There are numerous components and elements that you must consider when reviewing your MSP security. In general, the network security infrastructure in your IT support business is the most critical aspect of your entire system. If your company’s computer security is not sufficient, you will be a point of vulnerability which hackers can use to access your clients’ data.
One of the most important elements for a secure MSP network is the firewall. The firewall is a standard security system which is designed to monitor the network traffic and control ingoing and outgoing data packets. In simple terms, a firewall is the most important barrier which isolates and protects a trusted internal network like your MSP from external insecurities from other networks.
Unfortunately, numerous MSPs do not have sufficient protection from their firewalls. This can be attributed to the fact that the companies utilize port-based legacy firewalls. In the past, these firewalls were critical for every network security strategy formed by an IT professional. However, the times have changed and technology has evolved extensively.
The main advantage of port-based firewalls is their low cost of purchase and their ease of operation and maintenance. However, the new applications and devices that are used present new security challenges that these types of firewalls cannot handle. Here are the primary reasons why you should consider replacing the port-based firewalls in your MSP operation:
Simplistic Control Options
Port-based commercial firewalls do not offer sufficient flexibility in their design and operation capabilities. Consequently, you cannot achieve optimal security for your network. In simple terms, this firewall is built to allow or block data packets based on stringent predetermined rules. Typically, this component will examine the IP addresses of the involved networks and the port data.
When data is sent, the firewall will examine these two parameters (IP address and port data) and determine if the packet can pass through the barrier. If it is, the firewall will scan the initial bytes of the packet and choose the best transfer protocol and then allow the data to pass. This simplistic control is not ideal for MSP security or IT networks with confidential data.
Loopholes in Modern Technology
There is great technology available for both personal and commercial use. For instance, applications have been designed to make work and normal life easier. This advance in the world of information technology will continue growing in the future. On the other hand, you should note that the improvements have rendered old security components like port-based firewalls almost useless.
The software applications which have been developed incorporate special methods which allow them to by-pass the port-based firewalls. These techniques such as tunneling and port hopping are available to malicious hackers. Therefore, people with sufficient knowledge can easily bypass your established security protocols and access your network.
Naturally, there are methods which are designed to prevent people from bypassing the legacy firewalls. These include intrusion detection systems, proxies, and URL filtering systems, among other complex products. Unfortunately, these are expensive for an IT support business which aims to make profit. Moreover, the security effect of these patches is not exceptional.
Data Damage Risks
Data compromise is a common concern for all businesses which rely on computer networks, especially MSPs. The firewall is one of the tools which can help protect your sensitive data against damage, loss, and hackers. This is because the element forms a barrier between your IT network and other external networks and even between different parts of your internal network.
However, a port-based firewall will not provide much assistance with regard to helping you protect your data. Simply speaking, it cannot recognize the specifics of data such as the applications being used, the users sending data or the specific content of packets. Therefore, it cannot prevent security breaches and subsequent damage and loss of your confidential data.
Finally, you should note that the security regulations on IT networks are becoming more stringent, and compliance is crucial for your operation. If you are interested in resilient, long-term MSP security, you should think about implementing a next-generation network firewall.