Did you know that the global average cost of a data breach is nearly $4 million across SMBs? Regardless of the location from which your business operates, its area of specialities, or other factors, the truth is that no business is immune to cyber-attacks. Although you may assume that large corporations are the ones exposed to the most risk, the fact is that small businesses are the most vulnerable.
A simple explanation is that a small-sized business usually does not have a sufficient budget to invest in the development of sophisticated systems to protect their data. They often lack the experience or the trained professionals to ensure data security is at the highest level, which makes them an easy target for hackers. And when it comes to protection, a firewall is a fundamental element that you must have in place if you want to protect your company’s infrastructure.
In this article, we’ll look at managed firewalls and see how your small business can benefit from them.
Why does a SMB need a firewall?
More than 40% of cyber attacks target small businesses. And around 60% of the small businesses that have fallen victim to this danger have bankrupted or gone out of business in the next six months. These facts are sufficient proof that small and medium-sized businesses are in significant danger and are not well-prepared to eliminate the risk or recover from the losses.
A firewall aims to protect your business by filtering the traffic entering your network from the Internet in addition to the one that leaves your network. There are thousands of malicious threats that organizations face on a daily basis, including malware, intrusion attempts, spam, infected sites, unauthorized websites, and more. A firewall can eliminate these risks and implement certain security policies in your business by making sure users are not permitted to send sensitive data like credit card numbers or Social Security details.
What is a managed firewall?
It’s undoubted that a quality firewall system offers outstanding security and protection for your business. However, it requires monitoring and control, which are two activities that involve time, know-how, a lot of money, and other resources that SMBs often don’t have available in abundance. Luckily, if your business does not have enough internal professionals, time, and money to keep track of your own firewall 24/7, the good news is that a managed firewall can provide an inexpensive and successful solution.
The main objective of a managed firewall is to provide businesses with an upgraded threat management solution. When you utilize managed firewall best practices, your organization’s firewall is observed remotely by security specialists that can react on time and avoid any threats to your business. This is achieved via closely monitoring your network traffic and having a full understanding of what is considered normal traffic for your business.
As soon as suspicious activity is detected, the experts can provide a prompt identification. You will also enjoy the benefits of ongoing traffic analysis and reports that will be delivered by your managed firewall provider. This will allow you to analyze any existing patterns and learn how to eliminate risks in the future.
What are the benefits of a managed firewall for your small business?
A lot of SMBs are developing a preference towards the affordable and efficient option of using managed firewall services. As opposed to the past, where companies were left with no other choice but to rely on in-house security to protect their network, today, a managed firewall can offer an alternative.
Let’s look at the main benefits of using a managed firewall for your SMB:
- Maximum protection: With a managed firewall, you can rely on improved threat avoidance. While a standard firewall can only detect threats that have made it extremely close to your organization. On the other hand, a managed firewall offers an extra layer of security as they are not physically located where your business is. They offer prevention as they don’t allow any threats or unauthorized users to come in proximity with your network in the first place. Additionally, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that the firewall you’re using is not outdated or faulty.
- Compliant with requirements: There are a number of compliance regulations that oblige businesses to strictly follow protocols. If your organization fails to comply, you may be exposed to severe fines and negative consequences. Regulators like HIPAA, PCI DSS, Sarbanes Oxley, and others continue developing their expectations and compliance rules as the cyberattack space grows. With a managed firewall, you will be consulted and advised on how to answer to all legal and regulatory expectations.
- No need to stress over monitoring: We’ve already mentioned that monitoring a standard firewall is extremely daunting and time-consuming for SMBs. Imagine having a limited IT department with just a few employees and a single security expert. Will they be happy with having to monitor traffic 24/7? A managed firewall allows you to ensure maximum protection and analyze reports without having to supervise or monitor all the time.
- Fewer overheads & simple management: If your business is in a field that is heavily dependent on technology, chances are that you are well aware of the time necessary to invest in monitoring and managing cybersecurity. It’s a 24/7 job that costs a fortune. Oftentimes, in-house firewalls are a barrier to growing the business at the desired speed and could even put the organization at risk. Luckily, a managed firewall offers the flexibility of growth without putting extra weight on your employees’ shoulders. You can still enjoy the reports, and updates, and other important information and at the same time focus on growing your business. At the same time, you can lower your employee training expenses and put their skills to use in other areas.
- Affordable solution: Let’s not forget about the cost of having and managing a firewall. With a managed firewall, the up-front expenses are much less when compared to designing and implementing a unique and tailor-made solution by an internal team. You won’t need to invest in hardware or to search for and hire experienced IT professionals to create your security system. In addition, the fees that you will need to pay are straightforward and consistent, meaning that you can plan your budgets without any unexpected surprises.
- Ongoing reporting: Are you interested to discover where most of the malicious threats are coming from, how frequently you receive security alerts, or even what your employees are doing online during working hours? You could have access to all of this information via a managed firewall. Your provider can offer regular reporting on important data and trends that will help you locate the weak points in your system, improve the system, and protect your company in the future.
- Increased productivity: With a managed firewall solution, you and your team will have the necessary time, energy, and resources to focus on other, equally important things for keeping your business healthy and strong. Security is vital but it should not be the only thing your organization focuses on.
Enjoy maximum network security
Although there is a common misconception that small and medium-sized businesses are in no danger to cyberattacks due to their sides, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With limited IT teams, lower budgets for security, and potentially not enough experience and know-how, SMBs are among the most exposed organizations to malicious threats. A managed firewall service could help you avoid the threats of breaches and could keep your company protected while lowering your costs for security.