6 BEST SMALL BUSINESS FIREWALLS IN 2023

Best Small Business Firewalls.

Illustration of a firewall with a laptop showing firewall on the creen.

Best Small Business Firewalls.

Small businesses are the favorite target of cybercriminals. Since they’re busy building companies and chasing the future, they don’t pay much attention to IT security issues.

Many owners even ignore such matters until they are forced to address them.

According to Statista, cyber incidents, including cybercrime, IT outages, and data breaches, were the leading risk for small businesses globally for 2022.

About 40% of respondents cited cybersecurity incidents are their biggest concern.

Security is the most critical issue for small and midsize businesses today. Therefore, SMBs should invest in solutions to enhance their cybersecurity posture.

Also, antivirus programs and firewalls are crucial as they act as the first line of defense to secure networks.

This article will discuss the importance of firewalls for SMBs, and the 6 best small business firewalls in 2022.

Why are Firewalls Important for Small Businesses?

A firewall can be a hardware firewall with specialized software, an application installed on a computer, or a virtualized system deployed in the cloud.

While different types of firewalls have existed since the 90s, they remain a critical element of cybersecurity.

A firewall appliance can protect your business network by proactively blocking unauthorized traffic from entering the network.

Firewalls not only focus on network traffic but also prevent access to dangerous or distracting websites.

Firewalls are extremely important for small businesses.

Small businesses face the same security risks as larger organizations, but often lack the resources and personnel to manage comprehensive security measures.

Firewalls are an essential technology for protecting small businesses from cyber threats, such as malware, phishing scams, and other malicious attacks.

Firewalls can prevent unauthorized access to confidential data and can be used to detect and block suspicious activity while allowing legitimate traffic to pass through.

By investing in a secure firewall solution, small businesses can reduce their risk of data breaches and protect their valuable assets

They provide a variety of benefits, including improved security and productivity, better control over network access, and cost savings.

Small business firewalls allow small offices to monitor and control traffic on their networks, ensuring that only authorized users have access.

Some benefits of small business firewalls also include the following.

●    It helps prevent unauthorized access to the network

●    Blocks inappropriate websites

●    Blocks phishing emails

●    Verifies remote connections

●    Monitors bandwidth usage

●    Provides a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

This helps prevent malicious attacks and reduces the risk of data breaches. By using a firewall, businesses can also save money by reducing the need for additional security measures.

Ultimately, small business firewalls are an important part of any organization’s security strategy.

 

Brick wall on firewall. Illustration of a firewall.

Types of Firewalls

There are also different kinds of firewalls based on how they work, and each kind can be set up as either software or a physical device. There are five different kinds of firewalls that work in different ways.

1. Packet Filtering Firewalls

The oldest and most basic type of firewall is one that filters packets.

They work at the network layer and compare a data packet’s source IP, destination IP, protocol, source port, and destination port to rules that have already been set up to decide if the packet should be passed or thrown away.

Packet filtering firewalls don’t keep track of the connection they’ve made or the packets that have already been sent through that connection. Instead, they watch each packet on its own.

This makes it hard for these firewalls to protect against threats and attacks that are more advanced.

2. Circuit-Level Gateways

Circuit-level gateways check established Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections and keep track of the active sessions.

They work at the session layer. They are similar to firewalls that filter packets in that they only do one check and use few resources.

But they work at a higher level of the OSI model (Open Systems Interconnection). The main thing they do is figure out how safe a connection is.

When an internal device starts a connection with a remote host, circuit-level gateways set up a virtual connection on behalf of the internal device to hide the identity and IP address of the internal user.

Circuit-level gateways are simple, cheap, and barely affect the performance of a network. But because they can’t look inside data packets, they aren’t a complete security solution on their own.

3. Stateful Inspection Firewalls

These firewalls check and keep track of connections that are already set up. They also inspect packets to provide better, more complete security.

Once a connection is made, they make a state table with the source IP, the destination IP, the source port, and the destination port. Instead of using a hard-coded set of rules based on this information, they make their own rules on the fly to allow expected network traffic to come in.

They easily get rid of data packets that don’t belong to an active connection that has been checked.

4. Application-Level Gateways

Application-level gateways, also known as proxy firewalls, are set up at the application layer using a proxy device.

Instead of an outsider going straight to your internal network, the connection is made through the proxy firewall.

The external client makes a request to the proxy firewall. After making sure the request is real, the proxy firewall sends it to one of the internal devices or servers on the client’s behalf.

Or, an internal device could ask to access a webpage, and the proxy device would forward the request while hiding the identity and location of the internal devices and network.

Unlike packet filtering firewalls, proxy firewalls use stateful and deep packet inspection to compare the context and content of data packets to a set of user-defined rules.

5. What is a Next-Generation Firewall?

Next-generation firewalls, also called second-generation firewalls, protect organizations with advanced security features. 

