Network firewalls are designed to protect computers from external threats such as viruses, malware and spyware. They also prevent unauthorised access to your company's internal network resources.
A network firewall is essential for businesses because it can prevent hackers from accessing sensitive information, carrying out DDoS attacks (where hackers disrupt the company's operations online) or carry out ransomware attacks(where hackers encrypt and/or download files and data and demand money from them). In addition, it can also help your business monitor employee activities and ensure compliance with company policies.
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a network security device that keeps out unauthorised users and hackers. Just like antivirus software helps protect files from viruses, firewalls help keep out intruders by blocking them from accessing your computer in the first place.
Firewalls also protect your computer system from viruses and other malicious software. They should therefore be installed on all systems in your network.
Here are five reasons why network firewalls are so necessary for businesses today:
1. A firewall protects your business from hackers
The most common way hackers compromise business systems and data is through social engineering attacks. They use a variety of tricks to trick unsuspecting employees into giving them personal information and sensitive data.
While high-quality awareness training is the most effective way to eliminate this problem, firewalls also help stop hacking attacks before they make their way to your computers.
Firewalls can alert you to malicious incoming traffic and can also block traffic.
You can buy a standalone firewall or a combination of hardware and software that performs both functions. However, it is recommended that you buy a firewall that comes with antivirus protection.
2. A firewall lets you block access to unapproved websites
Firewalls block unauthorised users from accessing your network. But you can also block certain websites from being accessed by your users. This is useful if you want to prevent your employees from browsing inappropriate websites or those that may have malware downloads while they are working on your network.
For example, you may not allow your employees to visit gambling sites while they are at work. You can also block access to dubious online shopping sites or any site that may offer illegal downloads.
This way, you can control what your employees see when they use their computers at work and also minimise network exposure to sites that could lead to malicious software entering your systems.
3. A firewall can protect your business from malware code
Firewalls are used to protect computers from viruses and other malicious software. They monitor incoming and outgoing data and note any unusual activity. They can be configured to alert you when there is an attack or when someone is trying to gain unauthorised access to your computer system. These alerts can help improve your company's overall cyber security.
Repeated alerts indicate that hackers have targeted your organisation and can be an early warning sign that you need to further improve your cyber security. If this is the case, start developing a robust incident response plan.
It's possible to download free incident response plan templates and build your plan with the necessary steps and processes for your employees to follow if an incident occurs.
4. A firewall allows you to limit bandwidth usage for certain applications
Firewalls can be used to control network bandwidth. A firewall can be used to limit the amount of bandwidth available for certain types of data. This can be done by limiting the amount of bandwidth available for streaming video or other media files.
It is possible to configure a firewall so that only certain types of traffic have access to the Internet. For example, you may want to restrict access to certain websites, but still allow people to connect to your office printer.
5. You can use a firewall to provide VPN services
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) uses encryption technology to secure communications between two parties. The encrypted traffic travels across public networks like the Internet without anyone else seeing what the traffic is.
A firewall can provide VPN servicester. For example, you can configure your firewall so that only certain computers have access to the Internet. Then you can create a tunnel that allows these computers to communicate securely over the Internet.
A firewall can also be used to encrypt data sent between your company's computers and a computer in a remote office. It can also act as a gateway to connect your organisation's local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN).
Conclusion: a firewall is part of a wider cyber security strategy
Firewalls are only one part of a good cyber security strategy. Managed firewall service providers or IT security firms can help you develop and implement an effective cybersecurity strategy tailored to fit your unique requirements.
They can offer advice on how to secure networks, identify vulnerabilities in your systems and provide ongoing monitoring and reporting services.
Finally, it's important to understand how firewalls work so you can use them effectively to protect your business.
About the author
Sofie Meyer is a copywriter and phishing aficionado here at Moxso. She has a master´s degree in Danish and a great interest in cybercrime, which resulted in a master thesis project on phishing.