CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHOOSING BUSINESS NETWORK FIREWALLS
As the internet has progressively merged into our daily lives, so has the threat of cybercrime. Back then, a firewall was simply a firewall; there wasn’t much differentiation in the market. They would look over basic details about incoming network data, including its origin, destination, protocols, etc., which was more than enough in the earlier days of the internet.
However, today’s firewalls must do much more to protect our networks. Firewalls were formerly relatively simple technology, but now they are sophisticated and complex, making it challenging to identify the ideal one for your needs. But worry not because you can consider the following aspects to make the right choice.
How extensive is your network?
When selecting network firewalls, your network’s size and load play a key determining role. Consider how many users your network has at its busiest times. Remember that selecting the wrong firewall for your size is a costly error.
For instance, a three-person team operating out of a garage won’t necessarily require an enterprise-grade, rack-mountable firewall. Although it does allow for expansion, they might never even come close to needing the amount of bandwidth the gadget is intended for.
On the contrary, if you run a big business and choose a firewall meant for a small team, you risk reducing productivity to a crawl, given the volume of traffic trying to fit through such a low-spec firewall.
Also, consider the internet speeds your ISP or leased line currently provides. How much bandwidth will your firewall require to maintain the same internet speeds that your staff is accustomed to?
How distributed is your team?
Another key factor to think about is how dispersed your team is. For instance, a business whose employees must report to a single location from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with no remote work option, will have different firewall demands than a worldwide team that works entirely from home.
A hardware firewall appropriate for the team’s size and security packages necessary to meet their demands will likely be the best option for a team situated in one place and cannot work outside the office.
However, a hardware firewall with remote access VPN functionality might be more beneficial for a team that works in part remotely. Users from outside the network can access networked resources through a secure connection.
It also pays to remember that working remotely has additional cybersecurity consequences, so distributed businesses should research multi-factor authentication technologies and quality cybersecurity training for their staff.
Do you have a dedicated IT team?
Do you employ a dedicated IT workforce? Additionally, do they have time in their schedule to familiarise themselves with a new firewall system? If one of these questions has a “no,” you will need to team up with a firewall vendor such as Sangfor technologies, who is ready to take a more active role and offer a “managed-for-you” service.
Thankfully, there is a growing trend toward security automation. Even the most caffeinated human technician will not be able to react in time to a single cybersecurity event because it can propagate throughout a network in a matter of nanoseconds.
You should regularly evaluate your entire company’s relationship with IT. If you’re comfortable working directly with suppliers, that’s wonderful. However, as workloads increase, it could be wise to consider managed IT services or some other service-level agreement.
Your business needs
Aside from “keep my network safe,” what else do you need your firewall to perform specifically? In addition to the fundamental firewall protection, as was already indicated, network firewalls can now provide a wide range of additional features. Naturally, the firewall you select must fit your organization’s bandwidth needs and corporate size. Still, you also need to ensure that it can inspect HTTPS traffic that has been encrypted.
This form of traffic goes to and comes from websites that have an SSL security certificate, a technique that the majority of websites are now doing. We advise you to choose a firewall with HTTPS inspection as standard because many (often less expensive) firewalls tend to pass by this traffic.
It is best to opt for firewalls that also provide some form of gateway antivirus, deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities, sandboxing, and flood protection. If your company has policies about remote work, remote access VPNs and multi-factor authentication are also essential.
As firewall prices continue to decline, there is little justification not to invest in additional security services like content filtering, intrusion prevention, data loss prevention, security automation, and others.
Own vs. rent a business firewall.
A firewall is something you can have without having to buy it. Many companies believe you must purchase a firewall outright, but that isn’t your only choice. Owning your firewall might seem like the simplest option because any long-term agreements don’t bind you, and you can use the hardware any way you see fit, but this isn’t always the wisest course of action.
But if you upgrade as frequently as we advise, you will have to make a substantial capital investment every five years. Additionally, you’re stuck with it if you outgrow or replace that firewall.
Although renting may initially seem less appealing, it has several significant advantages. Renting, first and foremost, allows for business expansion. If your company expands or your demands change, you can swap out a rental firewall for a different model. Rent is a straightforward expense that is easy to budget rather than a costly expenditure with declining value. In the event of failure or obsolescence, rental agreements may offer you protection.
Find the right vendor.
Examine the internet security tools you already have at your disposal. Do their vendors offer proprietary firewall solutions? Most cybersecurity companies provide various security technologies that are all perfectly interoperable with one another. As a result, picking a compatible firewall can help you.
Any trustworthy firewall provider has to value your business enough to understand your needs, walk you through your alternatives, and remain accessible if something goes wrong.