It seems that cyber attacks and data theft have become a far more common occurrence as businesses evolve into digital workplaces. Yes, knowing how to respond to a cyber attack is extremely important, but understanding how you can prevent one by choosing the best firewall is just as important, if not more so.
The complexities and pressures that surround selecting the right firewall can be an issue that many business professionals struggle with. Surprisingly, not every business will require similar firewall features to their competitors or even other businesses in their sector. It comes down to many different factors, but there are some basics that every business should consider at the very least.
So, simply read on to find out a little more about firewalls and which features are important for your business. Or, if you’d like to read some more of our tech blogs, head over to Saxons Tech page now.
What’s a firewall and what’s the least you should expect?
It’s best to think of a firewall as a protective barrier. A firewall is an essential piece of hardware that prevents intrusions into your network. It will achieve this by monitoring any incoming and outgoing traffic from your network and then block any malicious attacks.
When it comes to selecting your firewall, there are two basic features to look out for. Firstly, any good firewall can also be used as a router and this comes as a standard feature with most reputable vendors. For example, this is important if you’re sending and receiving emails through an on-site exchange server, as it’s more secure if your firewalls controls the traffic from said server.
Secondly, your firewall should have the ability to control remote access to your network. Remote access is necessary for businesses that have multiple offices or employees that work from home. So, if you’re looking for the best firewall, make sure it allows site-to-site and client-based VPN tunnels to ensure you don’t run into any problems later on.
Which firewall features are the most important for businesses?
While we’ve already highlighted the two most basic features that a firewall should have, there are some others worth considering too. Every business is different and some firewalls will have been created to suit specific industries or business models, so it’s important to do your own research before making a financial commitment. But, before you do that, take a look at our top firewall features to see if you’ve overlooked any for your business.
- Robust protection from malicious threats
A firewall is only going to offer value for money if it has the capability to protect against and prevent threats from compromising your network. Thankfully, firewall technology is evolving to keep up with any developments that malicious hackers make, as well as tried and tested threats, such as DDoS attacks.
Touted as ‘next-gen’ firewalls, these newer versions can see and control all the applications and confidential information on your company network. In addition to this, they can also control traffic to and from applications, grant access to certain applications, scan for threats, and reduce your bandwidth usage.
- Real-time alerts
It’s all too easy to simply sit back and rely solely on your firewall’s technology to prevent any attack. Obviously, this is highly important but it’s equally as important to be made aware of any attack that’s in progress. There are firewalls out there that offer real-time updates for any attack and they should also offer further information about the attack to help your security team identify any weak links in your defences.
- Separate ports for critical services
Hackers typically use ports to gain access to and spread malicious code through a network. Most services will run through a standard type of port but you can protect more sensitive or critical services through a masquerade port. The actual process to disguise your port is known as port forwarding and this should be a consideration for any business that relies on certain services running at all times.
- Excellent customer support from your chosen vendor
Not every aspect of your firewall is going to be easy to understand and you need to know that you’ve configured it correctly. Many reputable vendors offer more than just the best firewalls, they also offer extensive customer support services. Thankfully, even budget firewalls tend to offer some kind of customer support services, as well as ongoing updates that keep your software up-to-date.
Are you still trying to figure out what the best firewall features are for your business? Contact us now and speak with a member of our team about the firewall options available to you.