Why You Need Both Software and Hardware Firewalls


When it comes to internet security, most businesses do not have the protection they really need. Many people rely on software products that bundle antivirus and firewall protection into one, and many users think this is enough – but it isn’t.

First, let’s be clear about what a software firewall actually does:

  • It regulates data through port numbers and applications.
  • It allows you to block incoming traffic from certain locations.
  • It distinguishes between computer programs allowing data to one program while blocking another.
  • It blocks traffic attempting to leave a device to access other devices on your network.

There are drawbacks, though, including:

  • Software firewalls work only on the computers on which they are installed.
  • You will need to buy multiple licenses to protect all your computers.
  • You need expertise to administer the firewall to keep up with the threats that are changing on a daily if not hourly basis.

Beefing Up Your Firewalls

Smart businesses don’t just rely on one security layer alone and increase their security by using hardware firewalls. A hardware firewall is a perimeter boundary around your internal business network and acts as a border guard, keeping an eye out for dangerous traffic. The firewall inspects incoming and outgoing internet traffic to protect you from malware and cyberthreats.

IT experts can set up firewalls to pass only safe data. This adds a layer of protection to your network and also secures network-connected devices. Workstations, printers, photocopiers, cameras, mobile phones and telephone systems often don’t have software firewalls.

Hardware firewalls protect all devices on your internal network, whereas the software firewall secures only what is coming in or out of that specific computer.

Think about it this way: A cybercriminal is trying to access your systems. They take many approaches, one of which is trying to breach your network perimeter. Another is sending targeted communications to sucker someone into clicking on a virus-laden email. The hardware firewall could stop the perimeter attack and the software helps stop the malware infection spreading from the user’s computer to others in your office.

Partner with a Firewall Expert

Firewalls can give your business tremendous control over:

  • how users connect to the internet;
  • what information is retrieved from the internet;
  • whether files can leave the company over the network;
  • what devices are accessible and from where.
  • hardware firewall can automatically update to safeguard against the current attacks and security holes.

Yet both software and hardware firewalls need the right expertise to install correctly. Firewalls must be regularly monitored and managed, because threats are constantly changing.

Combining firewalls adds protection but only if you configure them to minimize weaknesses. You will need help to identify compatibility issues and avoid blocking legitimate data.

We know how to work with firewall rules, and understand what they mean and how to react to alerts generated. I bet you have heard of companies that have been breached and their data compromised – don’t let that happen to you.

We can help you set up and maintain the firewall protection you need. Contact us today before it it too late!

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