In today’s world, most businesses are digitising their management and operations systems and moving their assets and data into cloud. Though this comes with many benefits, the risk to your organisation of intelligent, orchestrated cyber-attacks – particularly against small to medium-sized organisations – greatly increases
As company assets and data move online, the risk and harm caused by modern, intelligent attackers has escalated. Now, more than ever before, both data stored long-term and data in transit need protection from intrusive attacks such as viruses, worms, and phishing scams.
Nowadays, businesses depend so heavily on web-based solutions and their distributed network infrastructure. These are evolving so rapidly that the conventional defence mechanisms which were employed a few years ago have now become insufficient. Where attacks used to be short-term and opportunistic, they now take the form of more persistent, well-developed and critical strikes. Successful, present-day attacks are structured according to an Intrusion Kill Chain, whereby attackers learn about your organization, prepare a bespoke attack, and deliver weaponised code to your systems, before exploiting or compromising them.
Unfortunately, successful attacks are usually detected too late, by which point valuable data has already been compromised. Therefore, it is crucial to identify attacks before the threat infiltrates the system. This highlights the importance of perimeter security which is the first mechanism used to detect and block attacks. Managed firewalls provide such security by stopping viruses and malware from entering a distributed system. This is key to data security as taking a multi-layered approach to safeguarding both your company’s data and its resources will greatly reduce your vulnerability.
In this post we hope to help you to understand
The role and benefits of your firewall
Why a firewall is so critical so security
The requirements of managing a firewall effectively
How a managed service provider secures your firewall
Digital Defence with Managed Firewalls
Firewalls are key to intrusion prevention as they provide the first line of defence. They can be implemented with hardware, software or preferably both and are responsible for controlling the access of network-connected devices. The restrictions imposed by firewalls are vital to the protection of data which enters and exits your organisation. These restrictions automatically block access to websites which pose threats and halt the injection of dangerous malware. The use of firewalls ensures that data only passes to and from trustworthy sources on the internet, while limiting access to websites which may negatively impact staff efficiency. In essence, a firewall acts as a virtual barrier keeping threats at bay whilst allowing safe interaction and communication with other connected devices outside your network.
The barriers created by firewalls, however, must be tailored to the unique and varying needs of individual businesses. Firewalls are rendered useless if treated as a “one-size fits all” solution. Software firewalls provide some protection for the device on which they are installed but do not cover the range of other devices (and vulnerable points of access) like printers, cameras, and smart technology. Similarly, hardware firewalls will only filter the threatening traffic it is currently aware of. As hackers find more innovative ways to access your internal network, the list of threats which need to be blocked changes regularly and requires frequent updates. These updates are unfortunately made infrequently by internet service providers thereby creating vulnerabilities for opportunistic hackers to exploit.
This highlights the importance of managed firewalls. Although box-standard firewalls may provide decent protection to an individual, a more rigorous approach is required for organisations with multiple users and greater data flow. This is especially true for businesses which are concerned about protecting valuable client and organisational data. Managed firewalls block threats and control access for all users over multiple devices. But beyond controlling access (by making use of exhaustive updates of known web-threats), managed firewalls can be used to monitor traffic to detect abnormalities indicative of an impending attack before it happens.
Maintaining a Managed Firewall
Naturally, managing a firewall which spans more than a few computers with varying permissions can quickly become a nightmare for inexperienced users. Managing a robust, impenetrable firewall usually requires a dedicated team of professionals to oversee regular maintenance, constant threat-monitoring and updates of the types of attacks to block.
For a medium-sized business, managing such a firewall can drain company resources as the time invested in network security, while not wasted, is significant. It is common for multiple firewalls to exist throughout a network and the associated maintenance thereof increases with each additional device or staff member. Without an experienced security team overseeing this line of defence, the likelihood of security breaches, illegal access or data compromises increases.
For ultimate peace of mind, managed firewall services should be outsourced to expert teams which will eliminate the burden of enforcing advanced network security.
The Benefits of Managed Firewall Services
To alleviate the pressure of managing a dependable firewall and free up the time spent on configuring and upgrading hardware and software, 9spheres Technologies offers a fully managed firewall service to meet your company’s needs.
Small and medium-sized businesses are common targets for cyber-attacks because they are large enough to extract significant amounts of data from but small enough that their cybersecurity is unlikely to be as well-fortified as corporate giants. This is where 9spheres can help.
One of our main focuses at 9sheres is protecting your business and staff from the latest threats as soon as they are detected. By offering the setup, continuous monitoring, regular upgrades and high-standard maintenance of a managed firewall, our fully-certified teams at 9spheres will allow you to focus on running your business whilst we concentrate on keeping you safe.
In an online world, it is important not to compromise on security, especially regarding your firewall – which is certainly the strongest form of protection. 9spheres can help you avoid threats before any harm is done, simultaneously ensuring you are safe and allowing you to rest assured that your data is kept from the wrong people. We offer a free diagnostic of your current network setup in which we identify your organisation’s strengths as well as vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.
Book a free consultation with us and ensure your valuable data is safe and sound.
Glossary of Terms:
- Phishing – A scammer tricks you into you giving them your information. Typically it looks like an email from your bank asking you to reset a password or equivalent.
- Firewall – Like it sounds, this sets up a digital “wall” between your information and the hackers that want to exploit it.
- Perimeter security – Using firewalls and other methods, it stops attacks from entering a company’s server/website/data at the outset.
- Viruses – A computer virus is typically a malicious attack by a hacker who wants to get access to your computer/server/website so they can do damage. Often it takes the form of an attachment to an email that if downloaded, and worse, opened and executed it can do severe damage. What is problematic is that a virus could be operating in the background without your knowledge.
- Malware – Much like a virus, malware is like software, but malicious. So an app, or file that executes (is made to run/work), that does damage.
- Data security – Keeping your data safe regardless of device, or on a local server or in the cloud.
Enjoy our blog?
Feel free to read more of our high quality, technical articles to improve your IT knowledge.