MSP security has always been an integral component of IT operations. Since computers were invented, hackers have done their best to undermine systems put in place to keep unauthorized personnel out. As a result, any privatized organization providing such solutions has an inbuilt prerogative to safeguard systems. Firewalls soon developed as the internet began to mature.
It wasn’t always called the Internet. Originally, it was called “ARPANET,” which stands for “Advanced Research Projects Agency NETwork.” But ARPANET would become the Internet, and by around 1990, the first primitive firewall was put into place.
Initially, firewalls simply restricted data packets that weren’t familiar with the system, but this could easily result in what’s now known as a DDoS or a Dedicated Denial of Service attack, where a ubiquity of false data bombards a firewall and ends up restricting operations as the system becomes overloaded. It took about four years to overcome this. Developments have continued to refine such that firewalls have an almost proactive, analytical approach. Software can be used to analyze possible intrusions and prevent them.
VPN, or Virtual Private Network, solutions additionally up the ante by allowing remote personnel to access networks securely. Basically, think of a VPN like a bubble with an umbilical, all entry points of which are silhouetted in a snug firewall penumbra or covering. Imagine a force field.
With that background, it’s easier to understand what firewalls can and cannot do. These systems of security are excellent for facilitating user authenticity. Security policies can be properly enforced through firewalls. Additionally, work done on the internet can be logged through firewalls.
Really, it’s best to think of the wall as a kind of perimeter defense. Attacks from without are rebuffed. Basically, like a wall absorbs the attacks of hostile forces, a firewall absorbs digital attacks so the sensitive data behind them don’t have to. If you’ve ever seen a mother bird act as though her wing is broken to draw a predator away from the nest, you have some understanding of what a firewall basically does. But as you can see, it’s also much more than that.
The limitation of the firewall is also its greatest strength. While not technically “static,” it helps to think of such barriers as stationary bastions protecting the interior data kingdom. And like such exterior walls cannot protect internal properties once they’ve been breached, neither can firewalls. If a hacker manages to overcome a firewall, then it can no longer be a secure means of data retention and protection.
Hosts inside a network accessing the internet are in a way reaching beyond the firewall and could be making the system vulnerable. What this means is that users shouldn’t access the Internet through means that aren’t reliant upon company infrastructure. Doing that exposes everything to penetration.
Additionally, though firewalls do offer some protection as they’re often designed to rebuff things like Trojans or malware, they don’t offer complete protection. Unknown threats or attacks in concert with viral incursion can undermine firewall security. That said, once the behavior has been observed, MSP security solutions can help program firewalls to recognize basic threats and overcome them.
Necessary Additional Protections
With all these things in mind, it becomes clear that cogent security can’t simply rely on a firewall. Additional requirements include:
- Enforcement of internal security protocols
- Proactive, continuous network monitoring
- Antiviral solutions
- Backup and data recovery (BDR) contingencies
Certainly, internal solutions can provide this level of security, but for the most part, it makes sense that such solutions should be outsourced. The reason is that internal solutions face the prospect of necessary upgrades. Such upgrades are expensive and require education. While an internal staff of the IT variety can certainly do as much, it will take time and money, which are both expensive for any corporation, large or small. Additionally, outsourced BDR is usually cheaper and more effective.
An MSP security provision through a company dedicated specifically to technology will naturally remain on the cutting edge as it’s their prerogative to competitively provide actionable solutions effectively safeguarding clients. If you haven’t looked into proactively outsourced solutions, it may be time to.