• ACE Team

Firewall Benefits: The Importance of Firewall Security

As more of the business world goes digital, forward-thinking companies must focus on protecting their systems from external threats. Since the early 1980s, one method of accomplishing this has been the use of firewalls.


However, as times change, so should our methods of protecting our businesses. Next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) are the most recent advancement in digital security, combining the best parts of traditional technology with today's new technologies to provide optimal digital protection.

Top 5 Firewall Benefits


Understanding the benefits of firewall security is the first step toward ensuring your company's safe growth in the ever-changing digital age. Even if your company only relies on technology and networks for a small portion of its operations, it is critical that you take proactive steps to keep things secure. Firewalls are the first line of defense against external threats, malware, and hackers attempting to access your data and systems.


1. Monitors Network Traffic


The ability to monitor network traffic is the starting point for all of the benefits of firewall security. Data flowing into and out of your systems opens the door for threats to compromise your operations. Firewalls protect your systems by monitoring and analyzing network traffic. They use predefined rules and filters to do so. You can manage your levels of protection based on what you see coming in and out of your firewall with a well-trained IT team.

2: Stops Virus Attacks


Nothing can bring your digital operations to a halt faster or more forcefully than a virus attack. With hundreds of thousands of new threats being developed every day, it is critical that you put safeguards in place to keep your systems safe. The ability to control your system's entry points and stop virus attacks is one of the most visible benefits of firewalls. Depending on the type of virus, the cost of damage from a virus attack on your systems could be immeasurable.


3: Prevents Hacking


Unfortunately, the trend of businesses shifting to digital operations invites thieves and bad actors to follow suit. With the rise of data theft and criminals holding systems hostage, firewalls have become even more important in preventing hackers from gaining unauthorized access to your data, emails, systems, and other resources. A firewall can either completely stop a hacker or deter them from choosing an easier target.


4: Stops Spyware


Stopping spyware from gaining access and infiltrating your systems is a much-needed benefit in a data-driven world. As systems become more complex and robust, the number of entry points available to criminals to gain access to your systems grows. One of the most common methods for unauthorized individuals to gain access is through the use of spyware and malware—programs designed to infiltrate your systems, control your computers, and steal your data. Firewalls are an important barrier against malicious programs.


5: Promotes Privacy


The promotion of privacy is an overarching benefit. By working proactively to keep your data and your customer's data safe, you create a private environment in which your clients can put their trust. Nobody wants their data to be stolen, especially when it is obvious that precautions could have been taken to prevent the intrusion.


Upgraded data-protection systems can also provide a competitive advantage and a selling point to customers and clients. The benefit grows as your company's data becomes more sensitive.


 

The Disadvantages of Traditional Firewalls

Traditional solutions, however, have limitations and drawbacks. These disadvantages can jeopardize your security while also putting an undue strain on your resources. While a traditional firewall is preferable to nothing in most cases, the impact on your IT team, network speed, and digital security budget must be considered.


1. Application Awareness Limitations


Traditional firewalls lack the ability to go as deep as NGFWs, especially when it comes to applications. NGFWs allow the user to see which applications are being used across the network and enable the ability to control specific usage within those applications. With a traditional firewall, the flexibility to control access this deep is not available.

2: Issues with Network Speed


The issue is one of speed. Many traditional firewalls create a bottleneck at data inspection points, slowing down your operation and costing you money. This is not ideal for operations that plan to scale and add more rules, policies, and security protocols.


3: Logistical Drawbacks


Many traditional firewalls are incapable of adapting to changing aspects of business systems and operations. They can be clumsy, necessitate extensive management and maintenance, and have difficulty adapting to cloud-based environments.


Furthermore, managing policy rules across a large network can be time-consuming and costly for IT departments. Not only does this open the door to intrusion, but it also creates operational bottlenecks. A lack of control over security rules can prevent you from accessing information and users that you want.


4: Lack of Evolution Capabilities


The security threat landscape is constantly evolving, with new threats emerging on a daily basis. It is nearly impossible to keep up with the changes and provide effective support and protection without severely limiting your team's or business's capabilities. Reinstalling new solutions on each system is costly, time-consuming, and exposes vulnerabilities due to outdated protection.


 

The Advantages of Network Firewalls

Fortunately, network firewalls pick up where traditional firewalls leave off. The benefits of NGFWs are numerous, beginning with providing the highest level of network and data security. Firewalls have been in use for more than 40 years. It is unrealistic to expect the same safety protocols that worked decades ago to continue working today in the absence of upgrades, such as those seen with NGFWs.


1. Application Awareness Limitations


The ability to continuously upgrade and adapt your network security in real time gives your IT team a lot of flexibility and versatility. While your NGFW may have a hardware component, most changes and upgrades can be implemented from a single machine. This allows you to stay more current with the changing threat landscape. Furthermore, if your company's operations change, you will be able to more easily control the flow of data and users.

2: Issues with Network Speed


Traditional network firewalls go beyond the traditional single-layer port approach. NGFWs, on the other hand, provide multi-layered protection by inspecting traffic at all levels of the network.


Furthermore, NGFWs add application-level security to the equation, allowing for greater control, greater transparency, and the ability to better control the data and information that enters and exits your network. The more intelligent your security system, the more effective it will be.


3: Logistical Drawbacks


One of the top advantages of NGFWs is the simplicity of the infrastructure. By streamlining network security, your IT team can deploy new policies much easier across the entire network from one device. Additionally, transparency gives your team more flexibility in controlling what gets in and what gets out, which is the primary goal.


4: Lack of Evolution Capabilities


Historically, businesses required their own firewalls, antivirus software, ransomware protection, and intrusion detection systems. The fact that these security measures are integrated into a single seamless product is a significant advantage of NGFWs. Not only does this make life easier for your IT department, but it also raises the overall level of security through component collaboration.


NGFWs also go much further with deep packet inspection (DPI), which examines more aspects of the data entering your systems. As a result, decision-making about what to allow through and what to block becomes more informed and effective. This, once again, contributes to the primary goal of firewalls.


5: Consistent Network Speed


As previously stated, traditional firewalls can saturate your systems as you increase the breadth of your protections. A significant advantage is that you can continue to improve and expand the deployment of your security without compromising the speed of your network.


The very nature of the network design encourages maximum potential throughput while sacrificing security. In layman's terms, your systems remain secure, and your operations remain swift.


Need help with firewall security?


Call us at +65 6262 0402 or email us at care@acebizservices.com to get the information details on your needs.

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