Accessing the internet without a firewall is one of the worst things you can do. It is your network’s first line of defense. It’s like driving on the freeway with no seatbelt.
It might seem a bit overwhelming, but it is possible. You might think that following good security practices is sufficient. You’ll soon discover that reality is much more unforgiving.
PurpleSec reported that cybercrime has increased 600% in the six months since the pandemic. Of all cyberattacks reported in 2021, 43% were targeted at small businesses, with 60% going out of business within six month of the attack.
It is important to remember that more people have access to your data via unsecured networks and the higher your chance of a security breach. Good practices are not enough. According to Tessian’s study, 88% of data breaches were caused by human error. This is where firewalls come in.
When setting up cybersecurity systems, a firewall should be your top priority. It is your first line defense, and the first thing that a cybercriminal will come across when trying to penetrate your defenses. It allows you to restrict access to sensitive information, and monitors your network for suspicious activity.
SpartanTec, Inc. of Columbia SC has helped many businesses improve their cybersecurity efforts. A good firewall is essential for network security, according to our experience.
This article will explain what a firewall is, the types of firewalls available, and the top risks that your business faces without one.
What is a firewall?
Your firewall acts as your network’s gatekeeper. Your firewall determines whether anyone trying to access your network via the internet is trustworthy by following a set of predetermined rules acting as a digital doorman.
The firewall will allow connections that follow the rules. If it violates any of these rules, the firewall will block certain data packets from your IT network.
What are the differences between the two types of firewalls?
These physical devices, commonly referred to network firewalls are installed between your computer and the internet (or any other network connection).
Many manufacturers sell integrated small office/home offices routers that can also be used as firewalls. However, these devices need to be properly configured to be effective.
- Hardware-based firewalls can be used to protect multiple computers and control network activity.
- Hardware-based firewalls offer additional protection against attacks on desktop computers.
- They are also distinct machines and require qualified specialists to assist with their maintenance and configuration.
For added security, most operating systems include a firewall function.
You should ensure that firewall software downloaded from the Internet comes from a trusted source, such as an established distributor of software or services, and is available via a secure website.
Software firewalls have the advantage of being able to monitor specific applications’ network activity on a particular device. It is usually located on the same computer that is being protected. This is a major problem. The firewall’s ability to detect and prevent malicious activity will be affected if it is located on the same computer.
A potential downside to software firewalls is the fact that you will need to manually update and manage each firewall on each computer in a network.
What are the three biggest risks to not having a firewall installed?
Although a firewall will not protect your business from every attack, it can make things worse. Below are the top three dangers of not having one:
Unlimited Public Access
It’s almost like leaving your front door open without a firewall. You are inviting criminals into your network, and they will. It’s easy to hack into a business that doesn’t have a firewall. Anyone can access their network and there will be no way for them to monitor potential threats.
Unrestricted Access to Data
Anyone can walk into your IT network and gain data access.
If you believe that your small business is safe because the data generated doesn’t have any value beyond your company, think again. Cybercriminals know that your data is valuable. Ponemon Institute found that an average data breach costs $4.24 million per incident, which is 10% more than the $3.85 million last year.
You are giving hackers free reign to your data without a firewall. They can steal your data and leak it to the media, encrypt it, hold it for ransom or delete it. It’s not just a costly mistake, it can also cost your business.
Total network collapse is one of the most dangerous scenarios that you could face without a firewall. Malicious criminals could effectively shut down your business without adequate protection. This can cause serious damage to your business. It is possible to lose your data and it could take several days, or even weeks, before your systems are able to be restored.
Vanson Bourne, GE Digital, found that an hour of unplanned downtime could cost a company $250,000 per hour. Some industries reported an average cost of $25,000 per minute. Add in the loss of productivity, morale and customer trust and it is only a matter time before the irreversible damage caused by downtime occurs.
Are you ready to protect your network using a firewall. A firewall can help you avoid the dangers of losing your network.
A firewall is a fundamental aspect of cybersecurity. Although it’s not impenetrable it can help protect your network when used in conjunction with other security solutions. Security experts have been using them for more than 25 years.
We have helped hundreds of businesses secure their networks at SpartanTec, Inc. of Columbia SC. We would recommend that you set up a firewall.