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Firewalls: Protecting your business from unwanted intruders

A combination of hardware and software firewalls provides a higher level of security

I got a call from my great aunt the other day. She wants to get online and has just bought a new computer. She’s heard her friends talk about bad guys on the Internet and asked me how she should protect herself. I told her she should get security gear for her computer before doing anything else. I explained that like the security gate at her apartment complex, computer security gear can prevent bad guys from getting inside.

That got me thinking about security for small businesses. What security solution should you use to protect your small business?

You need the equivalent of security gates for your network. Firewalls do precisely that. And though you’ve probably heard of firewalls for computer security, you may not know how they work and whether you should get one for your business.

How firewalls work

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Borderless Networks: Where Has the Firewall Gone?

Few aspects of networking have experienced as much change in recent years as the network firewall.  Once considered a desktop security device, then embraced as the cadre of gateway security for businesses of all sizes, the firewall has lost its “place”.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not belittling the importance of the network firewall – in fact, my intention is quite the opposite!

Today Cisco made an announcement that supports the notion that the network firewall is more important than ever.  But where does it belong?  Marketers and IT professionals, alike, are all guilty of using the silly “brick wall” graphic in all our presentations.  I’ve done it myself more times than I can count – right there, between the network edge and the DMZ.  After all, that’s where it has traditionally lived, right?

The problem is that with the advent of cloud computing, virtualization, and the ability to gain anytime/anywhere access to data from a wide range of devices, it’s hard to tell where the network begins and where it ends these days.  And if we can’t find the network edge, where do we place the firewall?  How do we protect our network assets from the deluge of Internet-borne threats? Read More »

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