The 7 Deadly I.T. Sins: Faulty Firewall

This month’s deadly IT “sin” is the faulty firewall.

Most businesses are so busy fighting fires from day to day that they don’t have the energy to worry about network security. That being said, network security should be a major concern for any business.

Your firewall – a critical security component – is only effective when it is configured correctly. And even a properly configured firewall won’t deliver optimal protection from intrusions unless it is enterprise grade. A firewall can block port scans, thwart data-stealing malware, control Facebook access, and prioritize bandwidth for corporate applications – to name a few key features – so it is extremely important for protecting your data.

If you’re using a consumer-grade firewall / router combination for your business, you are putting your network in danger. Consumer-grade devices are generally configured incorrectly making them more susceptible to attacks from hackers.

When you browse on the Internet and view or download files, an enterprise-grade firewall will scan these documents to ensure that they are virus and malware free. On the other hand, a consumer-grade device has no intelligence and is therefore unable to identify whether a file is hazardous or not.

Imagine you receive a document from a colleague whose computer—unbeknownst to him—has been infected with malware that attaches itself to the file. If you have a consumer-grade firewall you would open the attachment and be immediately infected. But with a commercial-grade device would remove the file before it gets to you, and mark the message with an alert, leaving your computer free of virus or malware infections.

One particularly nasty piece of malware is Ransomware. Ransomware will encrypt your data, making it impossible to access without paying a hacker an exorbitant fee to remove the encryption. And if you do pay, the hacker community will know that not only does your network have a weak point, but you are willing to pay up.

To reduce the likelihood of these threats, all business owners should invest in a commercial-grade firewall. Think of it as insurance against data-theft and security intrusions. If you already have a strong firewall, but it hasn’t been configured it is vital that you correct this weakness. What’s the point of having an alarm if it’s not on? Or having a car if there’s no gas? Without proper configuration, having a good firewall is no more effective than having a low-end consumer-grade device.

We hope this information was helpful. If you or anyone you know needs help installing or configuring a firewall we’re just a call away at 416-966-3306.

You can learn more about avoiding other threats by following our segment The 7 Deadly I.T. Sins in the upcoming months.