If you run several systems that are needed for your small business, hence, you need a firewall to keep everything safe on your system. A firewall is a network security that is designed to check both incoming and outcoming network traffic, which aims to prevent unauthorized access such as viruses and hackers into your internal network.
Hence, firewalls can be either software or hardware. It is recommended if you have both for extra security purposes. The difference between these two firewalls is that a software firewall is a program that must be installed on your computer and do its work by monitoring and regulating all open ports, and then check all the information about each port. While a physical firewall is a standalone piece of equipment that connects your computer to access the internet and transfer data.
Also, what makes small to medium-sized unique that it needs a specialized firewall? Well, in the world of digital business, wherein even small businesses are at risk of security threats online because they are a common target for cyber crimes. Therefore, if you want to keep your organization’s data, files, most especially your customer’s data safe from hackers and the reputation of your business, you need to have the best firewall for business.
6 Of The Best Hardware Firewalls For a Business
For small businesses looking for firewalls to protect the organization’s sensitive data and internal networks, here are the recommended hardware firewalls that you may check:
If you are looking for an all-in-one firewall with great security features, Cisco ASA is the best firewall for your business. The Cisco ASA is not just your typical hardware firewall, it offers a lot of security features such as antivirus, antispam, it has VPN device, SSL device, and IDS/IPS engine, which allows the admins to create and design their own security system that will meet the needs of their business.
Aside from the above given features, Cisco ASA firewall is also composed of the following functions:
- Authentication proxy
- Cisco IOS Stateful Packet Inspection
- Intrusion Prevention System
- Network Address Translation
- Port to Application Mapping
|Easy setup and configurationDeep web filtering and data analysisReal-enterprise class featuresFlexible licensingCan use multiple contexts||ExpensiveClunky user interfaceManual is available in English translation only|
SonicWall is known for its high-quality manufacturing of firewall products, wherein the TZ series, specifically, the TZ400 model is suited for small to medium-sized businesses. To give the best security solution, SonicWall Firewall comes with both hardware and software antivirus and network monitoring to check what goes in and out throughout the system and can protect the system against cyber threats.
The SonicWall firewall will maximize its use when combined with the Dell X-Series, wherein it supports more than 100 additional ports. Moreover, it can operate and work in a deep packet inspection without compromising the transfer speed.
|Easy access and configuration with the use of graphical interfaceComes with a deep packet filteringIdentification and visibility of traffic comes in real-time||Licenses must be renewed annuallyExpensive|
Palo Alto Networks
Palo alto Networks work by managing users, applications, and content through assigning policies to secure access to only relevant networks; thereby blocking threats. Palo alto Networks use a site to site VPN encryption tunnel to make a network on your cloud storage. Through this, your sensitive data stored in the cloud will be more secured and protected.
However, this firewall only utilizes stateful packet inspections, wherein the firewall does not analyze the data that goes into your device such as the basic origin IP address.
|Firewall logs are very comprehensiveIt protects against ransomware and malware applicationsHelps users to connect from home remotely||It needs subscription packagesOften updates|
Therefore, you already know what are the best hardware firewalls that can be used to protect your business against online threats. However, it is still the best, if you have both hardware and software firewalls so that your business, especially your client’s data have that extra security and protection against cyber threats, hackers, and ransomware, which may compromise your business’ reputation.
Best Software Firewalls
Listed below are some of the best software firewalls for your small business that makes a great combination with your hardware firewall.
Norton firewall comes with a Lifelock subscription that protects your personal data secured against online threats. Norton has the ability to block webcam access from hackers. Among other things, you can set a daily maximum time for your device when it is allowed to access. Moreover, it comes with a free 10GB of backup data on your cloud. Overall, Norton firewall is the best host-based software firewall that helps you secure against security threats as your small business grows.
|Has many great features such as antivirus, password manager, and a malicious protection programShorter scan periodEquipped with a cloud-based security||Lack of tutorialFewer subscription optionsDifficulty in installing simple software|
McAfee offers a dual program, which works as antivirus software and at the same time acts as firewall protection. Hence, it comes with a two-way firewall, wherein it monitors what comes in and goes out from the system and blocks unwanted packets from entering your device. This software uses IP Security that is designed to make a safe connection through the system and operates these important features:
- Digital file shredder
- Identity theft protection
Hence, this software program can support up to five devices, which is perfect for small businesses.
|Comes with a two-way firewallExcellent in detecting malicious URLsFree technical support||Too many features that need to be downloaded separately|
What Features Should a Good Small Business Firewall Have?
Since there are two general types of firewalls, the hardware and the software firewalls; therefore, you will get two different lists of firewalls. But before that you need to learn what are the features that you need to look for in choosing the best firewall for your business.
Since there are so many features stated in every firewall, well, here are the basic essentials that you should check when you choose a firewall for your business.
1. Packet Filtering
This is usually installed in a small network through a router that acts as a firewall by monitoring and checking every packet of data that enters on your network. It is only recommended for small businesses and organizations with minimal network use.
2. Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you want a secured and safe network, a VPN must be the top priority when looking for a firewall. A VPN works by implementing a site to site encryption and making your IP address so that hackers can also assume that you are only connected to a VPN server, without even knowing what you are doing or searching on the internet.
3. Proxy Server
While a VPN works by encrypting all the network traffic that enters through the server, a proxy will just simply encrypt your IP address, and then it can handle simultaneous network connections.
If you have a tight budget yet looking for satisfactory privacy for your business, a proxy server will do. But, if you can afford a VPN, it is much better than a proxy server.
In fact, you can have both VPN and proxy server, for a better and extra security on your business.
4. Built-in High Availability
This is just a backup feature for unexpected firewall shutdown. Hence, this works by redirecting you to a secondary firewall, restoring the business’ operational activities. If you are just a small business that can operate without a firewall for a short period of time, well, this feature might not be necessary.
On the other hand, if you operate on a large service provider dealing with hundreds to thousands of customer’s information, you need this type of feature on a firewall to prevent and protect data exposure against hackers, if there is a sudden and unexpected shutdown of your primary firewall.
5. Enterprise Firewall
Well, this firewall is a standalone firewall, which is designed for high-profile businesses with complex networks and with many users. The enterprise firewall is typically the most sophisticated and the most expensive monitoring and reporting system.
The basic tasks of an enterprise firewall include delivering extensive firewalls, incorporating VPN pathways, and has a built-in high availability feature that works for sudden primary firewall shutdown.
Here are some of the best enterprise firewall:
Therefore, here are just some of the basic features that you must look for when choosing a firewall for your small business. Hence, let’s move forward to know the best firewall hardware for your business.
Other Ways to Strengthen Your Small Business’ Cyber Security
While relying on firewall protection is considered as the first line of defense to protect your device and system against cyber threats and malicious ransomware (which may access your data in the system); it is also important and necessary if you follow these simple tips to protect your data and device.
1. Do Not Open Unknown Links
If you click links from anonymous or open attachments from people you do not know, this is a common tactic used by hackers so that they can have access , damage, or disable your device.
2. Be Aware that New Connections on your Device may Bring Potential Threats
Make sure not to auto-save passwords on your device and keep your device up-to-date with the latest manufacturer updates.
By just simply following these basic two tips, and then installing the right hardware and software firewalls, you are one step ahead in keeping your data and devices protected and secured against different types of online threats.