What is a firewall?

In computing and networks, a firewall is software, hardware or firmware (which is permanent software programmed into a read-only memory.) that follows a specific set of rules to decide whether to allow information or data to enter or leave a network.

Firewalls have been a crucial defence in network security for over 25 years. They are a virtual barrier between sources that are checked and trusted, and untrusted sources that come from outside an internal network.

Firewalls can be used for a wide range of devices and systems to lower the risk of malicious data travelling to and from the device.

The term firewall is a metaphor relating to a wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire. The most common ones you see are fire doors in a commercial building or school. There are two main types of computing firewall; network based and host based.

Host-based means it’s installed on individual servers and monitors signals going in and out. A network-based firewall is held in the cloud as a virtual firewall.

When you’re looking at firewalls, you’ll come across some various terms within those host and network-based firewalls; proxy, stateful inspection, unified threat management (UTM), next-generation firewall (NGFW) and Threat focussed NGFW.

 

Why do you need a firewall?

Firewalls are just the first line in the defence against hacks and malicious intent.

In the same way that you lock your doors and windows before leaving the house, your firewall locks out unwanted intruders and makes you much less vulnerable to hackers who want to access your data or imitate your company (also known as spoofing).

Some of the most common attacks are IP spoofing, network packet sniffers, man-in-the-middle attacks, distribution of sensitive internal information to external sources and password attacks.

Password attacks can be achieved via password guessing (like you see in the movies), brute force login (where a programme guesses at a much higher rate per second but can often crash a system due to the resources required to cope with the constant attack) and password cracking (where the attacker gains access to the file on a computer that stores your passwords).

The results of not having adequate firewall protection can be minor or devastating. Sometimes the downtime alone is the most costly part of the disruption, but other outcomes can be damage to a company’s reputation or loss of crucial information.

Talk to us about the best firewalls and security for your organisation – get your free consultation via our contact page.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

What Is The Cost Of IT Downtime?

Even as technology continues to grow and improve at an impressive rate, the risk of downtime and outages is still a major fear for businesses, particularly small and medium sized (SMBs). This is because IT downtime can potentially result in severe impacts to both reputation and finances.

It’s because of the severity of the impacts of IT downtime that it’s crucial for businesses to have professional, reliable Managed IT Services that includes a secure backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution to keep their data safeguarded and ensure they can get back up and running as soon as possible if downtime does occur.

The all-too-often mistake that businesses tend to make is that they don’t fully appreciate the value and importance of BDR until after it’s too late. It’s common for businesses to only implement a backup and recovery solution once they have been hit by a disaster or downtime!

Putting a Cost Against IT Downtime

Downtime is an expected yet expensive risk of doing business today. Without the ability to maintain or restore business operations, it could result in direct losses in productivity and revenue. Below is a chart of what businesses claim to be the cost of an IT downtime incident:

There are two different types of associated costs when it comes to IT downtime; direct and indirect. The direct costs can include loss of sales or employee productivity, whilst indirect costs refer to the further consequences of the downtime, such as loss of revenue from reputational damage. The combination of both direct and indirect costs is what truly puts your business at risk. As the chart above outlines, the majority of businesses see a £35,000 – £75,000 loss just from IT downtime, with a large portion seeing even up to a £350,000 loss. Can your business really afford losing out on this level of revenue?

It’s more than likely that your businesses relies on day-to-day operations that involves data. How would you be affected if you were no longer able to access this vital data? Ask yourself if your business could still function as normal without access to this data or any relevant IT systems. Were you aware that 50% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t even have BDR solutions in place?

In fact, only a tiny 6% of businesses have never experienced an IT downtime event. The below chart outlines how many and how recently businesses have suffered from downtime:

IT Downtime can occur more often than you think and is easily one of the biggest IT related expenses a business can face. Simply having a backup isn’t a solution – despite common misconception, even backups can fail. A professional backup and disaster recovery solution will perform regular, reliable backups that will allow your business to recover vital data and mitigate any losses from downtime. At Spectrum Networks Solutions, our experienced IT Support team we will even ensure that you have a solid recovery plan in place and that you will have optimal recovery points – what’s more, we’ll do our very best to prevent downtime from occurring ever again. You will have complete peace of mind that even if you do experience downtime, you won’t suffer any long-term impacts on your business and revenue.

Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

Helmedal

HEIMDAL Network Security and Protection

Antivirus looks for files and actions, whereas Heimdal looks at traffic. Therefore, Heimdal Network Security and Antivirus work independently but in tandem. Heimdal Network Security prevents hackers from taking data from your PC and moving it out of your network.

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Contact Us today, to know more about our IT network support services and discuss your project requirements.

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