Tag: configuration

3 Questions Every Small Business Owner Should Ask Before Building Their Own Network

You’re a small business owner with a lengthy laundry list of tasks and some DIY self-reliance. You can do your own research. You can learn. But cyber security is something that needs to be done and done right, so you’re not going to just charge into the fray. So, how hard is setting up a secure network, really?

The degree of difficulty can range from fairly straightforward to hair-pullingly complex. The specific goals and pain points of your organization will be driving factors in the type of hardware you purchase, the endpoint protection you run, and the shape of your network. This post is an ideal starting point for the fearless small business owner ready to ascend the cyber security summit. Here are three questions every small business owner should ask themselves before setting up their network.

Question 1: What are my unique goals?

Network security solutions are not one size fits all. Small business owners should consider the unique challenges that face their industry, their location, and the specific needs of their business. While a powerful content filtering service may be a make-or-break factor for a school district, that same service may be irrelevant to a marketing agency that relies on unfettered access to content. Retailers face PCI compliance requirements in order to secure their POS systems, but a contracting business that rarely processes in-person transactions has little use for a PCI compliant buildout.

Outline the average workday in your office and list which aspects of network utilization are critical for optimizing productivity and reliability. If your organization requires nimble network performance, you may pursue a leaner, dynamic security solution that won’t be bogged down with excessive UTM applications. If your organization deploys mobile workers or operates a web of remote offices, you may want to focus your efforts on VPN tunnels, email security, and secure remote access.

These considerations ultimately influence your decisions regarding the size, brand, and throughput of the firewall you purchase. If you seek reliability and  beginner-friendly management, an appliance from SonicWall’s TZ Series could be a great fit. If you want to assign performance-heavy services, subscriptions, or apps on your network, you’ll find that a WatchGuard Firebox T Series appliance can handle the intense workload smoothly. And if you’re an adventurous early-adopter type that swept their school science fair multiple years running, you’ll have a ton of fun exploring the steeper learning curve and nuanced capabilities of a Sophos XG Firewall.

Question 2: What licenses, subscriptions, or services will run on my firewall?

If network security is a car, the new firewall box you just got in the mail is the chassis and engine of that car. You can put it in drive and go, but cars have come a long way since basic stop-and-go functionality. Consider your add-ons. While technically optional, you’re probably not going to stick with a car for long if it doesn’t have A/C, radio, ABS, seatbelts, power steering, or cupholders. You may not need or want all of these options, but most everyone will find a few they can’t go without.

Corporate email breaches and phishing represent some of the most aggressive threats in 2017 and that trend will only grow in 2018. Cloud-based sandbox environments guarding your inbox, such as SonicWall Capture ATP, may prove invaluable assets to protecting users. AntiSpam clients can mitigate the dangerous and endlessly irritating deluge of junk mail barraging mail servers. Sophos Intercept X is a powerful next-generation guard against ransomware and is designed to seamlessly supplement whatever hardware or security features you already run.

Your answers to Question 1 will help to develop comprehensive answers for this question. The unique needs of your organization dictate the number and types of security licenses you employ, so make sure to overturn every stone.

Mix and match. Bundle to save money. Test-drive some free trials. Your options are endless!

Question 3: Exactly how hard is configuring a firewall?

You’ve got a shortlist of firewall appliance options. You’ve got a pretty good idea of the licenses and security services you want to employ. Surely you’re nearing the peak of this massif, right? Unfortunately, the most complex step still awaits: configuration.

The infrastructure of your network will need to be diagrammed and implemented. NAT policies and rules must be put in place that instruct your firewall how to respond to various situations and stimuli. You will likely want to segregate the users on your network into smaller, more manageable user groups. Configuration is a complex process that requires plentiful considerations.

Firewalls.com provides some resources to the DIY network builder such as our manufacturer-specific training videos, YouTube tutorial library, and premium support if you get yourself in a pinch. Nonetheless, we still recommend leaving the details of configuration in the hands of a professional.

No matter what brand you roll with, Firewalls.com has in-house engineers dedicated to mastering each system and this is evidenced by a suite of certifications, awards, and reviews Firewalls.com has earned over the last two decades. After all, we are Firewalls-dot-freaking-com, so we’ve done this a time or two! You’re a small business owner who still has a lot of ground to cover. Why not consider having our expert team do the configuration for you while you get a head start on the next summit?

A small business owner stands at a mountain, looking over his secure network in the valleys below.

