Ashville NC IT Support Company | Blue Ridge Technology, Inc.

How Strong Is Your Firewall? Why Your SMB Needs a Quality UTM Firewall

Your building is only as strong as its weakest point of security. The same goes for your network and digital infrastructure. Your firewall is the most significant piece of your IT security system. But how strong is it, really? You’d never dream of leaving the doors to your corporate office wide open and unmonitored overnight. No, instead you take every reasonable precaution to prevent break-ins and theft. But far too many SMBs leave the “digital doors” open or very weakly secured. Is your company one of them? Many small companies don’t even have a real firewall, and if they do, it’s not configured well. Even many medium-sized businesses don’t implement a more robust UTM firewall. Or, again, if they have one, it’s not properly configured. UTM firewalls are more robust and more powerful, providing all sorts of additional security benefits. In recent years, costs have dropped significantly as well. Today, nearly every SMB can afford to implement this better technology. Not sure whether switching is worth it? Here are four of the top things a well-configured UTM firewall can do for your business.

1. Deep Scanning of Both Inbound and Outbound Data

Conventional firewalls don’t look closely at the data routing through. They simply allow or block traffic based on ports and rules on header information. This approach is better than nothing, but it leaves plenty to be desired. UTM firewalls go much deeper, looking into the contents of both inbound and outbound data packets. This is called deep packet inspection, and it’s a drastic improvement over legacy technology. With this tech, you can proactively identify and block unwanted items like ransomware and malware from coming in and going out of your network. You can also intercept sensitive data that’s leaving the network but shouldn’t be.

2. Safe Connectivity for Remote Workers

Today’s workforce is more distributed than ever before, and many SMBs went virtual for the first time last year thanks to the pandemic. While remote work can be a huge productivity gain for your business, it can also be a security liability. Your team is accessing your network from their own often much less secure home networks and from all sorts of different devices. There’s risk built into this, especially if your network infrastructure isn’t modern and secure. A UTM firewall can provide a safe way for remote workers to connect to your network resources, no matter where they are located.

3. Traffic Management

Along with a much greater reliance on remote work comes a heavier use of data-intensive tools like VoIP and video calling. Your bandwidth is likely being stretched beyond what you’ve needed in the past. One solution short of paying for greater bandwidth is enabling traffic management. A UTM firewall can shape your network traffic, ensuring that important, in-the-moment traffic like VoIP and video calls get the prioritization it needs.

4. Block Prohibited Sites and Traffic

In your corporate environment, there are forms of content that you may want to block, whether for reasons of appropriateness or productivity. A UTM firewall gives you deeper levels of control here as well, allowing you to block certain domains, adult material, job search sites, or whatever else you choose.

Blue Ridge Technology Offers Top-Quality UTM Firewall Service

These are just a few of the top ways that a UTM firewall can improve your network safety and quality. Of course, to get the most out of your UTM firewall, it must be properly configured. Blue Ridge Technology can assist with implementation and support so that you get the most out of your investment. Ready to learn more? Reach out today.