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5 Common Managed Firewall Mistakes and How to Fix Them

managed firewall managed firewall
George Gazdacka April 24, 2024

If the idea of a set-it-and-forget-it security device is attractive to you, you’re not alone. Many businesses mistakenly believe that having security policies in place, such as with a managed firewall, is enough to protect their systems and data. However, maintaining a secure business environment requires daily, active investment.

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Your firewall is the first line of defense between your private network and the public Internet. It functions as a filter that monitors and processes incoming and outgoing activity based on pre-configured security policies. The setup and maintenance of these policies is critical to maintaining security for your organization, users, and data. 

In this blog we’ll cover the top five mistakes most businesses make with their managed firewall, tips for how to fix them, and provide resources for more solutions. 

Top 5 Managed Firewall Mistakes & Solutions 

1. A ‘Set-it-and-Forget-it’ Approach 

It’s tempting to think you can set some common-sense policies and let your firewall handle it from there. But as the name implies, a managed firewall solution requires daily monitoring and management to ensure maximum security for your business. The policies you put in place today might not keep up with changes to your network, applications, user behaviors, and constantly evolving threats.  

The Solution: Establish a routine management process with your IT department or hire an expert managed firewall vendor to keep your firewall updated, configured appropriately, and address security issues proactively. 

2. Incomplete Setup & Misconfiguration 

You may think you have the proper setup, configurations, protocols, and access controls in place, but how can you be sure? An incomplete and improperly configured firewall can be almost as dangerous as no firewall at all for your business. While you have the illusion of security, you might also be missing essential services, allowing the wrong people access to your data, or missing important activity occurring on your network.  

The Solution: Make sure you consult a managed firewall expert when setting up your device. The right managed firewall vendor can provide recommendations for securing your entire network with a custom security suite including firewall, SD-WAN, SASE, and custom solutions to address your concerns and business needs. If you don’t have these resources internally, look for a managed firewall vendor that will evaluate your needs and goals, current infrastructure, and can make recommendations for how to configure your firewall for ultimate protection. 

3. Ignoring Updates & Patches 

Keeping up with updates to your managed firewall solution is imperative to maintaining a secure network. If you aren’t updating your firewall as updates and patches are released, you are unnecessarily exposing your data to vulnerabilities and giving hackers opportunities to strike.  

The Solution: Ensure updates are part of your regular maintenance routine and discuss with your IT team or managed firewall vendor. If you choose a vendor who also provides your firewall technology, ask them what their update policy is and make sure they keep you informed. 

4. Neglecting Regular Security Audits 

In addition to a daily maintenance schedule, it’s also important to conduct more thorough security audits periodically. Without regular audits and assessments, you might overlook vulnerabilities and compliance gaps that change over time.  

The Solution: Consult your managed firewall vendor or IT team to conduct periodic, full-scale security audits. Make sure you identify weaknesses, test your security controls and policies, and ensure compliance with industry standards. It’s important to take the latest trends and changes in regulations into account, as well as to prioritize fixes based on risk severity and document your findings to consistently improve your security. 

5. Prioritizing Convenience Over Safety 

Once your best practices and management routine are set, it’s critical to stick to them. For many businesses, security policies can seem to slow down daily operations since they require stopping to verify access controls and check inbound or outbound traffic sources. But it’s important to remember that the consequences of not allowing your managed firewall to do its job are ultimately much more time consuming and expensive: if a virus, malware, or hacker gets through to your data, everything shuts down costing you lost business, reputation damage, and remediation expenses. 

The Solution: Make sure you communicate the importance of following security protocols to all members of your organization and adhere to those best practices as a team. Accurately frame the cost and benefits of following security protocols and send frequent reminders to motivate staff. 

Managed Firewall Solutions 

Your managed firewall is much more than a set-it-and-forget-it security device as the first point of contact between your business and the outside Internet. To help you stay on top of your mission-critical security, S-NET provides hands-on, fully managed firewall solutions including our signature white-glove support. Get in touch with our team of experts to discuss your security needs and we will handle the rest! 

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