Part 2: YOUR FIREWALL
In part 1 of our focus on business networks, we discussed routers vs. modems. In this post we will talk about your firewall.
It is important to pay attention to the security of your information and business resources. The network feature required to protect you is called a Firewall. It is an integral part of protecting your data. Without one, it is like leaving your front door open.
WHAT IS IT
There are two basic types of firewalls: hardware-based and software-based. Routers can include a hardware firewall. Data travels through the router firewall as it travels between the computer and the Internet modem. Software firewalls are installed on your computer and monitor the information requests. Using both offer the highest security level.
CLOSE THE DOOR
In part one we talked about cable modems functioning as a gateway to the Internet. Many cable modems also run Firewall software.
Unfortunately, not all firewall software is created equally. In fact, most of the firewall software provided with a standard cable modem only provides a minimal amount of protection for your information. Some even come configured with a standard and well-known password. Meaning that anyone could easily look up that information and use it to gain unauthorized access to your business information. It is like closing the door but leaving the key in the lock.
The firewall feature of a cable modem can also become overrun with usage, causing the modem to freeze or lock up and disconnect you from the Internet. To account for both the stability and security shortcomings of the firewall feature within a cable modem, it is best to install a purpose designed business-class Firewall. These will be designed for higher usage levels (number of computers concurrently connected on your network LAN accessing the Internet) and designed with better security features.
Additionally, someone needs to be in charge installing those updates when they are released by the manufacturer. If you don't have a dedicated employee to make sure to keep up with updates, you may benefit from an Integrated Service Provider who can perform updates and proactively protect your data.
AM I SAFE
In Part 3 we will discuss your network switch.
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