As computer viruses, phishing attacks, ransomware and other types of hacker activities become more common, businesses have to be more aware of the consequences of a cyberattack. While several layers of protection can be used to prevent cyberattacks, firewalls are often considered the first line of defence. To help you understand why firewall security is essential for your business network, we’ve put together a list of ways a firewall can help protect your company.
Digital firewalls get their name from physical firewalls which are literal fireproof walls designed to protect a building from an external fire. A digital firewall can protect the business network by monitoring digital traffic and alerting you of any suspicious or unusual activity. It can also prevent certain types of malicious data packets from accessing the business network system and infecting any connected peripherals.
Firewalls can be used to protect sensitive data and plug holes that allow hackers to get into your system. Without a firewall, your network remains exposed to everyone on the internet. By using a firewall to create filters and internet traffic protocols, you can deny unauthorized access to your business network.
Just as a firewall can be designed to inspect and deflect incoming traffic, it can be used to monitor and stop outgoing traffic. If your business deals in sensitive information, it may be necessary to ensure that the users of your network don’t inadvertently or blatantly share private data. A firewall can ensure that specified types of data packets aren’t allowed to leave the business network.
Firewalls can also prevent your employees from gaining access to websites that you don’t want them visiting. This may be because the sites use too much bandwidth, are known sources of viruses and malware or because they’re simply time wasters. You should educate your employees about what is acceptable when going online during business hours, but blocking certain sites can improve internet speeds and the safety of your data while also closing off access to counterproductive corners of the internet.
Running out of bandwidth can prevent important business functions from taking place. It’s possible to limit bandwidth usage by placing restrictions on certain activities and ensuring there’s enough capacity in the system to allow essential tasks to occur. If you have a bandwidth problem in your organization, you may want to consider reconfiguring your firewall.
As more people work from home, maintaining the integrity of the business network can become more difficult. That’s why it’s important to have remote employees take a few steps to ensure their home-based firewall doesn’t become a liability to your business. Having them change the default password on their router and disabling the Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) can greatly reduce vulnerability to hacking attempts in their place of residence.
If you deal with sensitive data such as in a healthcare or law setting, you likely have to meet certain requirements when it comes to the security of your data. Protecting data in these types of situations is required to prevent fines or more severe punishments. To meet regulatory compliance, you can configure your firewall according to the prescribed regulations.
To learn more about keeping your business secure, get a free assessment today.