Your company's firewall is the first line of defense against network security breaches, and for good reason: a firewall protects your network from unexpected and unauthorized access. But firewall security isn't impenetrable. With more and more employees working from cell phones, or from remote locations like homes and coffee shops, your firewall might not be enough to protect your company's, or your clients', information.
Firewalls can be Hacked
No system is perfect. Given enough time and resources, any security can be breached. A skilled hacker can exploit a weakness in your firewall's configuration to access your network, or emulate one of your employees to bypass it completely. This is especially dangerous if you've been using the same firewall for a long time — older systems are more vulnerable to attack.
Vulnerable Outside of the Office
Your firewall is pretty good at protecting your office network. After all, that's what it was designed to do. But, what happens when an employee accesses their email or files from their phone? What about when they connect to the WiFi at a hotel?
Your network security is only as strong as its weakest link. You could have the strongest, most expensive security system on your laptop, but it won't do you any good if an attacker sets up a fake WiFi hotspot and intercepts all of your data. And that's only one way hackers can get around your firewall.
Firewalls Don't Protect from Insider Threats
Your employee just received an email saying "there has been an update to their w-2 deductions to view click here". You've been around the block a few times, and you spot this as a scam from a mile away. Donny from operations, on the other hand, is concerned his take home pay is going to change. He clicks the link, but to his dismay, nothing seems to happen. What Donny doesn't realize is that he has just allowed a hacker past your firewall and into your network. And now that the hacker's in, your firewall can't stop him anymore.
Maybe this isn't realistic at your company. Your employees have been briefed on the basics of network security, and your spam filter is configured to block emails like this one before they ever arrive in any your inbox. A strong firewall is absolutely critical to good network security, but it's no longer enough. Take extra precautions, and keep your data safe.
Don't know where to start? That's ok. Network security gets more complex with each passing day. Don't be afraid to ask your IT service provider for help making sure your network security is up to 2018 standards.