As a small business, you’re regularly exposed to some of the most unforgiving elements imaginable. Tax regulations, HR laws, operating expenses… the list certainly goes on. But do you ever think of a small business firewall being a part of such a list?
If I had to guess, I’d say most likely not.
However, cybersecurity is no longer something that’s reserved for larger enterprises. Any business (or household, for that matter) of any size is at risk for breaches, hacks, ransomware, and all manner of cybersecurity threats.
In our line of work, it’s usually only after such an attack takes place that we have small businesses asking for a solution.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this couldn’t be more true than it is in regards to small business security. And one of your best lines of defense is a firewall for small businesses.
Best Firewall for Small Business
While we make no representation that a small business firewall appliance is the be-all-end-all for your cybersecurity, it’s absolutely a critical part of any healthy cybersecurity strategy.
But if you’re looking for a firewall for a small business network, what should you be looking for? Well, like all questions in matters of technology, it depends on what you need.
Determining those needs is something that our team of helpful network engineers can help you accomplish. If you want more specific recommendations, we highly encourage you to reach out to us by clicking here.
Understanding the Different Types of Firewalls
The word “firewall” has become a suitable catch-all term for many different devices, both physical and digital, that can protect your network.
In fact, there are around eight different types of firewalls available for your small business. Even more, depending on who you ask.
However, there are two main types of firewalls to consider for your small business. Before getting into the specific recommendations of small business firewall solutions, let’s review what these are.
Software firewalls are probably what most people think of when they mentally conceptualize a firewall. They’re softwares that are installed locally on a device or server that function as the “bouncer” for your network, actively screening every packet of data coming in.
In contrast to software firewalls, hardware firewalls are firewalls that exist as physical devices. These devices are capable of bolting onto your existing network infrastructure, and can be useful when upgrading an old operating system to accommodate a newer software firewall may not be possible.
As mentioned above, it’s worth having a conversation with us to determine the right cybersecurity fit for your needs. But if you’re a DIY-er and looking to do some shopping on your own, here are a few of the models that come with the highest recommendations.
Top Software Firewall Solutions for Small Business
Starting with the software side of things, we have a few recommendations for the most flexible and effective firewall solutions.
Norton is perhaps the most recognized name in cybersecurity, and their software has stood the test of time.
Their host-based firewalls install directly to your device, offering ample cybersecurity benefits:
- Keeping your webcam secured from outside intruders
- Providing 10GB of cloud data backup
- VPN options
North also has a robust partnership with LifeLock that helps you keep your personal data secured as your business continues to grow.
McAfee Firewall Solution
McAfee’s name is equally as recognized as Norton when it comes to digital protection.
With a combination of both firewall protection and antivirus software for your small business, you’ll be armed to the teeth for any cybersecurity threats.
McAfee leverages IP Security in their firewall solutions to set up safe connections with no hardware required.
Their firewall tech is all rooted in the cloud, making it easy to set up and get secured. With each firewall plan supporting five devices, it’s ideal as a firewall for small business network solutions.
Hardware Firewall Small Business Solutions
Depending on the age of your tech infrastructure and unique business needs, you might be better suited for a hardware firewall.
Hardware firewalls conveniently bolt-on to your existing network infrastructure and deliver a security infusion without the need to install anything complex.
Here are a couple of the top-recommended hardware small business firewall solutions:
Cisco ASA – Hardware Solution
Cisco makes a mean firewall. With a Cisco ASA firewall, you’ve got all the necessary tools to protect your small business.
Their hardware solution can secure your entire corporate network, and also pairs well with their software solution that adds an extra layer of protection for all of your office’s devices.
With this dual-banded solution, you’ll be protected by multiple checkpoints in your firewall security.
Cisco users make a compelling case for their firewalls, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer some of the best protection possible.
Firewalla – Budget Hardware Firewall Solution
Firewalla may be a newer name on this list of technologies, but that definitely doesn’t mean that you should overlook them.
Their hardware firewall is intended to complement any pre-installed security software that you may have. Doing so gives you the power of Firewalla’s filter, allowing you to block out any traffic that you please. You can even moderate sites that your employees visit while at work…
Firewalla is a very cost-effective solution, with only a one-time fee of around $129 (at the time of writing) for their hardware firewall.
Best Small Business Firewall
Figuring out which is the best small business firewall for your needs will require you to do a bit of an internal security audit and figure out where your most vulnerable points are.
This can be a daunting task to take on, especially if your small business hasn’t been regularly paying attention to its technological transformation.
As experts of all things IT, our team at Emerald City Solutions can help you determine the best solution for your cybersecurity needs—firewall or otherwise.