Choosing the Right Firewall for Your Business

Investing in the Right Firewall Will Pay Off

Firewall is an essential part of protecting your business from the dangers of the Internet. Understanding why a Firewall is important and how to pick the right one that suits your needs will ensure the safety of your business.

A Firewall at its most basic is the system that controls traffic what traffic enters and leaves your network based on the rules you create. It sounds like a mundane and routine thing for the most technical people, but a proper Firewall is the key to your security. All too often, business owners invest into a new fancy equipment, plug it in, and forget about it for the next three years while expecting to be protected  by their new system’s “magic,” never realizing how complex a firewall can be.

A Firewall functions on a set of rules that determine whether traffic can enter or leave your network based on filters that you need to configure. Depending on how strict the access to your network needs to be, those rules can grow to be very many and complex. Not to mention each vendor could easily have its own commands and proprietary OS. Balking at investing and maintaining your firewall is not an option, either. You are literally leaving yourselves open to the anything and anyone on the internet.

The best thing you can do is sit down with your IT staff, figure out what your needs are, and make an educated decision about buying a firewall. You have many options. There are dozens of vendors available, including Cisco, Barracuda, and Fortigate. Prices range from $300 to more than $5000.

When you are purchasing, you should be thinking about your security (is this going to be an effective way of preventing malicious activity?) and needs (if you only have ten users you might not need the firewall designed to handle the traffic of several million online orders).

The one cardinal sin is to buy a consumer firewall for your small business to save a few dollars. If you have to perform complex tasks you do not want to get in a situation where your IT guy is constantly rebooting your firewall because the hang time has become unacceptable. In the long run, you could be hurting your business and losing more money by investing in discount infrastructure.