Posting of letters or documents via post offices and faxes are now things of the past in today’s business world. We are now in the age of global connectivity.  In Solomon Islands, most businesses are now connecting to the internet for their daily business activities.  These include emails, cloud storage, social media and online messengers.

But what is cyber-attacks and other online malicious activities? With these, let’s get into some discussion to see why your business should have a firewall.

In Australia, cyber-attacks are on the rise as reported by this article https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-15/cyber-attacks-australian-businesses-increasing-not-state-actors/12253842. Surely, Solomon Islands is no exception.

What is a firewall?
A firewall is a network security system which can either be a hardware or software that protects the trusted network from unauthorised access from external networks and external threats.

In addition, anti-virus is also important security software that helps to protect your file systems from unwanted programs but a firewall is a first line of defence protecting your business network from external threats.

Some business benefits.

1 – First line of defence
with the global connectivity, when your business is connected to the internet this means that you are connected to the whole world. Good for the business but your organisation assets and data are exposed to too much external risks also.

With the firewall, its location on your business network is facing the internet and your network behind it. It’s your first line of defence. With proper configurations, you can now minimise the risks.

2 – Web content filtering.
External risks are not only the risks that exist in your business. Internal risks are also the ones that can put your organisation assets and data at risk. For example, your employee visits malicious sites and downloads unwanted codes or programs directly onto your computer.

A firewall can also assist with web content filtering, allowing only suitable internet sites for all internal users to access and other unwanted sites blocked.

3 – Internet bandwidth optimisation
In addition to web content filtering, firewall also help in managing and better utilising your subscribed internet bandwidth.
For example, if youtube and pornsites are accessible, viewing such sites could congest your internet bandwidth making your business internet too slow.
In Solomon Islands, I came across some businesses complaining to their service providers for slow internet, while the root cause is because they do not have a firewall that controls their users’ internet activities.

4 – VPN Services
Businesses that needs to connect back to their office network to access data must be done securely.
A firewall also provides means of various techniques that can be deployed for secure VPN connection.

To conclude, no single product or service will provide you with complete security, but a firewall is a fundamental requirement for businesses these days. A firewall inspects all the data passing in or out of your network, ensuring that the traffic is legitimate, protecting your business systems from any malicious users or programs.

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