Your First Line of Defense—It’s Time to Talk About Firewalls

Your First Line of Defense—It’s Time to Talk About Firewalls

The Network Security Protection You Need to Stop Ignoring

Let’s start this off bluntly. Even if you’re a small business—actually, scratch that, especially if you’re a small business—cybercriminals are going to target you.

We’ve talked before about how small businesses are the no. 1 target for cyberattacks, and that exists for a reason. Often, larger companies invest a lot more resources, time, and effort into their cybersecurity— they have the ability, the staff, and the money to do so, while other, smaller businesses might not.

But that reality doesn’t mean that as a small business you’re stuck to play the odds—there are affordable, effective options that can defend your business against the threat of cyberattacks.

The most notable of them all? The firewall.

Consider firewalls and network security protection methods to be the necessary layer of protection you need to protect your business adequately—in other words, this type of protection should no longer be optional for you. This has to be a necessity if you’re going to ensure your organization’s safety.

Why? Think about it this way. If you own a home, you likely lock your front door, right? That front door does two things—sure, it actively keeps your door locked but it also acts as a deterrent. A criminal is less likely to try a locked door to break in. Ideally, they’d go for a weaker, more vulnerable spot (i.e., an open window or an unlocked door).

Makes sense, right? Just because you have a lock on your door doesn’t mean you’re totally safe—you need layers of protection in order to ensure your organization’s cybersecurity.

Understand the Facts—Firewalls Are Your First Line of Defense

Here’s another blunt truth—if you don’t have a firewall protecting your small business, you’re leaving your system wide-open to hackers.

Firewalls are not an optional form of security—they’re crucial, mandatory, critical, and any other word you can think of that means entirely vital.

Firewalls are a must for you for several reasons. Primarily, yes, a firewall will protect your company’s critical information. But it’s important to remember it’s not just your information you’re protecting you probably house a lot of critical information for your clients, too, right? We’re talking about medical information, social security numbers, credit card info, and more.

If you’re not using a firewall, you’re putting more than just yourself at risk.

A system without a firewall is like a swung-open door with lights and signs pointing at it saying, “hey, there’s no security here, welcome, cybercriminals.”

Leave That Antiquated Firewall in the Dust—Go Next-Gen

We promise what we say next isn’t us being hypercritical, it’s equally as valid as what we’ve already been talking about. If you have an antiquated, old firewall that’s never been updated, you might as well not have a firewall at all.

It sounds harsh but hear us out.

Cybercrime is constantly evolving. It changes every day. With those changes come new risks and new ways to worm through old firewalls—so, if you’re not updating your firewall regularly and you’re relying on protection from years ago, it’s probably so out-of-date it’s not actually protecting you from the real threats that are waiting for your organization.

Next-gen firewalls are designed to keep up with ever-changing patterns of cybercrime. They can block updated technology that can embed viruses and malware directly into a website, they can look at the information that flows through websites, and they can even identify when a website is a threat.

Any business—small or large—should invest in a next-gen firewall that’s commercial grade and has a content filter, too. Home-grade firewalls can’t protect your business the way you need and firewalls without content filters can’t do what the others can—AKA, protect information from flowing it and keep users from going to dangerous sites.

Must-Know Steps for Network Success

Every cybersecurity plan is going to be different, so it’s impossible to truly generalize the must-follow steps each company should follow. That being said, we do have a few key tips that can help you guarantee network success.

  • First, ensure that you have a next-gen firewall that’s commercial grade and has a content filter.
  • Take a look at that firewall and ensure one more thing—is the firmware up to date? When you do this, you’re patching any holes that a hacker might seek to exploit.
  • Now, make sure that your website on your network is separated from other devices on your network, like your computers and your services.
  • Review all the rules in the firewall and figure out what it doesn’t include. You’ll want to figure this out so you know what you need to ensure additional security.
  • Invest in antivirus and antispyware. Layers are everything, the more you add, the better you’ll be.
  • Double-check that every computer, device, etc. that’s on your network is patched and has received the latest update so hackers can’t exploit these holes.

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

If you take one thing from this article, let it be this—ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is dangerous.

You can’t skate through your organization’s life without adding in this protection. Small businesses are held up by ransomware all the time. Mid-sized companies lose their critical information and have their reputations irreparably damaged every day. It’s not just the big guys who have a ton of money that are being threatened. Small businesses deal with this so much more often than you might think.

If a huge company with an enormous IT budget can be hacked successfully, you better believe a smaller company can, too. And often, smaller companies have a lot more to lose. Don’t let ignorance cloud your judgment—invest in a firewall and other layers of protection now.

It’s important to stop just using your ISPs modem/ router without security. Time and time again, we’ve walked into an office to find that they bought a circuit (internet) from a company and have never installed anything else.

The ISP is only looking out for the ISP—no the client. They’ll tell you that they’re not responsible for your network security—that’s what they care about, and that’s what they provide. Even if they do provide you with free anti-virus, it’s not enough to help. Free anti-virus is not enough to protect you—and the ISP will not remove viruses from your network, either.

Don’t Wait—Protect Yourself Now

What are you actually waiting for? ACT NOW. The ball is in your court, and it’s time to do everything in your power to ensure that you’re protected. Your business can’t sit around in this substantial risk—not after everything you’ve worked for.

Team up with a partner who knows what they’re doing, who is an expert in their field, and who can customize a unique plan for your optimal cybersecurity. Choose Your Business Solutions for your IT and cybersecurity needs.

TAKE ACTION NOW and contact our team today.