What Is a Hardware Firewall and Does Your Business Need One?

What Is a Hardware Firewall and Does Your Business Need One?

Digital security is one of the defining characteristics of the modern workplace. With more businesses moving to the cloud, however, many business leaders are being led to believe that software is pretty much all they need to protect their data. In some respects, that’s true, but it doesn’t paint the entire picture.

When it comes to cybersecurity, you need to rely on more than just software. A firewall can take the form of a program installed on your computer or even a physical device installed between your network and the internet. This firewall works to keep threats out of your network, and if they do find a way in, to limit the damage caused by them.

How Do Hardware Firewalls Work?

Although software-based firewalls certainly aren’t without value, a hardware firewall offers a superior layer of protection due to its perimeter network position. As it sits directly between your router and everything else, a hardware firewall protects every device connected to the network by scanning all incoming traffic. This means it isn’t dependent on the operating systems, browsers, and other software installed on the networked device. As such, the hardware firewall acts as a gatekeeper between your business and the internet.

Most hardware firewalls do much more than just filter web content and provide basic data scanning. They also offer a highly configurable and centralized platform for managing your entire network security strategy. For example, many hardware-based firewalls offer intelligent functions that look for suspicious activities rather than rely purely on pre-existing repositories of malware definitions. This also makes them more efficient for analyzing huge data sets that many corporations -- especially those that depend heavily on the cloud -- rely on.

Hardware firewalls are effectively computers in their own right. But unlike your everyday workstations, they have a single purpose: to keep your business safe from external dangers. This makes them far less vulnerable to a multitude of issues like accidental deactivation or vulnerable, client-side software. As they’re always on, they also provide round-the-clock protection, which is something every modern business needs.

Unfortunately, a glaring drawback of conventional hardware firewall implementations is that they are often extremely complicated and time-consuming to manage.

Why Managed Firewalls Are Better for Small Businesses

Small businesses are unlikely to have dedicated IT departments, but that doesn’t mean they can afford to let cybersecurity take a backseat. Fortunately, managed firewalls exist to provide the level of enterprise-grade security you need to keep your data in the right hands.

Managed hardware firewalls combine the benefits of hardware-based firewalls with that of having a dedicated IT security team to maintain and manage everything. A managed firewall consists of an in-house hardware firewall connected to cloud-based software update services that can be managed remotely by certified security professionals. This also means your network will be monitored and your security protocols maintained around the clock.

Some people believe that hardware is no longer needed, but nothing could be further from the truth. By combining remote administration with the latest hardware technology, you’ll have the best of both worlds. For businesses that don’t have the time, budget and expertise to do everything themselves, there’s no better and safer approach than to have your network taken care of by a dependable team of experts.

Here at Total Tech Team, we’re all about helping small companies do more with their technology. That’s why we offer complete packages to help make your migration to the cloud a successful one. Call us today if you’re ready to partner with an IT team that works!