An Even Easier Option for the Small Business Owner

If you’ve asked yourself all three of these questions and feel empowered to secure your own network, congratulations! We’re rooting for you, you cunning small business owner, unafraid to confront new challenges.

If these questions raised some doubt, no problem. There are easier options. Firewall-as-a-Service is the perfect choice for a small business owner looking to deploy a secure network with as little muss and fuss as possible. Think of it like renting security layers: we’ll bring the firewall, the services, the configuration, and the expertise. Just show us where to plug in and we’ll lock down your network, mitigate threats, and minimize network downtime with a convenient, discreet deployment.

6 things you could be doing instead of configuring a firewall

Packet filtering, stateful inspections, proxy service–the world of network security is bristling with intimidating terminology and stat/spec jargon. Wading into the deep end of online security protocol means more than just an afternoon’s worth of study. And that’s just for picking which appliance to buy. When it comes to setting up your new firewall appliance, why not claw back some of your schedule with our configuration service?

While the stalwart do-it-yourself master watching the Firewalls.com how-to videos may be looking to throw away their weekend configuring a new firewall, a busy business professional has enough on their plate already and should be looking to delegate firewall configuration to someone who already knows their way around a security setup. And who better to delegate to than Firewalls.com’s certified engineers who specialize in providing your company with expert configuration services.

Don’t spend several hours configuring your new firewall. Hand off the legwork to an expert. And instead of banging your head against the racks, maybe you can use your unexpected free time on one of these 6 activities:

Firewalls Client Phone

Spend some 1-on-1 time with your clients

We all love to hear from our customers, but some days your schedule is just too chaotic to thumb through the Rolodex. But now that you’ve pawned off a few hours worth of configuration work onto a professional services team, you have plenty of time to pick up your handset and reach out to those precious accounts. And since you’re already on the phone, you can give our engineers a ring if you run into any issues with your security appliance. Configuration services are accompanied by unlimited, on-going phone support.

Firewalls War Battle

Have an office-wide Nerf war

Account manager getting on your case about lead flow? Maybe they’ll think twice about complaining after you unload a clip of foam fury on them. While our Firewalls.com certified engineers are securing your network, your team can be setting a perimeter around the office armed with the latest dart-throwers and N-Strike blasters.

Firewalls Google Alerts Notification

Set up Google Alerts for your brand

If your ears are burning, it means someone is talking about you. And if someone is talking about your company, you want to know about it. Google Alerts provides a service to set up automatic email alerts whenever your chosen keywords are published on the web. Stay on the bleeding edge of industry news by filling your inbox with up-to-the-minute articles. You stay a step ahead of the competition, we’ll watch your back.

Firewalls Hoverboard Skate

Hoverboard around the office park

Studies are increasingly claiming that sitting is the new smoking, so why not get up and stretch your legs? Better yet, put those legs atop a hoverboard and roll around the office park, provoking the ire and jealousy of those poor office drones watching from the windows. They too could be outside if they weren’t so busy configuring firewalls. If only they had thought ahead like you.

Firewalls Thought Leaders

Catch up on industry thought leaders

Thought leaders. The buzzword is all the rage in the world of LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to catch up on a few months’ worth of blogs, industry articles, or the latest Tweets, you now have a treasure chest of time to uncover the leaders in your industry. Steal their knowledge, ride the coattails of their experience, and stay hip on emerging lingo. You have time enough to both lead and read, thanks to a configuration service.

Firewalls Reddit

Waste time on Reddit

What’s the harm in letting your brain cool down from time to time? Admit it, we all indulge in a bit of Internet tomfoolery. Whether you’re catching up on the news, getting heated over politics, or just cruising for memes, you certainly won’t feel bad about wasting time thanks to the hours you saved with professional services.

ProTip: You can’t waste time you didn’t plan on having in the first place!

Whether you devote your newfound free time to business or pleasure, you certainly shouldn’t be wasting a day configuring your firewall. Take advantage of Firewalls.com’s Configuration Service for your SonicWall, Sophos, or WatchGuard appliances. Firewalls.com customers can opt for either Standard or Advanced Configuration service, based on the specific needs of your company. We offer a wide variety of service options beyond simple configurations.

Features at a Glance:

  • Proprietary 50-Step Configuration checklist
  • Setup and testing of VPN tunnels
  • Configuration of wireless access points
  • Granular content filtering & bandwidth prioritization