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How a Firewall Protects Your Data From the Worst of the Web

b2ap3_thumbnail_firewall_security_400.jpgSince you run a business, you know that your business’s network requires a secure firewall in order to keep threats out. In fact, the firewall is the most basic of security protocol that you should be taking advantage of. Knowing what a firewall protects you from, and what it doesn’t protect you from, is an important first step toward improving your data infrastructure’s security, and in turn improving your business’s continuity.

What is a Firewall?
The firewall is your first line of defense against online threats. It analyzes the traffic that goes to and from your network, making sure that any threats that are identified are not allowed passage. You can think of it like a bouncer for your network, making sure that only the data that you want gets in, and that any data you find threatening stays out of it.

As defined by Gartner’s IT glossary:

A firewall is an application or an entire computer (e.g., an Internet gateway server) that controls access to the network and monitors the flow of network traffic. A firewall can screen and keep out unwanted network traffic and ward off outside intrusion into a private network. This is particularly important when a local network connects to the Internet. Firewalls have become critical applications as use of the Internet has increased.

In other words, it keeps the bad stuff out while still allowing you to browse the Internet and take advantage of your web connection. In today’s online society, a proper firewall is an absolute necessity, even for the average PC user. Computers and other devices aren’t nearly as wary about sharing their information as they should be. This is generally why businesses integrate separate security solutions that are crucial to the success of operations.

Why You Need One
The Internet is full of threats of all kinds, including viruses, malware, spyware, and so much more, all of which that can put your organization at risk. These threats can steal information, render your infrastructure inoperable, lock down your systems for ransom; the potentials are, quite literally, limitless. This is why it’s so important to keep threats out of your network, and promptly eliminate those that do infiltrate it. Furthermore, if your organization handles sensitive data, like Social Security numbers, credit card information, and personal records, the last thing you want is for your business to be subject to the immense fines that come from violating HIPAA, PCI, and other compliance regulations.

The key benefit of using a firewall is that you’re taking a proactive stance against threats that could potentially derail your entire operation if left unchecked. By keeping the threats out of your infrastructure in the first place, you can effectively limit the damage done to your business. This is why it’s a best practice to integrate a firewall, as well as other aspects of cyber security, including antivirus, content filtering, and spam blockers. All of the above can be found in a Unified Threat Management solution that’s designed to keep your organization’s network threat-free and functional. To learn more, give us a call at 603-889-0800.

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