An article about firewalls is, by necessity, an article about network security. Those of you who have read our blog before know that IT security statistics are, in a word, alarming. Here’s another shocking figure for you: 83% of Canadian businesses have reported attempted ransomware attacks.
Securing your network is more critical than ever before. In the age of remote work, the standardizations that we’ve used in offices for decades are no longer sufficient - you can’t reasonably send IT staff to the homes of every one of your employees. This makes standardization difficult and poses a variety of security risks.
Hardware firewalls are one of the tools we have to mitigate these risks, and SonicWall’s new Gen 7 firewalls are among the best in the business. In this article, we’re going to explore the difference between hardware and software firewalls, then give you a rundown of why we like SonicWall’s firewalls so much.
Hardware firewalls vs. software firewalls
Firewalls are devices that monitor network traffic and block certain traffic based on a number of different parameters. There are two kinds of firewalls: Hardware firewalls and software firewalls.
Software firewalls have a number of advantages. The upfront cost of these systems can be relatively low, they don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re easy to install.
There are, however, quite a few disadvantages to software firewalls. They need to be installed on every computer on a network. They need to be standardized, which can be difficult when your workforce is remote. Each user needs to ensure that their firewall is being updated - failing to do so can compromise the entire network. Finally, these firewalls take up resources that the computer could otherwise dedicate to different tasks.
In brief, software firewalls are better than no protection, but they leave a lot to be desired. Human error is one of the most important causes of security breaches, and there’s a lot of human involvement with software firewalls in a remote workforce.
Hardware firewalls solve all of these problems. They are a physical device that monitors traffic between your network and the internet. They’re managed by your IT team - not by individual users. As a single device solution, when settings or software are updated, the updates affect all devices on the network. They use a separate operating system, allowing for better security. Finally, they’re always powered on (unless you turn them off), so they offer protection 24/7, 365 days a year.
Now that we’ve explored the advantages of hardware firewalls, let’s get into the specifics of SonicWall’s Gen 7 products:
Performance and security
Checking every packet that your network sends and receives takes time - as a consequence, many firewalls have a negative impact on network performance. This means business owners can be faced with a trade-off: Better security or better performance, but not both.
Not with SonicWall’s new Gen 7 firewalls. These devices are capable of multi-gigabit speeds even when faced with demanding security protocols. Their TZ series is the first small, business-class, deep packet inspection firewall on the market to feature multi-gigabit interfaces. That means you get security and performance with no tradeoff - even if your business is taking in and sending out a tremendous amount of traffic.
A solid UI
One of the most remarkable things about SonicWall’s Gen 7 TZ Series is the simple, easy-to-learn UI that comes with all of the firewalls in the series.
We can handle the setup and management of SonicWall firewalls for you. You may, however, want to make changes yourself - and that’s where the easy-to-understand UI of these devices comes in handy. Ask us any questions you might have about the UI during setup, and we’ll show you how to navigate the settings of your new SonicWall TZ firewall!
Constant C can install and manage SonicWall’s new firewalls
As a provider of managed IT services in Winnipeg, we can procure, install, and manage SonicWall firewalls for your business. Protect your network and reduce the amount of labour you need to invest in managing firewalls - call us today.