Reasons to Use a Managed Firewall

Firewall Basics

The Internet is a powerful business tool, but it can also be a scary place riddled with viruses and malicious software actively attempting to gain access to computer systems and data. The patient/customer data is valuable, and there are bad guys out there who want it.

Firewalls can provide a first line of defense. A firewall acts much like a solid brick wall around a building, complete with a gate and security guard. The security guard only allowing the specific things you have told him through.

Reduce Risk and Impact of Malware

A managed firewall can identify when your network traffic has contact with a website known to be linked to the distribution of malware, ransomware or other possible illegal activity. Some solutions are even able to send suspicious files or weblinks to a sandbox environment where they are safely scanned and quarantined if needed.

Simplified Firewall Setup, Configuration, Changes, and Logging

A managed firewall makes setting up your firewall as easy as possible. Engineers can remotely configure, manage, and monitor the device. Alerts can be set up, so an issue is visible asap.

Outbound firewall rules

It is tempting to allow people in our organizations to access anything on the Internet. We might justify it by saying it helps them do their jobs unhindered or makes them happier when they can get to Facebook, Twitter, and personal email during working hours. Unfortunately, allowing computers to connect anywhere greatly increases the chances of malicious software infection.

Inbound firewall rules

Now let’s talk about what outsiders we want our security guard to let in through the gate. This is where we often see problems. Usually there are no rules, so everything is allowed in.

Even when rules are in place, big holes are often left open to allow employees, 3rd party applications, or office managers to connect from home. When someone outside our brick wall needs to come in past the security guard, it is called remote access.

Logging: Compliance and Benefits

Logging plays a vital role in real-time alerts and forensics to discover what occurred during a problem. Unfortunately, logging is often overlooked and misunderstood. Per HIPAA requirements, we need to configure logging and monitoring properly. Think of logging as a security guard writing down the names of those trying to pass through the gate – both those permitted, and those who aren’t.

Firewall Updates, Backup, And Recovery

A managed firewall ensures your firewall stays secure and your configurations are not lost, distributes updated code to your firewall periodically to keep your data secure, and performs configuration backups and provides regular system recovery for firewall configurations. The modem/router from your internet company does not do this.

Meet Compliance Requirements

A managed firewall provides the tools to assist with many compliance requirements regarding proper firewall set up and use, as well as internal vulnerability scanning, including PCI requirements and HIPAA requirements. These requirements, or ones like them, will be an eventuality for all cannabis businesses why not begin the journey to compliance now? Do we as an industry want to take cash indefinitely?

Conduct Internal Vulnerability Scans

Detect security weaknesses inside your network by scanning your internal network. This helps you search for thousands of vulnerabilities that may make you vulnerable to compromise. Through an encrypted tunnel, A network security tool combines multiple scanning engines to provide in-depth vulnerability detection scanning. Internal scanning assists with PCI DSS requirements.

Detect Rogue Wireless Access

Many small businesses experience breaches through their wireless network because they do not analyze their environment for rogue access points. A managed firewall helps you analyze your wireless network for threats, keep track of all wireless access points, and ensure secure encryption to prevent potential criminal attacks. The modem/router from your internet company does not do this.

Bottom Line

The default device offered by your internet service provider is not a true firewall. It has firewall features and offers “best effort” when it comes to securing your business. Using this default device puts your business and customers at risk.

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