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Firewalls are the first line of security for your company network. Firewalls monitor and filter incoming and outgoing traffic.
Missing or interrupted firewall services could mean breaches, viruses, and more. To ensure the safety of your infrastructure, it’s important to install and maintain your firewalls. Here are five tips for effective firewall protection.
1. Tweak the Settings
Most firewall software can be configured with different settings or options to best meet your needs.
For instance, you can schedule software uptimes to run at a specific time to minimize any inconvenience, though the computer it’s installed to has to be turned on.
You can also restrict specific internal programs from accessing the internet, or outside sources from accessing your network or devices like printers. Whether certain sources can accept or send data, or both, is up to you.
2. Keep Settings Consistent
Users on your business network may be accessing the internet for various reasons and by different means. Some employees may be able to access multiple servers and toggle their workstations firewalls on or off to use different messaging platforms. Telecommuting workers using their own devices may change firewall settings at will or even leave firewalls disabled. Once you’ve established proper firewall settings, it’s important to remind users to leave them in place, and why.
3. Layer Security on Each Machine
While a firewall is important to have in place at all times, they are not 100 percent fool proof, especially if they aren’t active. In 2016 alone, there were 1093 reported data breaches. For this reason you should also have backup protection to catch anything a firewall might miss. Some software products are made for a specific threat, while some provide protection for multiple threats.
4. Choose the Right System
Firewalls are specifically designed to work with certain systems, for instance Linux or Microsoft servers and computers. To get the most from your firewall protection, be sure you have the latest, completely compatible software and hardware for the best results. For instance, using IBM Power Systems allows you access to a range of user-friendly products designed with network security in mind.
5. Auto Updates
There’s an endless series of new and modified cyber threats coming from hackers. Sometimes they’ll switch tactics, such as the rise in ransomware that hijacks, rather than penetrates, your files. Software vendors generally release updates to guard against new threats or correct identified vulnerabilities. Your best means of keeping your firewall protection current is to allow automatic updates.
Firewall breaches can cost lots of money and possibly cause the loss of a lot of important data.
When it comes to network security, an ounce of prevention is worth so much more than a pound of cure.
Establish and communicate security policies for your employees. Make sure everyone who uses your network in the business is on the same page when it comes to secure habits. You can also test them periodically to ensure that firewalls are doing what they’re meant to do. This will greatly increase your firewall’s security overall.