Most small to medium sized businesses owners don’t think about managed firewall solutions. They’re like you – already busy with the operational side of running their organisations. From finding new clients to invoicing their existing ones, dealing with customer and staff issues, trying to make payroll and handling their tax obligations. Network security is often the last thing on their minds!
So what is a managed firewall and why should you care?
Benefits of Managed Firewalls
Managed firewall companies can protect your business 24×7 while you are free to focus on your core business. Just as you’d pay an accountant to do your books for you (unless you’re an accounting firm!) and a cleaning company to clean your office (unless you’re a cleaning company!) it also makes sense to trust specialised experts to manage your IT security.
After all, if you want to manage your own internal network firewall, you’ve got to hire, manage and train high-salary-demanding network engineers. To support your office around the clock, you’ve got to hire enough staff to manage multiple shifts – including (to use an IT term) – redundancy, in case one of your staff is sick or needs time off. This means you’re looking at a minimum of 4 staff to adequately cover the duties of keeping your firewall and related cyber security services operational. With an average wage of $100,000 you’re looking to invest $400k right off the bat!
Managed firewalls help you avoid this massive cost blowout. The managed firewall company will leverage their own resources across multiple accounts like yours, to reduce your costs for protecting your business from cyber attacks and internal threat.
Managed Firewall Maintenance
Just like your desktop and laptop computers, it’s not enough to simply purchase a firewall service and leave it be. If you’ve purchased a firewall device off the shelf from a firewall provider, you’ll also have to make sure it’s updated with security patches and operating system updates. Otherwise you’ll be leaving your system vulnerable to attack from cyber criminals who aim to exploit security holes in outdated software code.
By engaging a managed firewall provider however, you don’t have to consider this activity – it will be included in your monthly maintenance program.
This means you can simply pay your monthly invoice and know you’re in good hands!
Levels of Network Security
Not all cloud managed firewalls are made equal, so it pays to do your homework before committing to any one solution. Some firewalls will simply block suspect traffic, while others will be able to automatically scan all incoming and outgoing documents.
Obviously the price you’ll pay will vary according to the features you need. Then it becomes a business decision to weigh up the costs vs the benefits you expect to see for that investment.