Your company's firewall is the first line of defense against network security breaches. A firewall protects your network from unexpected and unauthorized access.
But firewall security isn't impenetrable.
With more employees working from cell phones or remote locations like homes and coffee shops, your firewall might not be enough to protect your company's or your clients' information.
What happens when your firewall falls to cyber criminals? With the proper safeguards, you’ll hopefully never find out. Here are three reasons why your firewall protection may not be enough and what you can do about it.
1. 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.
The solution: Update your firewall hardware and software frequently and proactively.
With the dizzying amount of cyberattacks going on, staying on top of security trends can be a full-time job. A trusted IT provider can track and implement the proper updates to keep your managed firewall as effective as possible.
2. Vulnerabilities in Firewalls Outside 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 employees access their email or files from their phones? What about when they connect to the Wi-Fi at a hotel?
Your network security is only as strong as its weakest link. You could have the most robust and expensive security system on your laptop, but it won't do you any good if an attacker sets up a fake Wi-Fi hotspot and intercepts all your data. And that's only one of many ways hackers can get around your firewall.
The solution: Create a human firewall.
What is a human firewall? It’s education and training for ALL your employees so they use best practices when logging into your work network. An IT provider can train your employees on proper protocols and even run practice tests to ensure they respond properly. Human beings are fallible; minimize your risk.
3. Firewalls Don't Protect from Insider Threats
Your employee just received an email saying, "There has been an update to your W-2 deductions. To view, click here." You've been around the block a few times, and you spot this scam from a mile away. On the other hand, Donny from operations is concerned his take-home pay will 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. Once the hacker's in, your firewall can't stop him anymore.
Maybe this isn't realistic at your company. You’ve created a reliable human firewall. 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 of your inboxes. A strong firewall is critical to good network security, but it's no longer enough.
The solution: Take extra precautions to keep your data safe.
Create backups for your network that hackers can’t reach. Patch your software regularly, and close open ports. Have a plan in place if your network becomes compromised. This is where an IT specialist can be beneficial. They can monitor your network and manage updates without obstructing your daily functions. Being prepared can save your business.
Minnesota’s Best Firewall Support
Don't know where to start? That's okay. Network security gets more complex with each passing day. Get in touch with Thriveon to have Minnesota’s proactive firewall experts upgrade your security with the best firewall for small to medium-sized businesses. Hackers target all sizes and all types of companies. We’ll keep yours secure.