If you’re a Game of Thrones (GOT) fan, you’d be familiar with the magical wall that keeps the people of Westeros safe from the zombie-like White Walkers.

With the TV show reaching its climax, I don’t want to share any spoilers, but suffice it to say, the hole in that wall could spell oblivion for everyone.

It may be reaching a little (okay, a lot) to draw an analogy between White Walkers and hackers, but unlike the mythical blue-eyed zombies in GOT, cyber threats are very real. And, a managed firewall could be the very thing that saves your company from the threat they pose.

Managed Firewalls and their protective magic

You don’t need magical spells and the Night’s Watch to protect your business from cyber threats, just a well set-up, next generation Managed Firewall.

A firewall is a security system that controls what gets in and out of your computer network. You have rules or policies that are configured to enable or disable traffic both ways. Firewall rules are set through a cloud-based management console.

When you install a firewall to protect your network, your users and network data are shielded from hackers. It is your first line of defence and an absolute baseline for protecting your data and users against cyber crime.

There are a few different kinds of firewalls – but the two most common are Managed Firewalls and Cloud Managed Firewalls. In truth, they’re both very similar – they’re firewalls that are set up, configured, monitored and managed by an experienced person or team. The difference between the two is that Managed Firewalls are often managed internally, by a tech or IT team, while Cloud Managed Firewalls can be managed from outside the business – often by a trusted partner whose experience outweighs the internal capabilities.

Cloud Managed Firewalls are perfect for any size of business who see the benefit of outsourcing for specialist experience. Because, at the end of the day, if you don’t have a properly configured security system in place, when those hackers come knocking, they’ll find a way to get in.

If you think you’re immune, think again

Make no mistake, hackers are looking for vulnerabilities and they’re probably looking your way.

The majority of hackers target small businesses because when budgets are tighter and staff numbers smaller, companies are less likely to have robust cyber security in place.

In 2018, 43% of cyber attacks were targeted at small businesses. Most breaches occur from using common software like Microsoft Word and Excel or mobile apps. If you have unprotected files on your network, that leaves your entire network vulnerable to attack. It only takes one crack in the wall to cause system-wide devastation. Cyber attacks can cost businesses millions in downtime, lost revenue and lost information retrieval.

Why a Cloud Managed Firewall is your ideal security solution

Using a Cloud Managed Firewall is a robust and cost-effective security solution for most businesses.

It can be tough to have the internal resources and skills to keep on top of and implement best practice when it comes to cyber security. You may also struggle to have ongoing maintenance agreements with security applications or teams of dedicated security engineers.

Using a Cloud Managed Firewall means you don’t have to be the one to monitor, configure and fix everything. We can do that for you.

How a Managed Firewall can benefit your business

Managed Firewalls bring a raft of benefit to any business, not least of which is to be the ring fence around your organisation, keeping the baddies out. But in more technical terms, here’s how a Managed Firewall can benefit your business:

Blocking unsafe websites

Cloud Managed Firewalls can be used to block access to certain websites. You can choose these individually or set rules so that your firewall blocks websites that fit within a specific category – for example adult content sites, gambling sites and/or sites that promote illegal activities.

At Comvergence we use best-in-class technology to continually update lists of blocked websites across the different categories – always ensuring the latest inappropriate sites can’t be accessed from your network.

Altering you to threats and vulnerabilities in your network

Logging enables you to see current attacks in real time and view past attempts to access your networks. Having a history of attack attempts enables you to address vulnerabilities and respond quickly to threats.

With our Cloud Managed Firewall solution, we monitor your logs and proactively alert you to vulnerable access points and concerted threats.

Allowing secure access to your work environments from any location

Even with a Cloud Managed Firewall in place, you can securely access your office network remotely. This is done using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With a VPN, your data is private and not accessible by others around you when you’re visiting exotic places, like Bravos, Old Town or Astapor (another GOT reference for those playing along).

We set up your VPN, monitor it and are on hand 24/7 to support any issues.

Connecting multiple services and sites through a single secure tunnel

Many businesses use multiple services and need access to multiple sites on a network at any one time. The latest security technology enables you to connect to multiple sites and services through one secure tunnel. This optimises bandwidth use and also means you can access multiple sites without worry, thanks to the configuration and monitoring a trusted partner, like us, sets up for you

Increase productivity by centralising security policies

Cloud Managed Firewalls enable you to centralise your security policies. At Comvergence, we employ Fortigate Unified Threat Management (UTM) to set up different service set identifiers (SSIDs), policies and rules. This gives you full control over your network and improves your team’s productivity as they don’t have to input passwords every time across multiple sites.

Enabling a single gateway to your network

Having one gateway to your network gives you peace of mind and lessens potential system vulnerabilities. You can see what is happening on your network at any given time and who’s accessing what. Plus, we then monitor it for you and alert you to any new threats.

Advanced threat detection

A Cloud Managed Firewall with Comvergence means we’ll be able to inspect all traffic going in and out of your network. We can find hidden viruses or malicious activity and block senders deemed to be harmful.

New threat sources can quickly be identified and that information shared with other firewalls globally to keep the entire Internet safe from hackers.

How we help

A Cloud Managed Firewall is essential for every business. It is the minimum standard for security compliance and an important first barrier in the war against cyber crime.

At Comvergence, we combine next generation Managed Firewall technology with our dedicated 24/7 expert maintenance and monitoring.