Why does my business need a firewall?
Posted 22nd April 2021
Here’s a random statistic for you. In 2020 4,000 new malicious websites were created solely about Covid-19! Cybercriminals have found some clever ways to adapt to and take advantage of increased remote working and, as a result, cyberthreats are becoming increasingly concerning. Which is why we feel that now is an excellent time to have a conversation about firewalls.
The term firewall originally referred to walls that halted the spread of fires. If you look around the building you are in, you might notice that there are fire doors, they do the same thing. From an IT perspective, a firewall does exactly the same thing. It stops anything malicious from spreading through your device or network. In the same way that a fire door can protect the inhabitants of a building and give them a chance to escape, an IT firewall protects the valuable files and information within your network. Not having a firewall, or having one that isn’t fit for purpose, leaves a company open to cyberattacks. A sobering statistic to consider is that 60% of small businesses close within 6 months of a cyberattack.
With over half of US small businesses reporting cyberattacks during 2019 and only 14% admitting that they had the correct defences to stop an attack or breach, it seems apparent that cybercriminals will continue to use whatever means possible to access business networks.
A firewall goes beyond just stopping people from getting in though. A good hardware-based firewall can also stop information from leaving your network. Alongside stopping malware and viruses from ravaging your files and devices, a hardware firewall can also decide what emails are sent out, preventing employees from sharing sensitive data outside your organisation, and can block access to specific websites, thereby increasing productivity. Imagine how much more work you would get done without the distraction of Facebook.
What other threats can a firewall protect your business from?
The first and most obvious thing is viruses. Malware and viruses are becoming increasingly sophisticated. In 2019 it was estimated that £1.5trillion was lost by businesses as a result of malware. That figure is predicted to rise to £6trillion in 2021. For this reason alone, having the best anti-virus and firewall is a must for every business.
A firewall protects your system from unauthorised access and remote logins. Think of it like a locked door where you need a key or a pass to enter. No key, no entry. The same can be said for firewalls.
There have been some stories about this in the press recently. Email hijacking occurs when a cybercriminal hacks an email server, allowing them to send spam or malicious emails. Aside from the potential fine for a GDPR breach, there is also the potential costly damage of lost reputation. Nothing says ‘company that doesn’t take security seriously’ than an email from it with a title about trapped funds abroad dropping into your inbox.
Denial of Service and Email Bombs
These disruptive attacks are aimed at penetrating and crashing a server through repeated requests or emails to the same address. A firewall stops this from happening by blocking the requests.
Should you just download a firewall from the internet?
We’re going to say no. For businesses and organisations, it’s important to have a specific business firewall which can protect you from incoming and outgoing information and that it can deal with normal and encrypted traffic.
Using a managed firewall provider like LP Networks provides the peace of mind that not only is the firewall set up, configured and maintained properly, but also that it is fully compliant and up to date. In effect a firewall provider can not only protect your business from data breaches, but should the worst happen and there is a breach, they provide the evidence that your business has done everything possible to protect your data.
If you would like to have a chat about your firewall and perimeter security or any other services such as system monitoring and backups, contact our team and we’ll arrange a conversation.