A firewall is a piece of computer hardware or software that monitors a computer network’s incoming and outgoing traffic, and then either permits or blocks the transfer of data to and from the network based on a set of pre-established security rules. It protects businesses from intrusions and potential liability by preventing outside users from accessing protected data on the network.
Firewalls are crucial for safeguarding the flow of sensitive information to, from and on the network, and in a number of industries such as healthcare and finance, they are even mandated and must meet specific compliance standards. For businesses that handle customers’ personal information, such as financial details, payment information or health data, the firewall is critical to keeping hackers or other ill-intentioned network intruders from gaining access to this and other sensitive information.
A managed firewall is maintained by a third party, like a consultant, so businesses can focus on their primary tasks. While it is possible for a business’ staff members to create, install and maintain a firewall, the technological knowledge required to do this is relatively high level. Many businesses simply do not have the on-site personnel with the skills, education and experience necessary to carry this out nor the funds required to hire a full-time IT staff to handle the ongoing task. So a managed firewall is an attractive option for smaller businesses or businesses that do not need in-house IT services.
With a managed firewall service, a business pays an outside company or person to establish, install and maintain its firewall, and the work is typically performed by well-trained professionals with advanced knowledge of the ins and outs of network protection. The managed security service providers (MSSPs) that businesses pay for managed firewall services typically monitor the business’ network on an ongoing basis and many provide regular feedback, reports and analysis regarding the safety and status of the network.
Why Have a Managed Firewall?
Managed firewalls reduce real costs for businesses and offer dedicated support and regular updates to maximize network security at all times. A professionally managed firewall can also reduce the potential costs of a data breach, which can be expensive or even fatal to a business.
Managed Firewalls Reduce Costs
The expense of hiring a professional IT staff is simply beyond what many businesses can afford. With a managed firewall service, a business can secure the help of IT experts who will set up and maintain its firewall for a low monthly rate. By hiring an MSSP to maintain its firewall, a business can avoid the up-front costs required for purchasing the hardware and software needed to create and maintain an effective firewall.
Managed Firewalls Come With Dedicated Personal Support
Businesses can gain access to an entire team of IT professionals devoted to keeping its network safe, all without the expense of hiring full-time IT staff members. MSSP team members typically have a strong background in protecting computer networks, including a wealth of education and experience in the field. MSSP professionals are able to focus entirely on delivering network protections without the other time-consuming, tech-related distractions such as email issues and computer problems that a typical business’ on-staff IT personnel must regularly tackle.
Managed Firewalls Deliver Regular Updates
As the tactics of cybercriminals evolve, the protections put in place for network security must evolve with them. By outsourcing with an MSSP for managed firewall services, businesses can rest assured that the latest hardware and software updates are being made in a timely manner, providing critical protections against the latest forms of cyberthreats.
Businesses Receive Expert Insights From a Team of Professional IT Staff
Most MSSPs provide real-time network monitoring for their customers with many providing ongoing reporting and analysis with their managed firewall services. Businesses that hire an MSSP gain regular insights into information such as the types of threats to their network, network attacks that potential intruders might have attempted and any potential cybersecurity weaknesses that might need to be addressed moving forward.
Do I Need a Managed Firewall?
If your business handles any online data and does not have the budget for a proper IT team, then a managed firewall is a necessity. You can get cybersecurity-focused services like a managed firewall, advanced threat protection and hosted antivirus and spyware for your business by visiting ftc.net/business to explore all of FTC’s cybersecurity offerings. You can also browse other business-critical services, including Internet, Wireless, Voice and Security. In addition, you can visit FTC IT Solutions for information on professional IT help in a number of tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services, Point-of-Sale, and Hardware Sales.