Firewalls have always been a mainstay of any IT system deployment and provide protection from web-based threats with Cloud firewalls being the latest development in this area.
Firewalls provide network and threat protection in a number of ways and have developed into multi-faceted systems providing protection from viruses and spam as well as intrusion prevention and detection.
To simple describe a firewall’s function is to say that a firewall ‘acts as a security guard with a guest list on the perimeter of your corporate network’. Cloud based firewalls are the next evolution in firewall technology removing the hardware based element of a system and allowing for configuration and simple execution of security policies within a web-based system.
There are compelling advantages for any organisation that wishes to deploy a cloud based firewall. We have listed out some of these advantages below to help guide your decision.
Rather than being tied to hardware located in a single location using a Cloud Firewall provider will provide multiple datacentres and redundant paths.
Using either a web-based control panel or graphical user interface configuration of your firewall system is simple and intuitive.
Using a cloud based firewall provider allows for multiple connections into your systems from geographically dispersed users.
Latest system and threat technology
Using a cloud firewall delivers to the subscriber the latest technology and protection from web-based threats and hackers. A cloud firewall provider manages multiple sites, this has the distinct advantage of providing real time threat intelligence statistically aggregated to allow for trending and development of rules.
With any technology deployment there are things to keep in mind and consider. We have listed out potential pitfalls to consider when purchasing an offshore presence.
How is the cloud firewall vendor connected to the internet and how many datacentres do they manage and n what countries do they have a point of presence. If possible do a trial and test latency against your current system.
Check support agreements and ensure that areas such as rule changes or expanding of original scope agreements are not subject to additional charges. Check the support desk operational hours and ensure this suits your support needs.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) support
Virtual private networks allow your staff and trusted partners to access your systems and are delivered in a number of ways. VPN access may be granted via a simple browser using HTTPS or SSL technology found on the majority of websites that process orders or credit cards. IPSec security is a configurable software program that creates access to your network by creating a ‘encryption tunnel’ between your PC or mobile device and the firewall.
Threat reporting is key to understanding the threats posed to your network and what has been mitigated always ensure you get access to timely current up to date management reports preferably real-time in nature.
Cloud based firewall as part of your overall service
Many cloud providers offer a firewall service as part of an overall package. This does not negate the need for many of the tips enclosed within this page, apply the advice given to your provider and ask for the same level of reporting and service.
At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and to identify suitable technology partners to help with your deployment. Take a few minutes to tell us about your company in our Cloud Discovery Q&A, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help you take full advantage of Cloud firewalls and selecting a firewall provider for your needs.
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