Hackers and criminals are out there every day working hard to crack into your network and database.  The best way to protect yourself from these vicious attacks is to have a secure firewall that is effectively monitored.

Simply put, a firewall is a piece of hardware or software that sits between a computer and the internet.  It allows or restricts data to pass through the firewall, depending on how it is configured.  Ideally, it blocks all internet activity except that which was specifically requested.  This can be problematic when certain trustworthy websites or computers try to reach your computer.  

For example, if you are at home in the evening and needed to access some files on your work computer, the firewall will prevent you from accessing those files, unless it was programmed or had a rule set to allow your home computer into your work computer.  Another day, you may be in a hotel for work and need to access the office computer.  Once again, another rule can be made to allow your laptop, or any computer, into your office computer.

Additionally, firewalls can have filters for both inbound and outbound information.  Filtering is when a firewall examines information passing through it and determines if that information is allowed to be sent and received or should be discarded based on rules or filters that have been created.  Inbound filtering will hopefully stop most or all mischievous information from getting to your computer.  However, if there is a breach and your computer is attempting to send out personal information or sending information to a remote location somewhere on the internet, the outbound filter should stop that from happening.

These filters may work out great.  However, hackers may also see all these openings in your firewall and begin to get to work.  Hackers will have an even easier time when you simply set the rules and forget about your firewall entirely.  This is why it’s important to continuously monitor your firewall.

Firewall monitoring goes over all the rules, filters, exceptions, and more that are programmed into the firewall and ensures they are all accurate and current.  Statistically speaking, most hacks begin by knocking on the door so to speak, by probing around your firewall a bit.  One look at the firewall logs will find this probing and can be reprogrammed to reinforce or lock down that area.  Some hacks also leave trails while they are in your system.  Viewing the firewall logs can find files placed on your computer, and when and how they got there.  Lastly, if you are ever hacked, the firewall logs can be given to law enforcement agencies to help in locating and prosecuting the hackers.

If you’re a bit intimidated by this, or you just don’t think that you have the resources to devote to setting up and monitoring a firewall, you are most definitely not alone.  Most businesses simply do not have the resources to devote to full-time firewall monitoring.  In this  case, it’s best to leave it up to professionals.  Firewall monitoring services will set up your firewall security and monitor your system, looking for attacks and keeping your system up-to-date in a world where hackers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.  These professionals will give you the peace of mind you need to run your business while they keep the bad guys out.