Why a managed firewall will make your IT security blossom
Today, network security is all about striking a balance between protection and ease of use. On the one hand, you need your co-workers to be properly protected against threats, and on the other, allow them to work smoothly, in different places. Many companies are pretty confident about their security, as they had the right firewall correctly installed by a reseller. But contrary to that popular belief, the answer to the balance question does not lie in choosing the right firewall. It’s all about picking the right managed firewall.
‘What kind of firewall do we need?’: it’s the most common question that serious IT managers or business owners ask themselves when considering the security of their network.
Fair enough, but it’s not the right question they should be asking themselves. You can have the biggest, highest, strongest, most expensive next generation firewall in the world, but if you don’t keep it in a good state of repair, chances are you’ll get into some kind of trouble sooner or later. After all, security threats are everywhere.
Okay. What is the right question, then? Well, it goes something like this…
That’s a whole lot better. You see, security or infrastructure incidents are mostly not specific to the firewall, but rather to the day-to-day management. A firewall is no gadget you can simply unbox and use: it requires time and effort to make sure it works, and keeps working. Firewall management is the key to having secure IT, as the firewall should:
- protect your users (including those who connect remotely) against threats
- be regularly backed up and updated
- be optimally configured for voice and video conferencing.
Let’s zoom in on that.
If you want your people to work safely using the Internet, you need an intrusion detection engine that is always up - and also: up to date. Your firewall needs to decrypt user traffic to detect malwares, and inspect both incoming and outgoing traffic. And in case something goes wrong, you want to at least know about it, so you can take the right action.
It’s what those IT managers or business owners assume they get when they’re ‘buying a firewall’. Often, they are getting exactly that. But not always. Because threat detection and protection is not just something you switch on and off - it needs work. Sometimes, you can do it yourself. But you can also get a partner who takes care of it, for a small monthly fee.
If the aforementioned people want their company network to be utterly protected, a security policy is simply indispensable. And that means: having someone who manages the network and knows about best practices, so you get regular backups and updates.
You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you encounter a problem with your firewall and need to reconfigure your system, but find out your data were not properly backed up. Or, similarly, when the DMZ you thought was safe, was actually not because your server didn’t get the necessary security updates. With a good managed IT security service, you can focus on your main goal: running your business.
Also included in a managed service: setting up your configuration. The experts will set up your firewall in the cloud according to your company’s needs, and make sure the VPN (remote) access prevents home users from inserting malwares in the corporate network.
Also, they’ll make sure your network traffic is sufficiently protected without compromising ease of use and speed - meaning: no faltering video calls or online meetings. Everything keeps running as smoothly as ever. And don’t worry if you need to change something along the way: the experts will take care of that, too.
So what should you look for in the right firewall integrator? These are the main points of concern.
- Make sure you get a contract that covers both firmware and hardware issues, including obsolete hardware replacement.
- Operational maintenance is key: you’ll be needing a regular configuration backup, regular firmware updates, and regular security database updates.
- You’ll need an accurate security policy: full inspection of incoming and outgoing traffic, and remote access should be restricted to what is needed.
- Get a clear overview of all your Internet activity and a configuration that prioritizes your critical applications.
Dstny's Smart Guard is a managed next-gen, cloud based firewall that covers all of the above. Do you need a hand with setting up a firewall in your business? Not sure what your organisation needs to have a fully protected network? Get in touch, and we’ll find the right solution for you.