The Configuration Conundrum: When good businesses make bad choices on firewall configuration

Breaking Down the Common Reasons Why Businesses Skip a Professional Firewall Configuration

At we spend each and every day discussing common network security woes, helping partners craft unique solutions, and helping to widen firewall education and expertise for all. We’ve heard it all: knee-slapping tales from administrators in sticky situations; never-seen-before security conundrums and, of course, plenty of bad excuses. Any network security engineer worth their salt understands that securing small business networks doesn’t stop at choosing which appliance model or services to buy. Even the most modern and impressive hardware is no better than a door stop if administrators don’t understand how to configure, deploy, and maintain the complex security systems needed to combat 2019’s most advanced threats.

Our new video series, which we’ve named the Configuration Conundrum, takes a hard look at some of the less-than-solid reasons why businesses choose to configure their own firewall (or, in most cases, attempt to configure their own firewall) instead of having their advanced security appliances configured by a team of experienced, certified engineers. Over the next few episodes, we’re putting the penny-pinchers, security-gamblers, and “I’ll-get-to-it-later” guys on blast! So hop over to our YouTube channel and join us as we dissect the most common reasons why small businesses risk their security (and your confidential data) by opting for sub-par or non-existent firewall configurations.

Check Out the Videos

“I’ve got a guy for that!” Ah, yes. We’ve all got our favorite vaguely-titled “business consultant” or “IT solution grower” to fall back on. Whatever title he claims on his LinkedIn profile, he can run cables, register employee MAC addresses, reconnect the printers, and can maybe fix the coffee pot too.

Is he a security expert? Not specifically.

Does he have network experience? He’s got a little experience in a lot of things.

Does he have certifications, manufacturer training, or industry accolades? No, but he’ll cut you a great deal.

Check out this short video to see what can go wrong when your guy accidentally leaves the door open to ransomware on your network.

Budget constraints. We get it. That’s our go-to excuse when we’re looking to get off a sales call too! As cyber security threats grow more advanced and more dangerous, the once modest IT budget is encroaching further and further up the P&L, eating up OpEx that you were hoping to carry into next quarter.

A good configuration pays for itself. By eliminating unnecessary services, preventing bottlenecks that slow down business-critical resources, and intelligently restricting network traffic to productive activities, a professional firewall configuration ensures that you’re not wasting resources or, worse, rendering your security investment moot by leaving elusive pinholes and blindspots that persistent threats use to worm their way in.

Check out this Budget video to see why prevention is ALWAYS cheaper than remediation.

Some people can’t resist a good puzzle. For the enterprising DIY master a complex firewall configuration seems like tempting sport. Unfortunately, they rarely have the expensive virtual labs needed to stress-test their results with simulated traffic, pre-staged attacks, and benchmarking platforms.

What that means is that their first real attack is a live-fire assessment of how well they did. Like testing out a boat design by shipping out to sea, configuration-hobbyists often find themselves frantically patching holes, bailing water, and holding bulkheads in place as they gradually slip beneath the waves.

60% of small businesses that experience a data breach shutter their doors within 6 months. This video outlines why you should never gamble your life’s work on a weekend project.

How to Ensure a High-Quality, Professional Firewall Configuration

Don’t deploy top-dollar hardware with bottom of the barrel settings. Look behind the curtain of the setup wizard and you’ll see that the cyber threats of 2019 can’t be whisked away with a magic wand. If you want to make the very most of your security investment; if you want to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies working in perfectly-integrated harmony; if you want personalized solutions with 1-on-1 considerations designed to address your unique needs and demands, you deserve a professional firewall configuration.

You should seek out a professional services team with an on-site Security Operations Center, a multitude of certifications, and tangible experience earned through on-going education and a rich history of security expertise.

Still want to take a crack at DIY? We wish you the best of luck and recommend you check out the . Our configuration checklist guides you through the steps of the configuration process and helps you keep your settings, rules, and hierarchies organized. It’s in-depth and completely free to download!

Stay tuned for our second installment where we’ll cover even more of the common excuses that business use to skip out on professional firewall configurations.