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In this blog we’ll dive a little deeper into the world of firewalls and the important role they continue to play in cyber security, as well as looking at how, in a world where remote working has snowballed, you can protect your employees and organisation by providing secure home working environments. 

So, first things first – what is a firewall? 

A firewall is a network security device that monitors both incoming and outgoing network traffic and will permit, or block, access based on security rules. It aims to establish a barrier between your internal network and external traffic and blocks malicious traffic, viruses and hackers. 

Types of firewalls 

Organisations use dedicated boundary firewalls to protect their whole network and secure internal business networks. Some routers will have a firewall included which can be used in boundary protection, however, you can’t always be certain – so if you can, check with your internet provider.

Others may use a personal firewall (also known as a desktop firewall), to protect a single internet-connected computer from malicious threats.  

As firewalls are such an essential part of your cyber security defence, we’d recommend a managed solution to ensure you’re using the latest, most advanced products.  We work with some of the industry’s leading firewall providers, with options including FortiGate a next-generation firewall from IT Cyber Security specialists Fortinet. 

Secure remote working

There’s a couple of options here to consider when you are thinking about secure remote working. 

Firstly, Citrix provides remote access through virtualisation and application delivery with security tools such as web filtering and web isolation, and can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Citrix is seen as a much better alterative than traditional VPNs when working with larger files.  

Forticlient is another option for you which provides a safe link from your computer network to your own laptop. When connecting to your network through a VPN, the data is kept secure, encrypted and delivers enhanced security.  

The Dangers of home PC’s/laptops 

It’s no surprise that if your employees are using their own personal devices as opposed to corporate IT, your business will be exposed to greater cyber security threats.  Commonly known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) this approach could lead to: 

  • Simpler user-initiated intentional/accidental data loss (ie through copying data from work to personal apps or device backups containing work data) 
  • Greater possibility of unsupported/out-of-date devices resulting in developments of known security vulnerabilities  
  • Additional exposure of devices to threats as a result of being used in a broader personal context eg sharing devices/passwords with others 
  • Undetected malicious exploitation of devices due to lack of monitoring which could lead to spreading of malware 

How can we help? 

With almost 40 years’ experience helping customer with IT and cyber security challenges, we offer the consultation and support that’s needed to make your business safe, secure and successful.  

For more information on firewalls or any of our managed IT services you can speak directly with your Kick account manager. If you are new to Kick then contact us or call us on 01698 844 600  arrange a no-obligation chat.

Rachel Timmins

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Rachel Timmins

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