Network Firewall: Is it worth installing?

What is a network Firewall?

A Network Firewall, such as Sophos, FortiGate, or Cisco, is a hardware device used as the first level of protection for any traffic entering the local network. This is not to be confused with a computer’s Firewall; although it acts similarly, the network Firewall has a different function and purpose. Firewalls like the Sophos XG Firewalls have advanced network threat protection and management systems.

Firewalls such as these can provide the following functions:

– Threat protection from a Network/Internet Level.

– Advanced Antivirus and Malware protection.

– Internet management and delegation.

– Blocking unwanted browsing, such as Geo Location Blocking, Pornography or unsafe for work, social media, Malicious browsing, Streaming, or any other custom sites that may need to be blocked.

– QoS, setting up bandwidth limits per group, department, or individual level.

Why Install a Network Firewall?

In today’s Cyberworld, security is of critical importance. There are constant malicious attacks that are occurring worldwide. These attacks range from attempting to steal data to stealing money. These attacks are made in a variety of ways, through scam/phishing emails, gaining access to a company’s local network or gaining access to the local devices, such as computers and mobile devices, injecting malicious software or coding onto local machines, or installing traffic monitors on a router/network device managing a site’s network.

One of the best forms of protection against these malicious attempts is to prevent them from gaining access from the get-go. This is where a Firewall comes in. Sophos XG Firewalls have a built-in AI that actively monitors all traffic. All incoming and outgoing traffic is monitored and scanned to confirm that traffic is safe. Safe traffic can pass through, while malicious or compromised traffic will instantly be blocked. Should traffic be flagged as suspicious but has the potential to be safe, this traffic is then sent to a server that specializes in data inspection. The server will scan the data for any known negative trends, if none is found, a response is sent to the Firewall, and the traffic is allowed. Should the result be inconclusive, the data is sent to a specialized team who will continue to investigate until the data can be confirmed safe or unsafe.

Real-time scanning is crucial to ensure a safe and secure network environment. This allows threats to be blocked before they even have a chance to occur. Firewalls are also connected to Realtime Live update servers, ensuring they always have access to the latest security updates and Zero Day Threats. Ensuring security is always up to date with the latest findings. This is all automated, always leaving the network secure.

Even though security is a firewall’s number one priority, Firewalls offer so much more. They grant advanced management of devices on the local network at a higher level then conventional routers usually installed. These include bandwidth allocation to specific groups or individuals. Network monitoring and reporting. Blocking and Allowing access to particular resources or websites as is required by each individual or group—scheduled access to help as needed.

The Firewalls are also remotely managed, thus allowing for quick response to making required changes. This also enables the management team to monitor the networks ensuring quick response on outages, detected threats, or critical updates that may be required. The Firewalls also provide advanced services such as SSL VPN connections, Site to Site SSL VPNs, User Management and Reporting, scheduled reports and much more.

Who should look at installing a Firewall?

Cyber Security is something that everyone should be aware of and always attempt to enforce. Any Business, large or small, should be looking to install some form of Network Firewall to ensure the safety of their network and that no data is being leaked. Firewalls come in different sizes and can be tailored to your specific needs; whether large or small, there is a Firewall capable of providing the particular requirements of your company.

Home users can also install home Firewalls, securing home networks from Cyber-attacks. These devices are tailored for home usage and are more limited to business-level management; however, they provide the same level of security. The Sophos Home Firewalls run off the same Firewall and Update servers as the Business Firewalls, offering the highest protection at a much lower cost.

Final Note:

Network Firewalls provide security from a network level only. They should not be seen as a replacement for Endpoint Security, such as Anti-Virus Programs. They can prevent malicious activity over the network; however, they do not afford protection from devices such as USB Devices (externals, thumb drives, CDs, etc.). Endpoint Security is still required to ensure complete threat protection on all devices.

The wonderful world of having an eye on everything

Hello there, I am Christof from Firmlinx and…

I See you! Well with the help of technology I can see many MANY things. How is this possible you might wonder? Well let me share with you the wonders of Close Circuit Television.

Close Circuit Television or CCTV for short is the use of video cameras transmitting only to a limited set of monitors. it differs from our regular Netflix viewing because the signal is not openly transmitted hence its name Close Circuit! Catchy hey.

Speaking of catching – that’s exactly why we want CCTV! But not just catching the bad guy in the wrong place at the right time, sometimes we want to catch the right guy at the right place at the right time. With the technology of CCTV, we can capture key moments like how many customers enter your shop or seeing the fast pace experiment I have been watching for years succeed, even catching that sneaky cookie monster taking a cookie. Yes, all of this and more is possible with the help of CCTV.

Now I know what you thinking – how does this technology work and how can it benefit me and my needs? So, let’s get technical and dive into the details to answer the first part of the question…

CCTV cameras take pictures we call frames every second and then send these images over analogue, network or wireless connections to our Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or in case of a network system a Network Video Recorder (NVR). These powerful devices are used to “translate” the pictures to the monitor so fast that we get moving pictures and Voilà! a video of our
moments captured. But these devices don’t just show our videos as they are happening no, we get to catch the cookie monsters by using the DVR or NVR which can store these videos on a hard drive to view after it happened.

More specialized cameras mean there are unique systems to achieve a lot more. here are some examples: Face and licence plate recognition, thermal view and body temperature reading, X-ray screening, AI deep learning to recognition of humans, animals, vehicles crossing certain lines and much more unique systems are out there.

At Firmlinx we pride ourselves on helping you answer the second part of the question…

Our vast knowledge on technology and how to harness its potential we can create unique tailored solutions such as proactive maintenance remote monitoring which we actively check to ensure your CCTV is running at its optimal levels or a combination of CCTV and access control systems to never allow that cookie monster in.

With our help you can truly have an eye on everything.
Christof Engelbrecht

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Covid 19 Impact – Firmlinx enables you to heed the call

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for the implementation of stringent measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus has resulted in many responsible corporate citizens heeding the call. Many organisations are committed to finding ways to help their employees and the South African public cope with the disaster we currently face.

Firmlinx is an ICT company operating amongst others in the telecommunications sector and is listed as an essential services company under the upcoming lockdown. Firmlinx is geared with a work-from-home network that is efficient and reliable. Firmlinx will therefore be reachable and ready to assist where needed during the lockdown. Installations and parts may be delayed due to stock availability. We do have limited emergency stock available.Please take special care during this time of cyber criminals exploiting the Covid-19 epidemic to exploit unsuspecting internet users.

With companies allowing their employees to work from home it is of utmost importance to inform them to NEVER disclose any of their passwords via email or insert it on websites. We also urge all clients to ensure they have full system backups that will remain OFFLINE (detached from the network) or full cloud backups during this time and shutdown any computer equipment that will not be in use during this time. Also ensure your Windows updates are enabled and running on all computers as new threats are discovered daily. These are normally addressed by Microsoft using Windows Update.

We want to make use of this opportunity to thank our clients for their loyalty and support to Firmlinx and want to reassure you that we are here for you during this testing time. If you need any additional information or assistance, please call our Helpdesk on 087 234 9200 and we will be happy to assist.

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