As a small business owner, you constantly make decisions about which paid services are and aren't necessary. And many IT services can be a little opaque in terms of their value. One question NextPoint IT often hears from our small business clients is whether or not they need a firewall.
What exactly is a firewall?
Well, here’s the technical definition:
“A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls all your incoming and outgoing network traffic based on advanced and a defined set of security rules.”
In practical terms, firewalls act as the TSA for your small business’s network…without the long lines. They use tools like metal detectors and cameras to screen and monitor every person (website, email, etc.) who enters to insure they don’t have anything dangerous. They also may have a list of names or pictures of people who are known troublemakers and shouldn’t be allowed inside. And they’ll keep an eye on the facility for any suspicious activity.
Firewalls are an investment to significantly reduce the risk of anything malicious being done to your small business’s network. Although, no security solution is 100% risk-free.
Does my small business need a firewall?
If you handle any sensitive employee, customer, or client data, you should get a firewall to be safe. Even if this data is stored in the cloud, there are ways hackers can access your network to obtain it, and firewalls significantly mitigate that risk. You also should think about one if you have more than 10 employees at your office. The more people you have using a network, you exponentially increase the odds that one of them unintentionally lets something bad inside.
For a longer dive into why hackers would see value in coming after your small business in Indianapolis, Indiana, you should read a previous post about small business cybersecurity.
What solutions are out there?
There are a lot of types of firewalls and firewall solutions at varying price points. Some are easier to learn than others but cost more. And some have good technical support while others will have you on the phone for hours on end.
What we recommend would be partnering with an expert IT company like NextPoint IT to manage your small business’s firewall. This frees up your time from doing research about firewalls and managing them, and it frees up your headspace. We’ve all heard the maxim, “Work on your business, not in it.” And this is a good area where paying an expert will save you a lot of resources you can direct towards working on your business.
If you’d like to learn more about NextPoint IT’s firewall services and are in the Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, or Westfield, Indiana area, just comment below or request a free consultation or assessment.
Credit: Tim Ludden