December 8, 2014
3 Reasons SMBs Need a Firewall
A Common Misconception
Lots of people ask “Why would a hacker target a company my size? There are bigger fish to fry.” The answer is “They don’t know how big your company is at first, until they get in.” Hackers use computers to do most of the work and automate the “hacking” with widely available tools. They set the tools to contact any network type. If you have internet access, then you are a target. And not all hackers are bad– some are just trying to learn, others want to trip you up, and others want your money or your time.
Why does a firewall matter?
Your firewall is a critical component of a multi-layer security strategy. Not having a firewall is like leaving your car overnight in a parking lot with no security lights and only closing 3 of your 4 windows. You’re asking for it and taking risks that you don’t need to. Another benefit of having a firewall is that it’s a separate piece of hardware. It can do the heavy security lifting and leave the computer and server resources to do what they do best.
What happens without a firewall?
Just a few examples.
1) VIRUSES – Your computers get the Cryptolocker virus, for example. It locks your computer so you can’t use it until you pay a fee. And there is no way around it – even for IT pros. You pay with a credit card or delete everything and start over. And we can only imagine what they use your credit card number for. Any idea how much it costs to remove other viruses and malware? There are thousands of them.
2) SLOW INTERNET – People in your office stream music, watch movies, share your data with anyone they want. They can also download any software they want, legitimate or not, from safe web sites or web sites that are rampant with virus infections. The result is complaints that your internet is slow.
3) NO ANSWERS – Say that you want answers why you network isn’t performing to your liking. No firewall means that you don’t have the tools, or at least very limited tools, to figure out whether the network issue is internal or not, and you’re more likely to get an “I don’t know” to your question. “I don’t know” in IT usually means frustration and higher costs to fix issues.
What else are we hearing?
As we talk to other people in IT, some are not seeing the same smoothness with the networks they support. Either they are not managing the firewall properly or they may not be taking it seriously.
SonicWALL is one of the popular UTM firewalls we use. It’s gives you great bang for the buck. If you want to know why we have been using SonicWALL for over 10 years, glance through 11 Cool Things Your Firewall Should Do.
One last IMPORTANT thought…
Security is a dynamic thing, and each firewall has multiple security services running on it – hence the name UTM (unified threat management). Each security service can have its own license that needs updates or it can be done as a group license. Licenses are required to be updated because the security companies add updated information around the clock to their threat databases, and those databases are used to match signatures that allow your firewall to tell if data coming in or out is legitimate or poses a threat. Updating those databases is the key to their effectiveness. No security system is perfect but a UTM firewall is the best you can get in the SMB market, and a UTM firewall is the only type of hardware firewall that Boost IT uses. We’ll post more later about the other aspects of a multi-layer strategy, so check our blog again soon or sign up on our Contact page.