NGFWs have features like deep-packet inspection, intrusion prevention (IPS), advanced malware detection, application control, and by inspecting encrypted traffic, a better overall view of the network. 

They can be used in both public and private cloud environments. They can be found anywhere from the edge of an on-premise network to its internal boundaries.

The goal of next-generation firewalls (NGFWs) is to get around the problems with traditional firewalls mentioned above while also adding some extra security features.

Even though next-generation firewalls have flexible features and architectures, it is their ability to do deep packet inspection, as well as port/protocol and surface-level packet inspection, that makes them truly next-generation.

Gartner says that a next-generation firewall is “a deep-packet inspection firewall that goes beyond port/protocol inspection and blocking to include application-level inspection, intrusion prevention, and bringing intelligence from outside the firewall.”

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What is a Cloud firewall?

A cloud firewall is a security product that, like a regular firewall, blocks network traffic that could be harmful. Cloud firewalls are not like traditional firewalls because they are hosted in the cloud

Traditional firewalls create a barrier around an organization’s internal network, and cloud-based firewalls do the same thing for cloud platforms, infrastructure, and applications. Cloud firewalls can also protect infrastructure that is not in the cloud.

Best Firewall for Small Businesses

Firewalls are essential in detecting attacks like Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) that usually send large volumes of data to exploit available resources within an organization.

Denial of Service is like when someone blocks your way. It means that someone is blocking websites or services from working correctly, so no one can use them.

For example, if someone were to build a wall in front of your house and you couldn’t get in, that would be like Denial of Service.

Distributed Denial of Service is like a really mean prank. It’s when someone sends a lot of messages to a website, computer or phone all at the same time.

It’s like if you had hundreds of friends call your best friend’s phone all at once; it would be hard for them to use their phone.

The same thing happens with websites and computers when they get too many messages at once. It can slow down the website or make it not work very well.

Continue reading the article below to learn about the best small business firewalls.

1.  Fortinet Fortigate Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Fortinet delivers some of the best and most reputed firewalls in the industry. It offers a variety of routers, with support for its next-generation firewall protection. Fortinet FortiGate NGFW utilizes security processors and threat intelligence services to deliver high performance and reduce complexity.

Moreover, FortiGate enables automated visibility into networks, users, and applications to enhance cybersecurity posture. This firewall protects organizations from internal and external threats, such as malware, vulnerabilities, and attacks. 

Key Features

  • AI-powered security that scales according to any environment, including on-premises and cloud networks.
  • Utilizes machine learning to build operational efficiency and support IT teams.
  • Helps protect any network edge with integrated networking capabilities, including Software-Defined (SD)-Branch, Software-Defined -Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), etc.
  • Includes FortiGuard Antivirus: FortiGuard Antivirus makes use of pro-active security techniques and hourly updates to guarantee that sophisticated threats are swiftly identified and contained.
  • Through the FortiGuard IPS service, FortiGate NGFWs give businesses the ability to protect against intrusions. FortiGuard IPS enables security teams to immediately identify and stop network intrusions before any noticeable harm or data exfiltration takes place by being able to detect zero-day attacks, ransomware, sophisticated malware, and other dangerous threats.
  • Through the FortiGuard Application Control service, offered by Fortinet firewalls, businesses can effortlessly manage application usage, comply with regulations, and enhance their overall security posture. Users have access to real-time insight into all programmes running on the network as well as historical usage trends thanks to FortiGuard Application Control..
  • FortiGate NGFWs have the highest security compute rating in the industry, and they also support TLS 1.3. This makes it possible to find attacks like ZEUS, Trickbot, and Dridex in HTTPS sessions and protect organizations from network, application, and file-based attacks, as well as many other sophisticated threats.
  • IPsec VPN Throughput (512 byte) 1. 4.4 Gbps (This is the volume of traffic that can pass through the firewall at any one time)

2.  Cisco Meraki MX

Cisco Meraki MX68 is an SD-WAN firewall that is a good choice for small businesses. Its unified management capabilities help with the security of WAN as well as IoT and MDM devices. The Cisco Meraki MX68 firewall contains all the advanced security features of a next-generation firewall, including intrusion prevention, content filtering, geo-based firewalling, anti-malware, etc. Moreover, it can support up to 50 users at a time, thus making it one of the best firewalls for small businesses.

Key Features

  • It is a cloud-managed security appliance
  • Provides 450 Mbps firewall throughput
  • 300 Mbps advanced security throughput
  • Contains up to 50 simultaneous site-to-site VPN tunnels
  • Recommended maximum clients: 50
  • Classifies applications, users and devices
  • Content filtering
  • Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)
  • Intrusion detection & prevention (IDS/IPS)
  • Google Safe Search and YouTube for Schools

The MX offers total control over people, material, and applications and delivers the visibility, security, and control needed for mixed-use networks.

