUR FIREWALL CONFIGURATION RECENTLY?
If your firewall glitches and you have to reset it, it’s much easier to restore a configuration backup than to set everything up again. It’s usually a 5-10 minute process. Once again, go do it now.
4. HAVE YOU INCREASED BROADBAND SPEED?
We’re now in a highly video-centric world so that means that upload bandwidth is as important as download bandwidth. You might have more than one video connection happening simultaneously and in order to handle it, increase your broadband bandwidth. If you’ve increased your network use, it’s probably time to upgrade the firewall or router.
5. DOES YOUR FIREWALL INSPECT LARGE FILES AND ZIP/COMPRESSED FILES?
Your firewall should be able to examine all data coming into your network, whether encrypted or compressed or not. It needs to be able to look inside the packets to make sure nothing malicious is coming into your network. Not all routers or firewalls do this, but they should. If your current firewall or router can’t protect you adequately, get a new one.
6. HAVE YOU ADDED MORE PEOPLE? ARE PEOPLE WORKING REMOTELY?
Business routers/firewalls installed prior to the pandemic were probably not intended to support workers connecting into the office remotely. This has caused all the traffic that used to flow around your internal LAN to now be blended with internet traffic. That’s a lot more work for a firewall to manage. Likewise, if you’ve increased your network-using workforce, that’s a lot more load on the firewall. It’s entirely possible that old firewalls will bottleneck or fail so it might be time for an upgrade.
7. ARE ALL YOUR FIREWALL SECURITY FEATURES ENABLED?
Firewalls and routers ship with a lot of capabilities, but they’re not all turned on at the factory. That’s often because they need to be configured to manage a given network. If you haven’t turned on all the security features available, you’re leaving yourself and your company vulnerable. Spend a few minutes logging into your firewall and auditing your security features.