Defend Your Business with a Firewall
Broadband services and the ability to work remotely may have huge benefits when
it comes to productivity. But without proper protection they leave you and your
network exposed to a variety of incursions.
Denial of Service attacks, for example, can deprive you of access to a resource
such as your network, email or website and can destroy files and programming on
your computer systems. A Trojan Horse is a piece of programming that sneaks onto
your system and lurks until it's triggered by a date or event, at which time it
activates and destroys files or creates a back door for intruders to enter.
Attacks such as these can cost you considerable amounts of time and money. They
can be avoided by installing a firewall across your systems.
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a piece of hardware or software that places a barrier between your
network and the internet. It prevents outsiders from accessing your network and
systems and delving into your confidential information or performing malicious
acts. It can further protect your systems by restricting the surfing activities
of those on your network so that you aren't exposed to harmful code that they
may pick up when visiting non-trusted sites.
A firewall examines each piece of data sent to your computer or network and
decides, based on pre-determined parameters, whether or not to let it through.
It also blocks attempts by unknown programs that may find their way onto your
system from communicating with the internet.
What doesn't a firewall do?
Firewalls don't protect your systems against viruses. For this you need
anti-virus software that scans your computer on a regular basis and your emails
as they arrive. These days you can get anti-virus software that integrates with
firewall software so that you can monitor malicious code and intrusion attempts
from the same place.
You should keep in mind that firewalls aren't 100 percent effective. A good
firewall will protect you against 99 percent of attacks, but there is always the
possibility of one slipping through.
You need to make sure that you take other precautions to protect your systems,
such as keeping to a regular back-up plan. Also remember that a firewall is only
as good as its latest update, and its well worth your while making sure
everything stays current.
What types of firewall are available?
Hardware firewalls are easy to use and install and are usually faster than their
software counterparts. They tend to be more reliable. One of the real benefits
of a hardware firewall is that it will often come bundled with additional
services. So your hardware firewall may act as a router. They may be more
expensive, but you get more for your money.