When your business makes use of tech infrastructure for crucial parts, especially financial aspects, you need to take security seriously. While you might think, “Well, they would only target big companies” I will subtly remind you that, between 2020 and 2022, about 58% of SMBs experienced cybersecurity breaches. The number keeps increasing yearly, which makes it important for you even as a small business. Of course, you would have installed some antivirus and antimalware software on your systems and networks. But sometimes, that might not be enough, as hackers get innovative every time. A more sophisticated way of protecting your business computer and network is implementing firewalls that protect your business from cyber-attacks.  What are firewalls? How do firewalls work? Ultimately, How do firewalls protect your business? Let’s find out. 

What are Firewalls?

A firewall serves as a crucial network security device, diligently overseeing the flow of incoming and outgoing network traffic. It makes informed decisions on whether to permit or restrict specific traffic, all by a well-defined set of security rules. This means that it examines and screens the incoming traffic to prevent any harmful content. 

Network security firewalls are designed to manage web traffic and help prevent the spread of web threats. Firewalls are effective in blocking unauthorized access to a computer or network through the internet. To ensure optimal security, businesses need to implement firewall protection on all their computer and network devices.

Unlike VPNs, a firewall safeguards your network from external dangers, while a VPN secures your traffic as it moves to and from your network. An example of a firewall is the Windows Firewall that is included with Microsoft Windows operating systems. Blocking incoming and outgoing network traffic can provide an added layer of security, safeguarding computers from unauthorized access and malware attacks. 

Having no firewall leaves your devices vulnerable to potential threats. This can potentially enable unauthorized individuals to remotely access your computer and extract your entire system, giving them the ability to sift through your data.

Depending on how extensive your business use of computer networking is, firewalls can either be implemented by yourself or by using a managed firewall professional service. 

How do firewalls Work against Cyberattacks?

Firewalls work by filtering and monitoring the data traffic that enters and exits your system, guaranteeing that only authorized and secure data is allowed to pass through.

A firewall plays a crucial role in safeguarding your computer by defending against backdoors. These backdoors are vulnerabilities in software applications or operating systems that can be exploited by hackers to gain unauthorized access. Through meticulous examination of the data packets, firewalls can identify and prevent these unauthorized access attempts.

Firewalls are essential for protecting against Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. These attacks can cause servers to become overwhelmed by an enormous influx of connection requests, making it impossible for them to effectively serve legitimate users. Firewalls play a crucial role in detecting and blocking harmful connection attempts, safeguarding the functionality of your network.

Firewalls also protect against malicious macros, which are scripts embedded in files, typically found in documents or spreadsheets. These macros have the potential to automate harmful processes on your computer. Through the analysis of data packets, firewalls can identify and prevent the infiltration of harmful macros into your system.

They are effective in safeguarding against unauthorized remote logins and preventing hackers from gaining full control over your computer. They detect and stop unauthorized remote access attempts by carefully monitoring and controlling the flow of data.

In addition, they are crucial for preventing spam, which may include links to harmful websites. Filtering incoming emails and their contents allows firewalls to protect your computer from potential infections caused by malicious code hidden within spam messages.

Firewalls and antivirus software work together to offer complete protection against viruses. Antivirus software is primarily designed to detect and eliminate specific types of malware. On the other hand, firewalls take a broader approach by examining the overall data traffic to pinpoint and prevent the infiltration of these viruses into your system.

Implementation of firewalls 

Here are ways and steps to ensure a secured firewall on your business computers and business networks.

1. Use Firewall Software Designed for Windows and Mac

On a Windows PC, locate and activate the built-in firewall as follows:

Windows 8 or 8.1: Press the Windows key to open the Start screen, type “firewall,” and select “Windows Firewall.” Avoid “Windows Firewall with Advanced Security” for simplicity.

Windows 7: Go to Start → Control Panel → System and Security → Windows Firewall.

Windows Vista: Click the Security Center shield in the notification area at the bottom, then click “Windows Firewall.”

To enable the firewall on a Mac, choose Security & Privacy under System Preferences, then choose the Firewall tab, and finally click “Turn On Firewall.”

2. Make use of a router

A router, which frequently has firewall software built in, is placed in between your computer and broadband modem. To find it, look for several Ethernet ports or a Wi-Fi antenna. Using a router provides an extra degree of security, even if you only have one computer.

