The term “firewall” originally referred to a wall built to stop fire from spreading within a building. In the late 1980s after the advent of internet viruses, the term began to be applied to secured internet gateways, which were intended to stop external threats.
A network firewall is hardware or software that acts like a guard at a gate in the fence around your company’s network. It monitors network traffic in and out, blocking unauthorized personnel from accessing your network, and allowing legitimate traffic onto your network. It also inspects each packet of data trying to come in, and watches for sensitive data trying to go out. Data packets that don’t match its rules are rejected.
Firewalls and HR
Firewalls can also help your company in other ways. They can monitor web content to enforce company HR policies and prevent video streaming services from hogging too much bandwidth. They can also support productivity by restrict access to time-consuming sites and securely supporting remote workers.
Keeping Firewalls Strong
Employees using their own devices is one hole in traditional firewall coverage. The best solution is to require employees to install personal network firewall software on mobile and employee-owned devices that access the network and connect to the internet.
You should ensure your firewall is tested and scanned for vulnerabilities regularly, and that it frequently, automatically checks and installs updates. To maximize your cybersecurity, you should also ensure security rules are audited when the firewall is setup, bulk changes are made, and on a regular basis.
Choosing a Firewall
Choosing a firewall isn’t as simple as just purchasing a box or software at a store. Firewall selection includes considerations such as your company’s internet bandwidth usage, users per location, number of locations (site-to-site VPN), how much filtering you need (requires computing power), whether you use public or private cloud resources.
The network security experts with NSC Information Technology Group can assess your firewall needs and recommend the best firewall solution for your company. We can also help you finetune and update your firewall’s rules and activities so you are getting the most out of it. Contact us for more information.