How a Firewall can boost your cyber-security strategy

The number of cyber-attacks occuring is inexplicably on the increase. These attacks are not targeted at just larger companies, small to medium size businesses are also vulnerable. The impact of these types of attacks on businesses can be far reaching and include:

Financial Cost: Cyber-attacks can result in a huge financial loss. This loss can be caused by theft of business or financial information, theft of money, disruption to trading, loss of business or contracts and much more. As well as the possibility of losing money to cyber-attackers, companies that experience attacks will likely need to pay for repairing systems or devices which have been affected.

Reputational Damage: Attacks can also damage your business’ reputation and ruin the essential trust in customer relationships. This could in the worst circumstances lead to a loss of customers, loss of sales and/or reduction in profits.

Legal Consequences: Data protection and privacy laws require you oversee the security of all personal data you hold. Fines and sanctions could be put in place if this data is accidentally or deliberately compromised.

Keeping the Windows Operating System and anti-virus software up to date as well as implementing other security features such as multi factor authentication provide additional levels of protection. However, a multi layer approach is highly recommended. Much like the layers of an onion, the more “layers”, the more protection you will afford yourself as a business from the very worst scenario occurring and your business being impacted.

An additional layer of defence many businesses are implementing is a network “Firewall” and Grapevine have partnered with one of the leading providers of security firewalls to further enhance our client’s layers of defence against cyber-attacks and improve overall security.

What is a Firewall?

A Firewall sits on the “edge” of your network and protects your business against unauthorised access, preventing hackers, malware or other malicious attacks from entering your network and ultimately your systems and computers.

A Firewall will monitor incoming and outgoing traffic activity on your network and decide whether to allow or block this traffic based on the Firewall configuration rules that have been applied. To put it simply, a Firewall checks everything that goes in or out of your network to be sure that it is safe and not malicious.

As well as the main benefit of a Firewall described above, others include:

  • The ability to create secure an encrypted ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN) between wherever your employees are working and the company network.
  • The blocking of malicious websites and risky content.
  • The blocking of unsuitable workplace content such as social media thus boosting employee productivity.
  • The ability to block certain applications running on your network.
  • Intrusion prevention services.
  • Gateway anti-virus leverage continuously updated signatures to identify and block known spyware, viruses, trojans, worms.

Your questions answered

Q. If I already have antivirus software installed on my machines, do I also need a hardware firewall?

A. In a word: yes. You want to have multiple layers of security because attackers must then gain access through the layers to get into your network thus minimising the risk to your business.

Q. Does a company of my size really need a firewall?

A. The number of cyber-attacks is on the increase year on year and are becoming more and more sophisticated in their methods. The financial cost can be severe and effect any size of company. A firewall would benefit a company of any size.

Q. How much does a cyber-attack cost a company?

A. Difficult question to answer, however it was reported in 2019 that the average mean cost of a cyber security breach for a small business was £11,000 (Small Business Guide to Cyber Attacks, Hiscox UK). This figure is considerably higher than the cost of implementing a firewall.

Q. How do I know which Firewall I need?

Which Firewall you need will depend on a few factors. This will include but is not limited to; how many users within your organisation, the speed of internet line and internet usage. Based on this information we can tailor the appropriate firewall to suit your organisation. Once you have the correct firewall in place we can then look at tailoring what subscription services are applied to best protect and secure your environment.

Firewall services from Grapevine

Our managed firewall service will provide you with the following benefits and services for a monthly fee:

  • Understand your environment and architect the best solution for your requirements.
  • Proactive monitoring of the firewall for availability, health and configuration.
  • Installation and initial configuration of the solution.
  • Ongoing maintenance to include, Firewall patching and backup of policies.
  • Policy and rule-base changes.
  • Creation and configuration of VPNs.
  • Monthly summary reporting.

To learn more please contact us or speak to your Grapevine Account Manager.