A firewall helps prevent malicious programs infecting your system – as such, a firewall is an absolute necessity for any modern business. Of course, not all firewalls are created equal, and there are several key features that each one should utilise if you and your business network are going to be fully protected.
- Website Filtering
Your firewall should help you and your employees avoid any websites that might do harm to your network. The best software will provide a visual indication of whether or not a website has demonstrated suspicious behaviours in the past, plus an additional warning if you try to click through. You’ll then be able to look at a site report to see if accessing it will be safe.
- Antivirus Scanner
Contrary to what you might think, not all firewalls include antivirus scanners. Scanners are needed to look through all webpages, links, and files to stop any viruses from infiltrating your system. You can also opt for a separate antivirus program, but it’s generally easier if these two layers of security are integrated as they often need to work in tandem.
- Encrypted Traffic Inspection
When SSL encrypted traffic comes through into your network, a good firewall will use its SSL certificate to decrypt it. It will then check that it is what it claims to be before using the same SSL certificate to re-encrypt it. It’s important to check this traffic since malicious web users often use encryption to avoid having their malware detected. This used to be a nice feature to have, but it’s now basically essential for any business users.
- Wireless Control
It’s extremely likely that your business network will now be running wirelessly instead of being connected up with cables. Your firewall should complement that set-up by allowing wireless control. This means that it will be able to control all internet access and monitor the security of all devices on your network, from tablets to smartphones to printers.