A firewall is a device that acts like a security cop watching over your computer network to detect unauthorized access and activity – and now-a-days EVERY business AND household needs one.

However, your firewall is completely useless if it’s not set up or maintained properly.

Here are 6 steps that you need to apply to configure your Firewall.

  1. Secure your Firewall:
    Access ​to ​your ​firewall ​should ​be ​limited​ to​ only ​the people and devices you ​trust. ​To ​keep ​the bad guys out, make ​sure ​your ​firewall ​is ​secured​ properly by at least changing the default username and password.
  2. Setup Firewall Zones and IP address ranges
    Zones should be set up for each primary function, such as:
    Email, VPN(s), databases, workstations, Point of Sale systems and VoIP telephone services should all be configured in appropriate zones.
  3. Create Rules
    Rules are used to control what information is allowed to flow into and out of each zone.
  4. DHCP, IPS, IDS, etc.
    Does your firewall need to be set up for DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), IPS (Intrusion Prevention System), IDS (Intrusion Detection System) and others…?
  5. Test Your Configuration
    First, check to make sure that your firewall is blocking the traffic that it should be blocking, then make sure you get a backup of your configuration once your firewall is finally right. You don’t want to have to set all this up all over again.
  6. On-Going Management
    When steps 1 through 5 are complete, you will need to monitor your Firewall so it functions properly. Be sure to update the on-board software (firmware), monitor the logs, perform vulnerability scans, and review your configuration rules at least every four to six months.

And don’t forget to setup Guest Wi-Fi on your router, so visitors and customers won’t be able to get to your home or business network.

Your firewall needs to be upgraded and patched on a continual and consistent basis, and security policies and configurations updated with every new hire or termination, at a minimum.

As you can see, this is usually not something you will want to handle on your own – you are best served by letting the pros (us!) handle that for you.

Firewalls are an essential part of security today. If you don’t have one, you need one. If you need help figuring out what to buy, give us a call at (636) 542-8653 today, or take your chances with the cyber criminals, and costs, fines and the other ramifications associated with a data breach.

That’s it for Tip #15

Next weeks Tip will be “A WARNING if You Handle, Process or Store Client Credit Cards”

Remember – It ain’t poisonal...     it's jus bidness.

‘Til next time.