Tuesday, July 7, 2020
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Choosing a firewall for your remote employees

Why choosing a firewall is important

According to the 2019 data breach investigations report (2019 DBIR) from Verizon, 43% of breaches involved small businesses. These breaches may have been avoided with the right firewall. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many companies allowed employees to work remotely. Since the introduction of government restrictions, the requirement to work from home has increased and choosing a firewall to protect company data and information has never been more important.

What is a firewall?

Most people know that along with a secure virtual private network (VPN), a firewall is part of a cybersecurity system. A firewall may be a physical device (hardware firewall) and/or software or firmware that that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and blocks unauthorized access to a network. There are many different types of firewall, and choosing a firewall that suits your company’s particular set-up and requirements for remote employees is critical to ensuring good network security.

  • Personal firewalls protect a single endpoint.
  • Packet-filtering firewalls are placed at junctions or routers and may be used on multi-device networks.
  • Circuit-level gateway firewalls inspect any and all network protocols used during data transmission.
  • Stateful inspection firewalls are more expensive and difficult to deploy but checks the contents of every data packet.
  • Proxy firewalls also known as application-level gateways have dynamic filtering capabilities.
  • Hybrid firewalls combine advanced packet-scanning techniques with antiviru antimalware software.

Choosing a firewall for your business

The array of firewall options is extensive but here is a quick overview of good firewall options, depending on your business set-up and circumstances.

  • SonicWall works well for businesses with remote offices
  • Cisco ASA is great for small businesses
  • Firewalla is a budget option
  • Palo Alto Networks is useful for file sharing on the cloud
  • Sophos is the most versatile firewall option
  • WatchGuard is the fastest unified threat management (UTM) option
  • Norton is an excellent host-based firewall option
  • McAfee includes firewall and antivirus software
  • Ascaler is a cloud-based firewall

The different types of firewalls have varying degrees of effect on network speed, latency and performance. This means it is a good idea to speak to an expert before deciding on the solution for your company.

Sources

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Katrina Boydon
Business owner, web content and media strategist, writer, advisor.

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