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Importance of a Reliable Firewall

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/4/2011

Even when employing firewalls, you can still be susceptible to threats. There are at least five reasons why you must ensure that your firewall is up and running.

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    To truly understand the value of something, we have to know what is at stake. If your small business doesn’t have a firewall in place and if you haven’t thought that it is important, here are a few shockers for you. There are threats galore and you will begin to appreciate the value of protection systems like Firewalls and other software when you know what you can end up losing. See what’s at stake:

    • Loss and Manipulation of Data: If you own a business, you deal with tons of data everyday -- data that belongs to your company and data that belongs to your customers. This data is extremely critical and the loss of which could plummet your company into a smörgåsbord of problems. What would you do if the data vanishes off your systems? What if, one morning, you find your computers stripped of all information?
    • Business Secrets and Confidential Data: As a business, you would have drawn up plans on your net product launch; very critical blue-prints for the next or current construction projects might be stored right in the heart of your computer networks. Do you have a way to stop someone (say hackers, competitors or anyone with an intention) intruding into your system? What if someone just ran away with your customer list? Secret business plans? Technology secrets? -- Now, you know why most companies do spend a lot of money on firewalls and other security related expenses, don’t you?
    • Hijacked Networks: If someone decides to manipulate your network, it is easy to break into your computer systems and manipulate the systems for their own use. Hackers are known to “hijack" computer networks for their own, malicious use. Like use your network to plan a terrorist activity and when the law starts breathing fire on the sources of this clandestine activity, can you guess whose doors are going to be knocked down? Hijacking isn’t series up in the air on planes; it can happen to our businesses too.
    • Lost time (Down time) -- Time is money? Lost time is lost money? Some hackers just want to have fun, grab attention, take revenge, or demand certain things and they could just set up a DDOS or DOS (Denial of Service) attack. This kind of an attack just freezes your entire system and leads to none of the servers, websites and computer systems to work. Guess why? To make you lose time, to freeze you and to ensure that you either gad a bad rap, feel vulnerable or lose money.
    • Loss of Reputation: If you were to lose your customer’s information or some secret information which can be critical to your business success, what would you tell your stake-holders? You are always answerable to your business partners, your customers and your staff, so what answers do you have for these inevitable questions? Loss of Reputation is very much a possibility and I had published another article titled “Google Bombing, Reputation Attacks and More: How Do You Want Me to harm you?" An Insightful case study that has been explained for your benefit.

Understanding Firewalls for Small Businesses

This series has everything to do with Firewalls -- the basics, the concepts, the types and the reviews on various firewalls for small businesses
  1. Firewall Definition: Does your Business Have a Firewall?
  2. Importance of a Reliable Firewall
  3. Small Business Security Basics: Functions of a Firewall
  4. What Kind of Firewall Do You Really Need?
  5. What Does a Firewall Do?
  6. What is a Firewall?
  7. Some Common Firewall Myths Exposed