Nearly one million forms of malware are released each and every day. That’s almost 700 threats per minute.
 
You need only browse to a certain website and your machine (and, by extension, your network) could become infected with damaging malware.
 
This is why firewalls are so important. Your firewall is the device responsible for protecting all of your critical network endpoints—where your servers meet the internet, and where your workstations meet the internet.
 
I don’t think you’ll come across an IT support company that doesn’t stress the importance of having a firewall at your site. But when it comes to ongoing support of this device, how critical is renewing (maintaining) your service and support contracts? Would you be okay taking a “set it and forget it” approach to this technology?
 
Below we’ll break down what your service and support packages include, and whether or not they are truly critical to your firewall’s functionality.
 

What does a firewall support package include?

Having “support” on your firewall means that you’re able to email, chat, or call the manufacturer with questions regarding your device’s functionality and usage. This also includes firmware and threat detection updates so that your device is continuously updated to meet and intercept the latest developments in malware and phishing.
 
And, if your unit fails, you’ll receive free and expedited replacements so that you can be back up and running quickly.
 

What does a firewall service package include?

There are three main categories when it comes to service packages:

  • Anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware, anti-phishing, and intrusion protection. These focus on scanning your network’s incoming traffic for threats, and blocking entrance before they touch your servers or workstations.
  • Content filtering. Your staff could easily put your network at risk by browsing to inappropriate content on the web. With content filtering you can set policies to restrict access to certain sites, or to set time limits on other sites (Facebook, anyone?).
  • Application intelligence. This has to do with setting policies around how you use applications, what you and your staff can download, and what qualifies as malicious. 

Each of these elements can be configured to best fit your organization’s needs and workflow.
 

Does your organization need to renew its firewall service and support?

If you value the security of your network, the answer to this question is absolutely and unequivocally yes. While it may not be necessary for you to engage every piece of every service, it is critical that your firewall remain current and capable of serving its purpose: protecting your network.
 
Some technology providers may offer “FWaaS,” or Firewall as a Service, which will boil all of your firewall needs down into one monthly fee that automatically takes care of all renewals and updates. In this service model, you really can “set and forget” your firewall. In a traditional scenario, though, you do need to stay on top of these renewals diligently.
 
Without proper firewall defenses, you put your organization at direct risk of both lost time and lost data (which, for most of us, are our most valuable company assets).
 
Make your firewall’s health a priority right alongside regular patching, password policies, and the like. From there, you are in a much better position to keep your network secure, your staff productive, and your business thriving.
 


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