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    The Best Firewall Protection for Small Businesses

    The Best Firewall Protection for Small Businesses

    We live in a technologically advanced society that allows global network connectivity among users stationed thousands of miles away from each other. Unfortunately, these advancements also pose security threats. With hackers attacking almost every 39 seconds, it's no exaggeration to say that network security for small businesses has become a modern-day business necessity.

    For seasoned digital natives, identifying the best firewall software should be a breeze. However, first-timers may find the experience challenging. To make the process easier for startups and newbie entrepreneurs, our team has listed the top firewall picks that offer practical, affordable security services.

    Small Business Firewall Options in 2021

    Best Firewall for SMBs: Cisco ASA

    Cisco ASA is an enterprise-level firewall service provider that serves a wide range of small to medium-sized businesses. They offer top-grade, multi-feature software and hardware firewalls.

    The company sets its products apart from any other network security solution on the market through versatility. Current clients can scale Cisco's flexible plans to suit their current network firewall security needs. Whether you run a multi-tenant company or a virtual team with contractors positioned all across the globe, Cisco ASA has the best firewall option for your business.

    Key Features:
    • Offers both network and device protection
    • Has multi-feature, scalable hardware and software firewall systems
    • VPN routers for multi-location companies
    • World-class management interface

    Best Multi-Feature UTM: WatchGuard

    WatchGuard has some of the fastest, most reliable unified threat management (UTM) systems on the market—even when compared to global competitors like Cisco ASA. You won't experience any lags or downtime no matter how many of your servers run their built-in virtual private network (VPN).

    Also, if you're having a hard time sorting through their multiple offerings, you can book a consultation with their pre-sales staff. They will recommend to you the ideal device based on your security needs.

    Key Features:
    • Data loss prevention
    • Customizable built-in SD-WAN
    • End-to-end data sharing encryption
    • Reliable customer support

    Best Budget Option: Firewalla

    For small business owners who want to filter network traffic on a tight budget, try Firewalla. They offer a high-grade, multi-feature hardware 100-Mbit firewall for under $120—future updates included. Users can add Firewalla's device to their existing network security system to boost the overall efficacy of their software firewalls.

    To utilize the full benefits of Firewalla, we recommend connecting the firewall's application control system to various company devices. Then, adjust the firewall settings so you get an alert every time someone accesses your network. Generally, Firewalla allows clients to connect the firewall to various systems, including CCTV cameras, speakers, and computer networks, among other devices.

    Key Features:
    • Built-in VPN capabilities
    • Automatic ad-blocking system
    • Intrusion prevention notifications
    • Content filtering

    Best for Remote Small Businesses: SonicWall

    For a fully remote company, the quality of their VPN can make or break their entire security system. Prioritize minimizing your digital footprint. Otherwise, hackers can attack your small business and compromise your network based on the information, data, and files you share through your local and global servers.

    If you want the best, most secure VPN server currently on the market, try SonicWall. They offer a robust, no-lag server that completely hides your online profile, provides top-notch end-to-end encryption, and secures all files you share via the company's cloud servers.

    Plus, you can operate your company's entire VPN server from a single device. This feature removes the need for your employees to individually turn on and run the VPN at the start of every shift, which leaves your security prone to human error.

    Key Features:
    • Web application firewall
    • Site and browser activity monitoring
    • Integratable into existing management tools

    Best for Regular File Sharing: Palo Alto

    Most software firewalls do not protect files on the cloud because they do not classify under internal servers. Any skilled hacker who can bypass your cloud-based service provider's security will have instant access to your files.

    If you regularly share sensitive, confidential files through cloud-based servers, consider adding a Palo Alto hardware device to your security system. These devices create a private digital network tunneling cloud servers. Users will have full control over company files stored on the cloud while adding an extra layer of security that standard firewalls lack.

    Key Features:
    • Site-to-site VPN tunnel
    • Network activity tracking
    • Compromised file inspections

    Want to learn more about firewalls? Check out our article on how to utilize IPv6 firewalls for cybersecurity.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does a firewall protect against hackers?

    Firewalls block unauthorized connections to your computer, including those of hackers who are trying to steal data from you. It can also let you select which programs can access the internet so that your devices are never connected unknowingly.

    Do I need firewall protection?

    Firewalls have long been a staple of the defense against cyber attacks. If you're serious about your business' security and want to keep yourself safe then investing in firewall routers can help ensure that hackers are not able to invade and wreak havoc on data.

    Is a firewall an antivirus?

    Antivirus and firewalls are two of the most important security systems that protect computers. Antiviruses are a type of software, while a firewall can be either hardware or software-based. A firewall protects both networks from outside threats along with the individual devices within it; on the other hand, antivirus software combats any potential viruses on an infected device.

    How much does a firewall cost?

    Firewall hardware starts in the $700 range, with prices going as high as $10,000—and that's not including installation costs. That said, most businesses between 15-100 employees will only need to spend around $1500-4000 on their firewalls with a little bit of work from IT professionals.

    What is the difference between hardware and software firewalls?

    A software firewall protects a single device, while the hardware option guards against external threats. If someone tries to hack into your network through an internet connection, they'll be blocked by the physical firewalls on both ends.

    Should small businesses invest in such firewalls? If you carry Personal Identifiable Information (PII), then yes. Reports indicate that data breaches cost $150 per record, which means that you would have to shell out $150,000 if you lose 1,000 pieces of data. For small business owners, this amount could spell the difference between business continuity and bankruptcy.

    The market has dozens of advanced threat protection and enterprise firewall solutions. Overall, you need a reliable firewall solution with unique security features that address your specific business needs, preferences, and demands. Avoid cookie-cutter products that offer generic cloud storage and malware protection.

    How secure is your business against cyberattacks? Assured Standard has multiple resources to help business owners protect sensitive information from hackers. Check out our complete guide on how to manage cybersecurity risks!

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