Firewalls for SMB networks (those belonging to small and medium-sized businesses) are designed to keep unauthorized users from accessing and sending data into a company's secure network. There are a number of different firewall options, and choosing a firewall can be a difficult task. When looking to make firewall decisions for a small or medium-sized company, one should understand the different types of firewalls, assess network needs and create a realistic picture of internal support-staff capabilities.
Most firewalls are configured as "packet filtering" or "application proxy." Packet-filtering firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing packets, and restrict packets from unauthorized users. While effective for many small companies, these firewalls can be easily circumvented by experienced hackers. Packet-filtering firewalls can be improved with "stateful inspections," which enhance filtering to keep out hackers. Application proxy firewalls provide the best defense against hackers. This type of firewall performs specific checks on each user that attempts to access the network.
One's choice of a firewall for SMB networking will depend in large part on the needs of one's company. Companies that run complex networks and websites will need the best protection possible, while local networks may be able to get by on the simplest firewall available. While security is always a good investment, there is no need to spend resources on firewall technologies that will never be utilized by your company.
Technical Support for a Firewall for SMB Networking