Every business has a hardware firewall that protects your servers and data from hackers and the “bad guys.” In some cases you can use the router that your Internet provider gives you, but even they recommend using your own firewall/router. Typically, this device sits between your Internet provider router which converts the external connection (T1, fiber, or coaxial) to an Ethernet connection that your servers and computers can use.
So what does a firewall really do? Basically it blocks all inbound connections originating from the Internet except for the specific ports or services that you allow in. So if hackers are trying to make connections to your servers or network, it will block all those connections. If you are hosting your own e-mail server, you would allow external connections for e-mail connection only.
So besides keeping the bad guys out, what else can a firewall do? More advanced firewalls are not necessarily expensive (around $400), and will scan all incoming Internet traffic for viruses and spyware, and actually block that traffic as well. Having another layer of security besides having malware protection on your servers and computers is always best practice. Another very beneficial feature of an advanced firewall is the ability to block non-business websites, such as Facebook, YouTube, and even personal e-mail accounts like Yahoo Mail or Gmail. So by monitoring and actually blocking the use of personal websites, you may see an increase in employee productivity.
If you are interested in a free evaluation of your current firewall and recommendations, please give us a call at 312-361-3800.