Security is quite possibly the most important concern for any business. You need to know that your critical data – both internal data and customer information – is secure.
If that information is hacked or accessed by the wrong person, you may be opened up to a world of legal and financial trouble.
On the most basic level, Consumer Grade firewalls or routers have no intelligent scanning of incoming data. That means that they are only looking for very specific threats as they attack your network: they aren’t scanning everything as it comes through – which is standard on even entry-level Business Grade firewalls. If viruses or malware are disguised to any degree, they will be able to penetrate a Consumer Grade router/firewall into your network and begin to cause harm.
On a more technical level, hackers can easily break through a Consumer Grade, or home, firewall to access a business network and data, as detailed in this recent Security dark Reading article. (One of our engineers was once able to hack into his church’s firewall/router – all he had to do was google its default settings! Of course, they were right there watching him do it, but someone with more malicious intent could have done the exact same thing.)
There are features available on most Business Grade firewalls that allow for deeper insight and reporting. For instance, WatchGuard offers a service called Application Control that allows monitoring and detailed information, in real time, on the apps being used on the network and which apps are using the most bandwidth. Administrators are then able to make adjustments on the fly to provide the more important apps more bandwidth, instead of those that aren’t business related (i.e. Facebook, Online Gaming, Pandora, etc.)
Business Grade firewalls and security solutions come with business grade service and support. A business IT provider is not going to be much help if a Linksys router goes down, leaving your network wide open. With a Business Grade solution, though, there are certified professionals who can quickly diagnose the issue and provide a solution in a timely manner, either remotely or on-site. If you have ever had to call for help with your home router, you know how frustrating it can be to get support.
Business security is one thing that you definitely do not want to take lightly. A consumer level firewall simply does not offer the protection needed to keep your company’s online reputation clean. Everyday numerous email servers are placed on a blacklist because their user accounts are compromised by malicious code. Getting onto a blacklist means your outgoing emails will be rejected by clients and partners and it can take weeks to get off the list. Having a proper business firewall in place can make the difference between weeks of profitability or weeks of work trying to get back on track.