When it comes to the layers in your cybersecurity strategy for your business, a firewall is one of the most important. A firewall is often the first line of defense in any managed I.T. security plan.
Firewalls monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic through your network and can stop threats from impacting your user devices and other endpoints as they’re trying to pass the gateway to your office network. It’s basically a line of defense that separates your trusted internal network from the untrusted internet at large.
Without a firewall, company networks are much more susceptible to falling victim to one of the many cyber threats out there, like ransomware, botnets, trojans and more.
There is a ransomware attack happening every 14 seconds.
While most businesses understand the importance of having a firewall to protect their network, they don’t often know the difference between a residential or ISP provided modem/router/firewall and a business grade UTM (Unified Threat Management) firewall.
Just because something has “router” or “firewall” in the name doesn’t mean it’s going to provide you with the type of standard protection that your business needs to ensure your office network is safe from a data breach or ransomware infection.
Firewalls that are provided by an ISP or ones included in residential routers are often referred to as “consumer grade” which is a major step down from “business grade.” There are multiple differences, especially in the level of protection you get.
Consumer Grade vs Business Grade Firewalls
There’s a reason that companies choose business grade computers over consumer grade. They last longer, they have more capabilities, and they’re built for daily business use.
Most companies wouldn’t consider buying home computers for their company because it would end up costing them in performance and productivity.
The firewall you purchase and whether you choose consumer grade vs business grade follows that same philosophy. If you purchase one that’s not built for business needs, it’s not going to give you the performance you require and will end up costing you much more than a business grade firewall in the long run. That cost comes at the expense of your data security.
Here are several reasons why you need a business grade UTM firewall to protect your office network.
Consumer grade firewalls often sacrifice security for speed and add less features than business grade. They’re not designed for regular daily business traffic, thus can miss many of the threats that UTM firewalls can catch.
UTM firewalls designed for business offer a much higher level of protection against all the different types of threats out there.
Advanced security features typically include:
- Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection to block more attacks
- Web filtering and ability to block malicious sites
- Multi-engine sandboxing to help catch “zero-day” threats
- Antivirus and antimalware software that runs on the firewall protecting the entire network
A business grade firewall is going to have advanced intrusion detection, which includes logs that you can access to see if there has been any unusual activity or attempts to gain access to your network remotely.
You won’t get this same level of detail with a consumer grade firewall, which will limit your ability to see patterns in bandwidth usage and login attempts that can signal an attempted breach.
Management Over Your Applications
If a rogue application is eating up your network bandwidth and causing a log jam with all your other traffic, you’re not going to have the same tools in a consumer grade firewall that you have with one designed for business use.
A UTM firewall will give you the ability to prevent unauthorized applications from running, or limit the amount of bandwidth various applications can use. You can also apply security policies that impact user network activity to ensure no one is using unsafe practices that could result in a malware infection.
If you’ve been using a residential grade router with firewall, you might not realize that you’re not covered by a warranty should anything go wrong with it.
Many consumer grade devices include exclusions for business use in the warranty because they’re not designed for the demands of a business network.
When you use a business grade firewall, you know it’s specifically made for business needs and you won’t have to worry about warranty exclusions.
If you have compliance requirements related to security standards such as NIST 800-171, CMMC, PCI, or HIPAA, that means you’re subject to penalties in the case of a data breach, and these are higher if you’re not taking proper precautions to protect the data on your network.
A consumer grade firewall does not meet the security requirements of these standards, meaning you’ll be out of compliance by using it.
Business grade UTM firewalls are designed with multiple compliance standards in mind, ensuring they can be used by customers to secure their network no matter what business they’re in.
Find the Perfect UTM Firewall for Your Size Business
Just like other business technology, UTM firewalls are designed to meet different business needs and come in entry level, mid-range, and high-end options. Texas I.T. Pros works with the best business class UTM products on the market and can help you find one that fits your security needs and your budget.
Contact us today to secure your network! Call 940-239-6500 or reach out online.