Cyber criminals don’t just target large international organizations. They hit small-and-medium-sized businesses, too. In fact, recent reports show that just over 40% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses. What does this mean for small business owners? It’s simple. Small businesses must take every possible step to protect their computer network from harm. This means using firewalls. 

Firewalls explained

A firewall protects your internal computer infrastructure from outside cyber attacks. It’s an essential line of defense against hackers and cyber criminals. Without it, hackers can infiltrate your network and cause all kinds of damage. 

It may help to imagine a firewall as a remote shield between your internal network and the wider internet. 

While firewalls are designed to stop intruders from accessing the company’s computer network, they can also be used to prevent employees from accessing inappropriate websites, such as social media and gaming websites, from company devices. 

Types of firewalls

Broadly speaking, firewall protection falls into three major categories:

  • Filters – these firewalls scan basic information from incoming traffic to see if it appears “safe” or not
  • Stateful inspection – a more comprehensive breakdown of incoming and outgoing traffic
  • Proxy firewalls – proxy firewalls are the most secure firewalls available, and they’re generally located offsite. They’re most commonly found in industries such as defense and medicine

Every business is unique, which means each company has its own particular security needs. The level of firewall protection small businesses require varies considerably between organizations, which is why it’s so important to consult a managed services provider who can assess your requirements and help you identify the right security package for your company. 

Why firewalls are important to your business 

The bottom line is that firewalls act like virtual gatekeepers, protecting your sensitive IT infrastructure from being compromised. Still, you might be wondering if firewalls are necessary for your particular business. The answer is yes, and here’s why. 

A firewall boosts your virus protection 

Modern firewalls can block and detect suspicious network requests, which offers you protection against viruses, spyware, and malware. As long as you keep your firewalls and software current, you’ll benefit from the robust virus protection and you’ll receive notifications if anyone attempts to compromise your system.

Cyber attacks kill small businesses 

The reality is that around 60% of small-and-medium-sized businesses fail to survive a cyber attack. Without adequate hardware or software firewall protection, you’re leaving your system wide open to possible virus infection, file corruption, sensitive data hacking, and more. 

Firewalls save you money and help reduce the cost of downtime resulting from system corruption, hacking attempts, and cybercrime. 

Firewall protection extends to the cloud 

Although it’s true that cloud-based data benefits from some additional layers of protection, this protection isn’t sufficient without the added benefit of a firewall. Why? Because when users access the data from either their own devices or company computers, they don’t benefit from this extra protection. This leaves your hardware vulnerable.

Conclusion 

Cybercrime is evolving all the time, and it’s impossible to prevent every possible threat. However, firewall protection can instantly make your IT infrastructure safer and harder to infiltrate. Nowadays, no small business can afford to be without firewall protection. For more information on cybersecurity and firewalls, contact us today.