What Does a Firewall Do?
The easiest way to explain the concept of a firewall is to say that it checks the data that flows in and out of your network for anything that looks suspicious. It does all of this before any data enters or exits your network. Firewalls must be updated periodically with the latest threat definitions in order to stay effective. After all, the threats posed by hackers and other online entities are always changing, so it makes sense that your firewall can accommodate this change.

While a firewall is usually just for the purpose of identifying threats entering the network. However, it is also a great tool for finding threats that are already on your in-house network, validating connection and data packets, searching for legitimate application data, and performing a cavity search on all messages that that are sent to and retrieved by your network.

It’s also crucial to know that not all firewalls have the same amount of strength. The average personal computer may come with a pre-installed firewall, but for business purposes, this type of firewall is not going to be very helpful. The typical SMB should go above and beyond their needs by implementing an enterprise-level firewall, which is commonly seen in solutions like a Unified Threat Management (UTM) tool. A UTM comes with much more than just a firewall, compounding its effectiveness by offering a spam blocker, antivirus, and content filter, making it invaluable for your organization’s network security.

What Doesn’t a Firewall Do?
While a firewall is certainly a good first step toward optimizing network security, you don’t want to place all of your security hopes on it. Instead, you should focus on augmenting network security with other preventative measures. Ideas for how to do this include actively monitoring your organization’s network for threats or suspicious activity, as well as regularly applying critical patches and security updates.

You might be asking yourself, “How can I make sure all of this happens when I’m so busy running my business?” Employees often don’t have the time or expertise to attend to such tedious, time-consuming tasks. Furthermore, you can implement as many security measures as you want, but your employees will still find ways to unknowingly expose your organization to online threats. This is why it’s so important to enforce best practices in the workplace.

If you find yourself strapped for time and need assistance with network security, call Aspire. We can implement security solutions designed to prevent issues rather than respond to problems. To get started, reach out to us at (469) 7-ASPIRE.

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