firewall illustration

There is no single solution for protecting your private network from intrusions like viruses, data theft, or targeted attacks. However, your network firewall is your first line of defense and requires regular maintenance. If you haven’t thought about your network firewall since you installed it, or your in-house IT team is busy handling other aspects of your business, keep reading to find out if your firewall is at risk.

What is a Network Firewall, and What Does it Do?

A network firewall acts like a security guard by inspecting the information, or data packets, coming in and out of your private network. The quality of that inspection depends on the type of firewall you set up and how well you maintain that security measure. If you have any employees who use remote access, your network firewall can also help manage that access and secure any potential risks.

There are several network firewall options—traditional and cloud-based.

Traditional Network Firewalls

A traditional firewall consists of two technologies: hardware and software. The hardware component is built into your router or can be purchased separately, and uses a software program to act as the initial line of defense against any attacks.

Other software programs can be purchased or may be installed from the manufacturer for individual devices. These individual programs can act as a barrier inside your internal network to prevent things like ransomware from spreading beyond the infected computer.

Cloud-Based Network Firewalls

A cloud-based firewall protects your network in the realm of online applications. With the increasing use of online applications to manage products, projects, and people it is important to look at all areas where your network can be accessed.

Technological advances are happening every day. Is your network firewall keeping up with those changes?

Your Network Firewall is At Risk If You’re Not Doing These Things

Staying Up-to-Date on the Latest Attacks

If you’re not being proactive about your network security, you’re opening up your network to preventable risks. Stay up-to-date on the latest cybercrime types that are being used to infiltrate, damage, or steal information from your network. These attacks can look like phishing scams, viruses, ransomware, and more.

Using Scanning Tools

Scanning tools work to go over your network with a fine-tooth comb to look for any holes that need to be patched, open ports where data may be transferred in or out unknowingly, and other weaknesses that can happen as technology advances. These tools, much like your network firewall itself, can be used on the entire network or individual devices. They are a key player in finding potential security risks and developing a plan to eliminate those risks.

Consulting with an Outside IT Consultant

Even if you have an in-house IT department, consulting with an outside IT company will be worth your time. Your in-house team already has their plate full keeping up with your computers and employee requests, so let an experienced IT consultant make sure your network firewall is safe. At Monroy IT, we offer 24/7 monitoring of your network, so when a problem occurs, help will be only minutes away.

Common Firewall Threats

Insider Attacks

Attacks on your private network don’t always originate outside of company walls. While many attacks come from outside sources, there are several ways insider attacks can occur. A disgruntled employee who has access to your server without being monitored could easily steal or destroy company information, install malicious software, or send spam emails.

Insider attacks can be from anyone that has access to your building. A separate locked server room can deter someone from trying to break in, but monitoring the room with surveillance and securing the actual servers with locks can limit access capabilities of anyone with malicious intent.

Missed Security Patches

Security patches are designed to help eliminate vulnerabilities, and not having a regularly scheduled maintenance plan in place could leave you open to those vulnerabilities. Your firewall software manufacturer creates patches as they find weaknesses in the security program. Without a regularly scheduled maintenance plan in place, these patches never get applied to your firewall, and those vulnerabilities remain open.

Configuration Mistakes

Configuring your network firewall shouldn’t just be a step during installation and setup. Much like staying up-to-date with the latest attacks and security patches, your configuration settings might need to change over time to optimize your network for new technologies and devices within your company.

Network configuration mistakes can lead to a slower network, which may cause problems for your employees trying to access information outside of your network. While a slower network could lead to cranky employees, not changing the default password after setting up your firewall could leave you open to unwanted access by someone inside or outside of your company.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are meant to bombard your network resources and cause your network firewall to shut down temporarily or for longer periods. When your network firewall is shut down, it is unable to properly process and sort out incoming data packets. This leaves your network open to other attacks. Having a professional IT company managing your day-to-day firewall demands can bring peace of mind knowing that they will be monitoring 24/7 for these kinds of attacks.

Is Your Network Firewall Keeping up with Technological Advances?

Maintaining a network firewall can be a challenge without the right team in place. Let Monroy IT Services be the right team for your company in the San Antonio, TX area. With 24/7 monitoring and fast, on-site response, Monroy IT services will be the best decision you can make for your IT needs.