Since the beginning of the global pandemic, there has been a sharp increase in cyberattacks against businesses and organisations. And, with the continuation of remote and hybrid working, the risk of further security breaches remains high. Such significant change to the digital landscape in recent years has forced many businesses and organisations to make cyber security a top priority going forward, leading to an increase in the demand for firewall and network management.
While many small and medium Irish businesses, who would have previously managed their own firewall and network security with an in-house IT department, are now opting to invest in specialised managed security service providers, there is still a significant gap in how many Irish businesses remain vulnerable to cyberthreats.
In this article, we’ll explore why you need a managed firewall and network in 2022.
What is a Firewall?
Essentially, a firewall is a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and either allows or blocks data packets to be sent based on a set of security rules.
The role of a firewall is to establish a barrier between the internal network and incoming traffic from external sources (such as the internet) to block malicious activity, like viruses and hackers.
Firewalls carefully analyse all of this incoming traffic against a set of pre-established rules and insecure or suspicious sources are then blocked by the firewall, preventing successful attacks.
What is a Managed Network?
Regardless of how powerful a firewall can be at keeping cyberattacks at bay, they are only effective if they are managed properly. This is where a managed network service can be a great option for businesses without leading-edge cybersecurity expertise.
A managed network is the term used for a business whose network is managed remotely by a specialised team of security experts, meaning the responsibility of the network’s security is entirely in the hands of professionals.
This allows business owners and management to redeploy their resources into more productive areas of operation instead of continuously monitoring the network, which can be a time-consuming and costly process.
Why does your business need a Managed Firewall and Network?
According to a recent report by professional services firm Grant Thornton, cybercrime cost the Irish economy €9.6 billion in 2020.
The report also notes a 100% rise in computer viruses and a 20% increase in phishing attacks, in which fraudulent communications purporting to be from reputable sources are sent to businesses and consumers.
These statistics are by no means recent trends and cyberattacks, on the whole, are expected to continue to increase in the coming years. However, they do serve as a stark reminder to businesses without in-house cybersecurity teams of the necessity of having a managed firewall and network in place.
What are the benefits of having a Managed Firewall and Network?
Given the level of threat that exists in the context of cyber security breaches, there are numerous advantages to having a managed firewall and network in place:
1. Continuous monitoring
With a managed firewall and network, all the monitoring is done remotely, with emergency backup power and advanced security technology in place.
This gives businesses peace of mind that all their data is stored in a secure location, which is monitored 24/7, 365 days of the year.
And while the network is being managed, the experienced security teams can observe network traffic and analyse the results to identify any vulnerabilities and deal with them immediately.
2. Correct configuration
For a firewall to work efficiently and to its full potential, the configurations have to be correct.
As a specialised piece of IT, a firewall requires specialised configuration settings put in place by a team that has expertise in this field. Having a managed firewall and network ensures that the configurations are correctly set up by the experts.
Hiring a full-time network security engineer would be very costly for a business, and there would also be the added cost of installing the required software. By choosing the route of a managed firewall and network, businesses have access to more specialised equipment and software that is monitored and maintained at a fraction of the cost through a third-party provider.
4. A solution to suit all businesses
Every business will have different requirements, particularly at a time when there are more flexible working models in place, from fully remote to hybrid working.
It is therefore important for businesses to implement a tailor-made network package to suit their needs; whether they have teams working remotely or in the office, the same level of security is needed across the board.
Choosing a managed firewall and network facilitates this, so there is a managed solution to suit the network environment of each individual business.
What are the consequences of not having a Managed Firewall and Network in place?
By not having a managed firewall and network in place, businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Without the protection of a monitored system, it would be impossible for businesses to watch their network for potential threats every moment of the day – doing so would undoubtedly cause a decrease in the productivity of their teams.
Additionally, the heightened risk of a cyberattack can potentially put a business in a position where valuable data is lost, which in turn compromises customer information. This can then result in an inadvertent breakdown of GDPR compliance, which can lead to fines for the business and cause significant damage to its reputation.
For these crucial reasons alone, it makes absolute sense for businesses to pass this responsibility to specialised companies that can ensure their network is safe. Doing so allows a company to focus on driving their business forward and looking after their clients and customers without the stress of network security.
How can One Contact help?
It’s clear that cyber security cannot be taken for granted in 2022, and it’s high time for businesses to ensure the safety of their networks. The most effective way of doing this is to leave it in the hands of the experts.
One Contact can provide a Managed Firewall and Network service for your company and can tailor a solution to suit the specific environment of your business. By taking this step, One Contact can keep you safe and secure while your organisation flourishes.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business find the right managed firewall and network solution to suit all of your needs while keeping you and your customers safe into 2022 and beyond.