What is a firewall and why do I need one?

Fortinet

In 2017 there was a heightened awareness of the risk presented by Ransomware attacks with two high-profile cases in particular making global headlines. In addition to these events there has also been an increase of risk mitigation practices such as Cyber Insurance policies and reviews of what constitutes best practice to protect business assets.

In 2018 the risks or threats have not changed, and businesses need to consider multiple aspects of their digital network to minimise those risks and threats.

One aspect that is part of the overall solution is having a firewall - a network security device that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and decides whether to allow or block specific traffic based on a defined set of security rules.

Firewalls have been a first line of defence in network security for over 25 years. They establish a barrier between secured and controlled internal networks that can be trusted and untrusted outside networks, such as the Internet.

A firewall can be hardware, software, or both.

BlueBerry partners with Fortinet as a world-leader in Network Security who can provide a range of hardware and software subscriptions designed to protect business while allowing you to safely take advantage of the new world of exciting opportunities available via the internet. 

While a firewall provides an additional level of protection it also helps businesses with managing Human Resource (HR) obligations by providing a tool to protect staff from themselves and reducing the risk of accidental security breaches. It also allows management to deal with any HR related issues to do with internet use during work time as they are able to provide proof of activity via an additional Reporting Services subscription.

While any solution does not 100% protect your business from all cyber-based threats, the provision of a firewall minimises the risk significantly.

To provide additional context, BlueBerry have just assisted a business that was infected with a cryptolocker variant on Anzac Day.

As this was a public holiday and the business only utilised a single back-up drive, the back-up was also affected when the nighty routine ran successfully.

With a full network of devices effectively useless and with no means to restore, the decision was made to pay the ransom and have the data un-encrypted.

The ransom was approx. $5,000 with an additional $2,500 to assess and then assist with recovery.

More importantly the business was without access to information for a period from end of day Tuesday 24th through until the following Tuesday morning and had to send some staff home during this time. Factor in loss productivity and opportunity costs in addition to the $$’s and this was a significant event that may have been avoided had a firewall been in place.

The key questions to weigh up are:

  • The cost of loss productivity when an attack hits (in today’s world it is now a when not an if)
  • The cost of restoring data and any potential loss
  • The cost of brand damage when the infection spreads to your own clients

 For more information on what you can do to protect your business or if you have any questions on firewalls please contact one of the BlueBerry Bunch.