Cyber attacks are on the rise worldwide, making it more critical than ever for your business protection to have a strong, highly effective firewall in place.
While it’s a positive thing that makes it much easier to perform many tasks and business functions and helps millions of businesses thrive, it also opens up the risk of data breaches and data theft.
Let’s take a closer look at what a firewall is, what it does, and the powerful benefits it offers your business cyber defences.
What is a Firewall?
Firewalls monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic by creating a barrier between your private network and the public internet.
It’s a virtual structure, comprised of either hardware, software, or both, that can prevent the spread of your private data to hackers, scammers, and other criminals.
Firewalls prevent malicious actors by blocking unauthorized access attempts to your system.
Hardware Firewall: is a piece of equipment installed between your network and gateway that blocks threats before they have a chance to enter your network.
Software Firewall: is a program installed internally onto each device that inspects network traffic that makes it through the hardware firewall acting as a second line of defense against cyberattacks.
Business firewalls prioritize security, remote access, and scalability to best protect you from threats.
When up and running, a firewall inspects all of the millions of bits of data flowing in and out of your business’s network. If it finds something illegitimate, malicious, or otherwise malignant, it stops it from entering.
What are the Advantages of Having a Firewall?
1. Provides Protection Against Hackers
There’s a hacking epidemic going on in our world today and it’s causing severe problems for businesses around the world.
When you and your employees are home sleeping, they’re attacking your network, breaking in, and causing havoc, some of which you might not even know about until it’s too late.
Hackers, however, find it very difficult to break through a firewall because it’s so powerful.
A hacker or scammer who comes upon a firewall will simply stop trying and move on in many cases. Whether they do or don’t, though, your data and network will be much better protected than if there was no firewall in place.
That’s why most computer experts consider firewalls a network’s first line of defense against anyone with criminal intent.
Like hackers and scammers, firewalls work 24/7, blocking anyone who tries to get in illegally.
2. Protect Your Network, Your Data, & Your Employees Aganist Malicious Code
Computer code is incredible, allowing networks, businesses, and people to communicate around the globe.
All computer networks run on code and this comes with some large problems.
First, it can bring unwanted ‘junk’ into your network, gumming up your servers and wasting resources.
Second, criminals can use code to enter into your network and then use more code to hide computer viruses, spam, worms, and more.
It’s this malicious code that can harm your network and allow hackers and criminals access to your business’s valuable data.
However, when you have a firewall in place, the powerful software will protect your network 24/7, checking every single bit of code coming in or out, as well as any attempts made to intrude incorrectly or illegally.
Anything out of the ordinary is blocked, protecting your network’s systems and your valuable data.
A firewall can also learn and remember malicious applications, and block them to further protect your network.
3. Firewalls Give You Control Of Internet Content Coming Into Your Workplace
Many organizations see a drop in productivity caused by inattentive, distracted, or otherwise unproductive employees.
When an employee is on the clock but not working, every minute they waste your business is losing money. Ironically, one of the biggest causes of this problem is the internet.
Even though it allows your business to function (and may be the sole reason it can function), the internet can also be used in a wide variety of unproductive ways.
However, with a firewall setup in place, you can easily set up policies about which websites can and can’t be accessed.
For example, if you wanted to block access to various social media sites, your firewall can be easily programmed to do that.
It’s a simple way to boost productivity by decreasing the temptation to do something other than the work at hand.
Mobile device management is also a great solution to add on top of firewall protection. It’s is a proven methodology and toolset used to provide a workforce mobile productivity tools and applications while keeping corporate data secure.
4. Firewalls Can Help Put Limits On Bandwidth Usage
We just explained how the internet can be a cause of decreased productivity when theres non-business-related usage but this can cause another problem, and that’s using up valuable bandwidth.
Think of bandwidth like a highway. When there are fewer cars on the highway, you can get where you’re going much faster.
On the other hand, if many people are on the road, it causes traffic, which will, in turn, cause everyone to slow down and, in some cases, even stop.
Bandwidth is the same way. If a few people are using it, data speeds are high, and everyone can get their work done.
However, if too many employees use the network, it gets bogged down, and speeds drop significantly. That’s especially true if employees are using the internet for content unrelated to work.
What a firewall allows you to do is limit the amount of bandwidth that’s used for non-work related internet usage.
It doesn’t turn it off entirely but instead can let you put limits on how much can be used to watch videos, listen to music, or look at photos, among other things. That way, precious bandwidth and faster speeds can be reserved for activities solely related to work.
5. Firewalls Help Secure Your Network When Using Remote Employees
Businesses today rely more and more on remote employees, allowing them to work away from a central office location.
The problem with this, when it comes to your network, is that once an employee is outside of your ISP (Internet Service Provider), protecting your network can become much more difficult.
However, when there’s a firewall in place, the connection between your server and your remote employees is secured.
It blocks other users and keeps them from interrupting or accessing the data being shared by your business and your remote employees.
6. A Firewall Protects Your Data In the Cloud
It’s an excellent financial move, no doubt, but it does come with the downside that your data is on a server you don’t control, which can pose risks.
When you have a strict firewall policy in place those risks are significantly minimized.
It’s very similar to how a firewall secures remote worker connections; every bit of data is checked and re-checked to ensure no malicious code gets through.
7. A Firewall Works 24/7, Monitoring Your Network and Protecting It From Harm
With a firewall in place, you’ll have 24/7, 365 protection. A firewall is always at work, protecting your network and your precious data.
It can also learn and be taught to provide several other functions that are very valuable. It may not have a heart or soul, but a firewall has the best work ethic you’ve ever seen.