Administrators can use Layer 7 fingerprinting technologies to prohibit problematic programmes and content and stop bandwidth from being wasted by nefarious apps like BitTorrent.

3.  Sonicwall TZ400 Security Firewall

Made for small businesses and branch offices, SonicWall TZ series firewalls provide broader network protection from exploitation by combining advanced security services, including on-box and cloud-based anti-malware, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), anti-spyware, etc.

It is one of the best small business firewalls that is easy to use and integrate.

This firewall provides enterprise-grade protection without hefty costs or complexity. Small to mid-size companies and distributed enterprises can benefit from its cost-effective integrated security.

Key Features

  • Offers centralized management and reporting
  • Possesses Real-Time Deep Memory inspection algorithms to identify deeper threats
  • Easy setup that supports a Zero-Touch Deployment
  • The capacity to add modules as required to safeguard small and medium-sized organisations
  • Recommended for 26-35 User Network
  • Site-to-Site VPN Tunnels: 20
  • Includes the optional module-The SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Management and Protection service.
  • Modules for anti-malware, anti-spyware, application control, intrusion prevention, and URL filtering are available for the unit. Once set up, the box keeps itself up to date with the latest threat signatures. This means that small and medium-sized businesses can have a single point of protection for their networks and not have to worry about things like updating software protection on every client.

SonicWALL is quickly becoming a world leader in enterprise security products, and their small business firewall is no exception.

With its robust features, such as advanced threat prevention, cloud-based management, secure remote access, and easy-to-use interface, SonicWALL is the ideal choice for small businesses looking to protect their data.

Additionally, its intuitive design and friendly customer service make it easy to use and maintain. With SonicWALL’s small business firewall, businesses can rest assured that their information is safe.

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4.  Ubiquiti EdgeMAX Edge Router X (ER-X)

While the Ubiquiti Edge routers aren’t a firewall, they are affordable network routers with a built-in firewall. This firewall, by default, blocks all unauthorized incoming network traffic. Using firewall states, the router can accept/drop traffic in different directions depending on the connection’s state. Moreover, Edge hardware is cost-effective and easy to set up, as it can be configured without in-depth networking knowledge. This makes Edge a top pick for a small business

Key Features

  • You can add specific rules for the firewall by customizing passage and communication for network traffic.
  • Helps block all connections between your local network and the internet.
  • Built-in anti-malware or VPN is not available. However, these can be added with configuration and management, plus supplementation from other software.
  • can be easily set up with the routing, security, and management features you need to run your network efficiently. 

5.  WatchGuard Firebox T40

WatchGuard Firebox T40 is a next-gen firewall that provides perimeter security. It can help prevent unauthorized and potentially hazardous websites from accessing your network. Moreover, Firebox is designed to handle fast internet speeds and offers enterprise-level cost-effective security. Also, this tool is designed especially for SMEs, is easy to set up and deploy, and requires no technical knowledge.

Key Features

●    It uses Power over Ethernet (PoE), so there is no need for separate cables for peripheral devices.

●    Features advanced capabilities, such as AI-powered anti-malware, DNS filtering, etc

●    Provides more advanced threat protection than regular firewalls

6.  Sophos XG 86

Sophos XG Firewall is also one of the best small business firewalls that offer network security solutions and can identify the sources of infection. Also, it automatically limits network access to other resources as a response.

Sophos firewalls utilize an innovative approach to detect hidden threats, send alerts, and block known and unknown threats from accessing your network.

Key Features

●    Possess advanced technologies, such as Xstream, that provide high performance and deeper visibility into networks

●    Protection against ransomware and zero-day vulnerabilities

●    Supports user-identity policies that help streamline role-based access and permissions

XG Firewall is the only network security solution that can fully identify the source of an infection on your network and automatically limit access to other network resources in response.

This is made possible by the unique Sophos Security HeartbeatTM, which lets Sophos endpoints and your firewall share telemetry and health status information.

Synchronized App Control additionally gives the firewall the ability to query the endpoint to identify the origin of erroneous network traffic.

These entry-level desktop firewalls are the best choice for small businesses, retail shops, and small or home offices that are trying to save money.

Conclusion: Best Small Business Firewall

Firewalls are essential for businesses of all sizes, whether large or small. However, small businesses need not only the right firewall options but also robust security controls to secure their organizations since they tend to be easy targets for cybercriminals.

Need help with security? Cyb-Uranus is the perfect company to help your business build a complete and effective cyber security program. Our team of experts will work with you to create a solution that fits the needs of your organization and makes sure you are ready for any possible threats. Contact us right away to start protecting your business from cybercrime, which is getting worse and worse.

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Whatever cyber security challenges you are facing, we have the expertise to assist you in addressing them.

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