They are reasonably priced if you don’t already have one. They come in particularly handy if you have a constant broadband connection.

3. Encrypt Your Firewall

Keeping your firewall secure is essential. This is how you do it:

  • Update your firewall to the latest firmware.
  • Remove or rename default user accounts and change default passwords to complex ones.
  • Create separate admin accounts for different users with specific privileges.
  • Disable simple network management protocol (SNMP) or configure it with a secure community string.

4. Create IP addresses and firewall zones

Determine whether network assets are valuable, such as patient or payment data. Sort these resources according to their role and level of sensitivity, then assign them to various network zones:

  • Internet-facing servers (web, email, VPN): Locate them in an area known as a demilitarized zone (DMZ), which allows only a certain amount of inbound traffic.
  • Store internal servers (databases) in server zones that are not directly accessible from the internet.
  • Put VoIP systems, POS hardware, and workstations in internal network zones.

For essential internet communication, set up Network Address Translation (NAT) and use internal IP addresses. Give these zones to the interfaces or subinterfaces of your firewall.

5. Set up ACLs or access control lists

Ascertain the precise volume of traffic that must enter and exit each zone. Configure ACLs with source, destination, and port numbers on your firewall interfaces. To prevent unauthorized traffic, always terminate each ACL with a “deny all” rule.

Disable unencrypted management protocols like Telnet and HTTP, as well as public access to your firewall administration interfaces, for more security.

6. Set Up Logging and Extra Firewall Services

Configure the DHCP, NTP, and intrusion prevention system (IPS) functions that your firewall is capable of doing as needed. Turn off any services that are not needed. Make sure your firewall provides sufficient detailed reports to your logging server to comply with PCI DSS regulations.

7. Verify Your Firewall Setup

To make sure your firewall functions as intended, test it in a controlled setting. Check to see if it limits traffic in line with the ACL settings you have set up. Conduct penetration testing and vulnerability scans.

Following a successful testing phase, your firewall is prepared for deployment. Maintain a copy of your firewall settings somewhere safe to avoid losing it in the event of a hardware malfunction.

8. Use of Managed Firewall Services

For the management, administration, monitoring, and upkeep of firewall infrastructure, qualified managed security service providers (MSSPs) provide “managed firewall services“. Along with monitoring your network, they set up, maintain, and modify firewall rules and offer reports and analysis.

MSSPs may install firewalls, manage software, and filter web content by selecting which programs and URLs to restrict, all depending on the service agreement. They oversee upgrades and patches as well.

Network traffic and private information are vitally protected by firewalls. Standards like PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR compliance depend on them. Managed firewall services can close these gaps and stop data breaches in businesses without the resources to operate their firewalls or other security equipment. Many businesses prefer managed firewall services so they can concentrate on their main business objectives, even those with internal IT professionals.

How Firewalls can Protect your Business.

Firewalls are crucial to protect your business from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks, which can lead to significant damage and loss of data. A managed firewall enhances protection by blocking remote access attempts and alerting the business before the issue escalates. Firewalls also manage content access, preventing access to distracting or harmful websites, as well as visits to malicious sites that may install malware or viruses. This feature protects employees from phishing fraud. To ensure the firewall operates effectively, you must regularly upgrade it.

However, if you don’t manage firewalls properly, attackers can overcome them, and staff may overrule settings or fall victim to fraud. Firewalls also monitor network traffic, solve problems, and enforce business internet usage restrictions by filtering out inappropriate content. Regular updates guarantee that the firewall detects and blocks the most recent threats, keeping the business secure. To summarize, firewalls are an essential component of enterprise security, providing strong protection against unauthorized access, malware, and other cyber dangers.


Business needs firewalls to protect against cyberattacks and unauthorized access. They monitor and filter network traffic to block dubious content and unauthorized access. Firewalls prevent denial-of-service attacks, malicious macros, remote logins, spam, and viruses. Using routers, encrypting firewalls, and setting up access control lists are crucial to firewall protection for company PCs and networks. Managed firewall services offer expertise and assistance. Ultimately, Firewalls and regular updating are very crucial to both small and large company security, protecting against cyberattacks.