Why Should Companies Have Firewalls?
The risks of cyber attacks are constantly growing – but many companies aren’t sure how to defend themselves against them. Hacking, data theft, scamming, and ransomware are increasingly threatening all businesses – and the effects of them are costing companies more and more each year.
These cybersecurity problems can affect commercial operations of all types, large and small. Whatever the size, the effect can be so serious that it can force a business into bankruptcy.
Now, it clearly pays for any company to take security measures to protect itself. In previous generations company premises and stocks could be secured behind a big fence. Today there’s a need for a fence of a different kind, but many businesses are worried about the cost of these cybersecurity measures.
Many systems are easy and inexpensive to implement, however, the cheapest and simplest may be one of the best. Yet some businesses that fall victim to cyber-attacks neglect to install even the most simple defensive systems. And one of the most straightforward tactics is to install a firewall on your computer network.
What is a firewall?
At this point, many businesses unversed in the IT world may be scratching their heads and asking what is a firewall? It sounds something like a fire door – a physical barrier to prevent a blaze from getting out of control.
Metaphorically it is. A firewall prevents the raging fires of cybercrime from reaching the secure haven of your company network.
In basic terms, it is a network digital security barrier that monitors and controls what goes in and out of your company’s computer system. It examines all the messages passing through the computers and either permit or blocks them based on some careful parameters that you can control.
The firewall advantages are obvious: it builds a checkpoint between the wild uncontrolled external digital world and the safe refuge of your internal network containing all your sensitive data. This is how it aims to block any malicious traffic like viruses or hackers from entering your protected network.
How does a firewall work?
Behind all the complex acronyms and jargon, the firewall system is rather straightforward: all incoming traffic is analyzed at the computer’s ports, or entry points, to see if it measures up against some pre-determined rules. Traffic that contravenes these rules comes from an untrusted source or is suspicious in any way and is blocked from entering.
The entry criteria are often set up to be more rigorous for more confidential parts of the system. And even if your business uses cloud storage it needs to be protected – and a firewall can be the simplest way to do that.
Today’s firewalls vary in sophistication. They are evolving to deal with the latest cybercrime techniques all the time.
They also must adapt to deal with more remote workers using unfamiliar portable devices and staff accessing the system while working from home. A firewall can also be adapted to stop distracted staff from accessing non-work-related websites during company time.
The best firewall systems can learn as they operate. They can become more aware of what is normal for your company traffic – and what is highly suspicious.
The checking criteria can be fine-tuned to provide effective protection – and to allow through things that may at first seem dangerous but are in fact normal for your line of business.
That’s why fast-moving companies that value their security are now adopting very clever systems, like the Perimeter 81 firewall.
Why are they important?
As businesses connect more and more on an international level the internet becomes more and more vital for commercial communication. Companies are increasingly built around the use of systems like email, messaging, wi-fi, and the Cloud.
These digital systems are helping millions of businesses thrive – but also creating a new set of problems for them. The risk of data breaches and thefts is rising alarmingly.
The company firewall can be the first line of defense against those risks, and it is essential for companies to ensure the firewall is strong, effective, and up-to-date.
It is alarming to hear that experts find that hackers are constantly attempting to enter the networks of most businesses all the time. Someone might be trying to gain access to your business network right now.
Often some little thing prevents them and they simply move on to find a more vulnerable victim. The researchers found that if they encounter a strong firewall they almost always give up and look for an easier target.
Of course, business owners don’t have time to monitor their network 24/7, and thankfully, firewall protective systems never sleep. It will be in place all day and night, every day of the year, protecting your company’s digital assets just like a moat around a medieval castle. The firewall is always at work.
In today’s fast-moving business world your network needs all the protection you can give it. Your data can be your most valuable asset.
You wouldn’t leave the entire produce of your factory or stock of your shop open and unprotected all the time – so IT experts are urging businesses to treat their data in the same way.
A firewall is one of the best and simplest protective systems for your business. As the first line of defense against scammers, hackers, and thieves, it should be an essential part of all companies’ security strategies.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.