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What is a Network Firewall, and Why Does Your Business Need One?

It’s rare to find a business that is not operating online and connected to the internet, despite the fact that an online presence creates a potential vulnerability and access point for cybercriminals. There are some simple ways you can enhance your security policy, however, such as deploying a network firewall.

But what is a firewall?

A network firewall monitors and controls the traffic on your network. By examining incoming and outgoing network traffic, a firewall acts as a barrier between your network and the internet to prevent unauthorized access and threats.

Based on your security rules and configurations, a network firewall will block or allow traffic. If incoming or outgoing traffic complies with your preset rules, it can pass through the firewall. If not, the firewall will block or reject it.

Why Your Business Needs a Network Firewall

If your business is connected to the internet, your data and network are at risk from cyberthreats. Here is what happens every day online:

Cybercriminals are relentless. Cyberattacks hit record levels in 2022, and show no signs of slowing down in 2023. Thieves are not just targeting large enterprises; nearly half of all attacks are hitting small and medium-sized businesses.

No matter the size of your business, it’s a good idea to have network firewall protection.

The Benefits of a Network Firewall

A network firewall provides proactive security, serving as the first line of defense against external threats and hackers trying to access your network. Here are four key ways network firewalls help keep you safe.

  • Monitoring network traffic. Data that enters and exits your network has the potential to compromise your assets. By examining traffic and traffic patterns, a network firewall can eliminate many of the threats to your network. Stateful and application inspection firewalls compare the incoming streams against databases of known malicious threats in real time.
  • Stopping virus attacks. Viruses, malware, ransomware and other malicious attacks can take over your network, shut down your operations, and cause serious and expensive problems. A network firewall can stop viruses cold and prevent them from entering your network.
  • Preventing unauthorized access. A network firewall prevents unauthorized access to your network by examining Internet Protocol (IP) traffic and refusing traffic from unknown or unauthorized addresses. User-defined access policies can block attackers. A network firewall may also block domain name system (DNS) information of sites, hiding the IP addresses from threat actors.
  • Promoting privacy. By working proactively to protect your network, data and sensitive customer information, you are promoting a culture of privacy that inspires trust and confidence. Not only does this enhance security, but it can be a competitive advantage.

Gain extra protection with a a Next-Generation Firewall?

 A next-generation firewall (NGFW) provides greater visibility and protection, enabling or disabling access at the application level. An NGFW will also provide a deeper level of threat protection by including additional security measures such as:

  • IP filtering, including geolocation, DNS name and reputation.
  • Advanced antivirus protection, with auto-updating signature files.
  • Deep packet inspection (DPI).
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS).
  • Intrusion prevention systems (IPS).
  • Unified threat management (UTM).
  • Macro and microsegmentation to prevent lateral movement.

By streamlining network security, IT teams can deploy new policies more easily across a network from a single platform, making management and maintenance easier. An NGFW is also less likely to introduce any latency into the system, enabling you to work more efficiently and productively.

Who Needs a Network Firewall?

Any business that connects to the internet needs a network firewall. Organizations that are doing business in the cloud; using cloud-connected servers and VoIP phone systems; managing multiple sites; or allowing remote access by employees, vendors or customers can all benefit from adding a network firewall or a NGFW.

Scanning everything that moves across your network significantly increases the odds that you will catch malicious activity before it infiltrates your network.

In short, every organization needs a network firewall. Failing to deploy one puts your business, data and customer information at risk.

To learn more about upgrading your network security, talk to the experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks, or request a quote today.

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