The Priority of Hardware Firewalls for Small Business
Managing expenses is core to any size of business. But it tends to be considerably more critical for smaller companies working from a more limited set of resources. How you decide to expend those resources in a startup or small business has dramatic and vital consequences for your organization’s sustainability.
We understand the challenges facing small business owners when it comes to expenses on network and digital security. You need to know that the cost is justified.
Do the benefits outweigh the potential consequences?
Unfortunately, the dangers associated with our digital security has rarely been higher. Protecting the data that allows us to maintain our small businesses is of the highest priority.
Statistics on cybercrime point to the stark reality that businesses of all sizes face similar security challenges and risk of attack.
In response to this harsh reality, we find it essential to explore a better understanding of hardware firewalls and their role for small business security.
Why hardware firewalls are necessary for small businesses
The numbers on cybercrime are stacked against large, medium, and small businesses. It is common to associate risk only with large corporations or major banks. But the statistics provide a different perspective. Cybercrime is not limited to large operations or significant data breaches. The impact of cybercrime is experienced at all levels.
Forbes released an article in 2019 that revealed the glaring perspective that 58% of all cybercrimes were committed against small businesses. Further contributing to an illumination of the threat, Forbes points out how costly these crimes are for small businesses in particular. The cost associated with recovering from attacks is often too great for companies with fewer resources to survive. An official annual report on cybercrime from Cyber Security Ventures stated that global cybercrime damages are projected to reach $6 trillion per annum by 2021.
Trends often point to small businesses being more frequently targeted. This is mainly due to the assumption that a small business is less likely to be secure—and easier to breach. Collecting valuable information from various smaller sources can be even more profitable for a criminal than focusing on fewer options in large ventures. Many criminals also simply have a number of resources available to them that are better suited to small crimes than large-scale operations.
For further resources on the diverse reasons small businesses are increasingly at risk of cyberattacks, consult this article from the Associated Press or consider a consultation with expert solutions provider Network Coverage Managed IT Services.
What is a hardware firewall?
Understanding a hardware firewall and its contribution to your critical security is a vital step towards making an informed decision for your business.
Let’s imagine that a hardware firewall functions much like the security at an airport. Thirty years ago, this comparison would not have worked so well. Airports were considerably less secured or monitored. Even guests without a ticket to board the plane could accompany a passenger all the way to the gate. Times have changed significantly. It is now a completely foreign idea to think of walking our friend or family to the gate and watching as the plane pulls away and flies off into the sky.
Security checks now stand in the way. No one without the proper credentials or a plane ticket can pass through security. The airport is now divided into two distinctly defined areas. A small portion of the airport is open to anyone, and the rest of it is only available to passengers or staff. This security system has a comprehensive and exhaustive set of rules and technology to ensure that only approved and safe entities are permitted entry.
The same can be said for a hardware firewall. It is a physical device that stands between two distinct parts. These parts are commonly a server and a computer. Understanding the server could be understood as the less restricted area of the airport. In contrast, the computer is the point beyond security.
A hardware firewall will serve as a portal with a set of rules and resources that filter only the passage of approved and safe resources through to the computer. However, extending beyond our airport metaphor, a hardware firewall also monitors resources flowing in the other direction—from the computer (through the firewall) to the server.
Hardware firewalls—such as a router—are complex and powerful tools that also employ software to force all traffic (data) traversing the connection for inspection. The firewall can grant or deny access based on a set of programmable rules.
Core advantages to a hardware firewall
- Extra support: Hardware firewall products commonly provide the support that offers assistance with configuration, troubleshooting, and the ability to make expeditious adjustments.
- Control over port access: This relates to being able to have nuanced control over the set of rules programmed into the hardware. Laws can govern if anyone can have access, or if access is limited to exclusive parties such as a developer or administrator.
- Stock rule-setting: A set of default guidelines can be installed that apply to the entirety of traffic that flows through the hardware firewall.
- Managed traffic: Gain full access to governing all types of traffic that can or cannot reach the server.
- Free up resources: A hardware firewall can govern a full network of devices connected to it. This allows an opportunity to remove software-based firewalls and free up memory and processor capacity on a device, resulting in valuable space for running a business.
- Add on a Virtual Private Network (VPN): Hardware firewalls permit the application of a further layer of complex and robust security. Installing a VPN service empowers a business the security and access management for any critical party with an internet connection—from nearly endless locations. This is a uniquely viable security feature for employees working from home or traveling.
There are many factors to consider for the security and protection of your small business. An organization must determine what hardware firewalls and security measures will be optimally designed for your specific needs.
Network Coverage has assembled a set of technology and business solutions to support your organization in maneuvering through this complex and critical environment.
Set up a consultation with Network Coverage for experienced advice and support.