More than half of business executives feel cybersecurity is a risk for their organizations. That number is growing, too. It’s going to continue growing as more businesses rely on Zoom and the cloud for daily operations.
You might be wondering about the options you have to make your business network more secure. Network firewall security should be one of the options you consider.
What is network firewall security and how can it benefit your business? This guide has these answers and more.
What Is Network Firewall Security?
Chances are you’ve heard of firewalls before. They’re relatively common, especially for machines that need to access the Internet. You may even use one in your own home.
Network firewall security filters traffic on your network. It can prevent outsiders from gaining unauthorized access to your systems.
Network firewalls can be provided either as software or hardware. They can be applied to individual machines, like a single desktop computer. There are also firewalls that work across a network as a whole, such as through a router.
You may be able to turn a firewall on from your computer or your router. You may also buy a physical device to add protection to your network infrastructure.
Adding a firewall can be as simple as getting in touch with your computer support team. They may be able to make recommendations about the best options for your business.
What Are the Benefits of Network Firewall Security?
As mentioned, the firewall’s primary use is to filter traffic. It effectually establishes a barricade between your business network and another, untrusted network. The Internet is the best example of an untrusted network.
A local firewall on an individual machine may be enough for a home user. As a business owner, though, you should think about network security as a whole. Therefore, you may want a firewall that applies to your entire network.
This might include:
- Desktops and laptops used for work
- Printers and fax machines
- Mobile devices connected to your network
- Other devices that have an Internet connection
As you can see, your business network might be more expansive. Using network firewall security covers more of these devices.
In turn, it protects them from attacks by outsiders. The firewall can monitor incoming traffic. It can then block hackers, keyloggers, and other outsiders who intend to harm your business.
Application awareness makes it easy for you to block functions or parts of websites. This is often a better solution than wholesale blocking of particular sites.
Key Features of Next-Gen Firewalls
If firewalls are so important, you may wonder why not everyone is using one already. The answer is often that traditional firewalls have their drawbacks.
Traditional firewalls can slow down your network. They need to inspect traffic, which can translate into longer wait times.
Traditional firewalls may also not be able to accommodate newer uses of various ports. An example is tunneling and VPNs. VPNs use tunneling and stronger encryption to protect your business’s data as it moves across networks.
A firewall may block the use of a VPN because it attempts to access certain ports.
The good news is that next-gen firewalls are working to fix these issues. They provide better security as well. Typically, next-gen firewalls come with:
- Native anti-virus and anti-bot software
- Deep packet inspection of traffic
- Monitoring of encrypted traffic
- Control of application security
- User-based site and traffic settings
The last two features give you more granular control over the firewall. In turn, that means the team member who needs to use a VPN to move sensitive data can use the firewall as an added layer of protection.
Another advantage of the next-gen firewall is that it can maintain throughput. This is partially thanks to the more integrated design of its security features.
You may not have a network firewall installed because you were concerned about speed. If that’s the case, you should know that newer firewalls are making that concern obsolete.
The capabilities of today’s firewalls also reduce risks from unrecognized applications. In turn, this reduces traffic and frees up bandwidth.
Protect Your Business from Lawsuits
Another reason a firewall is important is that it can prevent you from sending out anything harmful.
You may unwittingly forward malware or other files that could harm another computer. If that computer belongs to a client who can trace the malicious file back to you, you could be on the hook for damages.
A firewall can limit this risk. Not only does it make it less likely you’ll have something harmful on your network, but it also means you’re less likely to send it out. The firewall can examine both incoming and outgoing traffic on the network.
This may help to protect you in any potential liability suits.
Keep Better Watch of Your Network
Finally, network firewall security can help you keep a close eye on what’s happening on your network. This can be useful for keeping out unwanted outsiders, like hackers.
It’s also helpful for ensuring your employees are following your codes of conduct. Not only can this keep them safer but it can help protect your data and your systems too. Employees who try to use blocked programs or websites could unwittingly put the network at risk.
Other employees may accidentally leak data or even attempt to transfer it maliciously. The firewall monitors for leaks and can block suspicious or unauthorized traffic.
Get the Security You Need
It may seem difficult to keep up with the cybersecurity concerns facing your business, but it doesn’t have to be. Network firewall security is just one step in the right direction. With it, you’ll have better protection from hackers, keyloggers, and more.
Looking for more great cybersecurity tips for home or for business? Check in with us often. We have all the latest tips and tricks to keep you and your devices safe.