Effectively managing your company's firewall architecture can mean the difference between having an effective multi-layered defense against cybersecurity breaches and becoming the latest in a long line of companies to experience a massive data breach. Many companies recognize that firewalls are a critical component of their network security perimeter, but effective firewall management involves more than just having one at the point between the network and the Internet.
Improperly managed firewall IT services can lead to rule conflicts, breaches of provided security, and reduced network performance. However, many companies simply do not have the adequate resources to manage their firewalls internally. They then turn to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) for managed firewall solutions.
What Are Managed Firewall Services and Why Should You Use Them? Here are some things to know about managed firewall services and service providers:
1) How Much Managed Firewall Services Can Save You
One of the first questions many business owners have about hiring a managed firewall service provider is, "How much will it cost me?" This is a perfectly natural question. But here's the better question: "How much can using a managed firewall service save me?"
In any cost / benefit analysis, it is always important to assess the risk of using or ignoring a particular tool or resource. In the case of not using managed firewall solutions, the risk can be quite high.
For example, how much productivity would your business lose if poorly optimized firewall settings caused legitimate login requests to fail? Or, how much would it cost your business if an incorrect firewall configuration allowed a cybercriminal to breach your network? According to Ponemon, a violation would cost him an average of $ 3.86 million.
So, when evaluating the cost of managed firewall services, consider the price you might have to pay if you don't have a well-managed firewall.
Another cost factor to balance when considering a managed firewall solution is how much it would cost you to manage the firewalls your business needs entirely in-house. Cybersecurity experts can be expensive to hire, supplement and train, and salaries easily reach six figures a year before benefits. And, considering the shortage of qualified cybersecurity engineers, this is a job seeker market, not an employer market.
2) What services do you get with a managed firewall solution?
When you sign up for a managed security service to manage your firewall, it is important to know exactly what type of firewall services they will provide. Some types of managed firewall services that an MSSP can offer include:
Firewall verification services. It is important for a company to periodically check its firewalls for misconfigurations and other issues that can affect security and performance.
Firewall configuration services. Will MSSP help your organization choose, install and configure the firewalls it needs to block malicious traffic?
Firewall monitoring and alerts. Does MSSP have firewall monitoring tools to keep track of the current configuration of rules and event logs? Does the MSSP have a procedure to alert you to important security events, such as an ongoing violation?
Co-managed firewall services. Rather than take over the management of the firewall, a co-managed firewall service model involves the MSSP working together with your team to support and even teach your team the finer points of firewall management.
Identifying the services that the MSSP will provide is critical when organizing a managed firewall service.
3) What SLA can MSSP set for firewall management?
Service agreements (SLAs) represent the expectations you may have for any type of managed security service. With managed firewall services, it is important to know what SLAs the service provider can meet, for example:
Firewall rules update frequency. How often will your MSSP check your firewall settings and adapt rules to eliminate outdated ones that conflict with your business workflows and enable new ones to protect you from the latest threats? It is time to alert about security breaches.