These hardware and software products are designed to protect your network from a variety of threats and the need to have them is clear. According to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, “all organizations should assume they’ve been hacked.” Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) researchers found that malicious traffic is visible on 100 percent of corporate networks; this means there is evidence that adversaries have penetrated these networks and may be operating undetected over long periods.
These findings underscore why it’s critical for all organizations to focus on protection which includes security appliances that may include integrated firewalls, VPNs, authentication, intrusion detection and more.
The one security item every company needs is a firewall — a security appliance that acts as the protective shield between the outside world and your network. A firewall continuously inspects traffic and matches it against a set of predesigned rules. If the traffic qualifies as safe, it's allowed onto your network. If the traffic is questionable, the firewall blocks it, helping to keep your network safe.
Firewall solutions for small business are available as either software or hardware (with software components). A software firewall protects each individual PC it’s installed on. But in order to protect every computer in your company, each device must have a software firewall installed. That can get expensive and it can be difficult to maintain. Hardware-based firewall solutions for small business protect all computers on your network and are easier to administer.
The ideal firewall solutions for small business integrate a hardware firewall with software controls into a comprehensive security solution that includes virtual private network (VPN) support, antivirus, anti-spam, anti-spyware and content-filtering capabilities. We can help you understand what works for your business. When integrated with a comprehensive security device, firewall solutions for small business offer many benefits. Among them are:
• Improved Business Resiliency: The best firewalls prevent disruption of business-critical applications and services due to security breaches.
• Support for Changing Business Needs: The best firewall solutions for small business allow you to safely deploy new applications. They provide advanced application-layer security for a wide range of applications, including email, voice over IP (VoIP), video and multimedia programs.
• Controlled access to Your Company's Resources: The most effective firewall solutions for small business block unauthorized access to applications or information assets.
• Increased Employee Productivity: By blocking hackers, a firewall helps prevent the loss of employee productivity or valuable company data.
This technology enables mobile employees and teleworkers to work securely at home, on the road or at customers' offices using any Internet access they have at their disposal. Even if they have to jump on the Web via unsecured Wi-Fi at coffee shop, by using the company’s VPN they have full, secure, remote access to your phone system, data network, customer database and any other tools they need to be productive. It's almost like they're in the office.
• VPNs use secure firewalls and well-tested security measures at every network point of entry, to help stop worms, spyware or hackers from attempting to disrupt your business network or steal sensitive information.
• Once a VPN is installed, you can add as many employees in as many places as you need. You don't have to worry about expensive provisioning in each branch office, store or site; a computer and an Internet connection will do the trick. The VPN software can handle all security and user authentication.
• With a VPN, you're essentially creating a secure private network, or "tunnel," over the Internet. This way, only valid users can access the VPN, and then only by using industry-proven methods of user authentication.
• Even on the road, with a VPN, your data is safe. That’s because strong encryption technologies, which translate information into a secret code, help ensure the data is unintelligible to anyone attempting to intercept VPN communications — even over Wi-Fi networks.
• VPNs can help lower networking costs. Because a VPN provides a direct link to your business network, you don't necessarily have to install network equipment at each office or location in your business. In most cases, a computer and an Internet connection are all you need to access information, applications, and resources if working remotely.
• With a VPN, your phone and conferencing system is available to those who may need it most — remote and mobile employees. Cisco SMB Solutions for voice and conferencing on a data network enable anyone using the VPN to communicate easily and meaningfully with out-of-office workers, partners, suppliers, customers and others.
• You can expand your recruitment reach with a VPN. With this kind of flexibility, you can attract and retain employees from any geographic region. You can hire executives or professionals with special skills and have them join the company network quickly and easily — no matter where they live. That’s important, since human resources studies show that work/life benefits such as teleworking and flex time are among the most valued benefits a company can offer.
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In its simplest terms, managing your network authentication means there is a system in place that either allows people and computers access to your network or blocks them. User names and passwords are commonly part of authentication.
Identifying who is connecting to the network — from what device, where and when — allows the network to control which applications that user can access and how he or she can use them. With the right product, authentication, authorization and accounting services can be applied automatically to wireless, wired and VPN access by a single network access control platform.
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