3 Common Firewall Myths—Debunked

According to a 2017 study, damages from cyber crime will cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep your business protected against malicious attacks. You can do this in a number of ways, including data encryption, increased password strength, and antivirus software. But perhaps the best place to start is by installing a firewall.

There are a lot of misconceptions about firewalls that can keep companies from fully realizing their capabilities. To help separate the fact from fiction, here are three common, debunkable myths about firewalls—and what you need to know to keep your network well protected.

Myth #1: Firewalls slow down your computer

A common reason businesses and individuals alike cite for their lack of a firewall is the belief that it will slow their computers down. This is only partially true—and wholly dependent on the type of firewall you utilize.

Generally speaking, there are two types of firewalls: hardware and software. Hardware firewalls are literal physical units between a computer and the rest of the internet. The most common example is a simple wireless router. Because hardware firewalls aren’t physically attached to a computer, they don’t use the computer’s power resources—a major cause of slow downs. Instead, they rely on their own resources, leaving computers free to focus on their work.

Software firewalls, on the other hand, reside inside a computer—and rely on its resources for power. As a result, the computer may run a little slower.

As you decide between a hardware or software firewall, it’s important to consider your expectations for processing speed. Either way, try to avoid running multiple firewalls in one network. This overlapped security is redundant and could potentially slow computers down even more.

Myth #2: Firewalls and antivirus software are the same

This is just not true. While both firewalls and antivirus software offer internet security, they do it at different levels.

Firewalls monitor traffic on your network, determining which connections to allow and which to deny. Depending on its sophistication, a firewall may conduct content-aware scans, but most can’t protect against viruses. That’s why it’s best to supplement your firewall with strong antivirus software as well.

Antivirus programs go deeper than a firewall—rooting out harmful programs, files, software, and more that could compromise your network. As you bring your network security up to date, consider a firewall and antivirus software to give yourself maximum protection.

Myth #3: Once I set up a firewall, I don’t need to update it again

This is also not true. Firewalls are designed to protect your network against known threats—that is, threats that are known at the time of installation. But since new threats are constantly emerging, failing to update your firewall’s configurations and security rules to account for them could leave your network exposed.

You should consider reviewing and updating your firewall settings at least once a year—even better if you do it quarterly. Many of these updates can be done using automation, which helps prevent potential human error in your configurations.

At Guard Depot, it’s our mission to keep your business secure. Our experts will find the ideal firewall solution for your network—and keep you moving at the speed you expect. To learn more about worry-free network protection, talk to us today.