Keeping your business secure is one of the most important aspects of running a successful organization. One way to protect your business is through the use of a firewall, which acts as a barrier between your network and the internet. But with so many different types of firewalls available, how do you know which one is right for your business?
In this blog post, we will explore the differences between standard firewall security and advanced security features, and explain why and how customers can choose between them. We will focus on Uplevel’s Firewall, which offers both Standard Security and Advanced Security.
The Uplevel Firewall comes bundled with a standard enterprise-class firewall license that includes a variety of security features. These features are typically sufficient for smaller businesses that do not have stringent regulatory requirements such as HIPAA and CMMC.
The security features included in Uplevel’s standard firewall license provide the following capabilities:
In essence, for small businesses with 5-25 employees, the standard firewall capabilities are generally adequate to meet their Internet gateway security needs. This is especially true for those who don't have to comply with strict regulatory requirements such as CMMC and HIPAA.
Larger businesses generally require a higher level of security to protect their valuable assets and maintain regulatory compliance than the standard firewall:
With a higher number of employees and frequent personnel changes, businesses with over 50 employees have a much higher "attack surface" and need a more active level of security threat detection and alerting. Furthermore, businesses in certain vertical markets, such as medical, dental, defense suppliers, and approved government vendors, are subject to a higher level of regulatory compliance and must adhere to specific requirements like HIPAA and CMMC. These regulations are directly associated with the security level provided by the firewall, both internal and external. Enterprises such as schools or churches frequently have large populations of users, on which
acceptable use policies must be enforced when these users connect to the network. Failure to enforce acceptable use policies usually opens the organization to the risk of lawsuits and state enforcement actions.
To meet the needs of larger businesses and those with specific compliance requirements, Uplevel offers Advanced Security subscriptions. This subscription enables the following functions:
The Deep Packet Inspection feature actively scans all inbound and outbound traffic for known threats, matching them against hundreds of threat signatures updated nightly. This is especially useful for businesses that need to support a wide range of on-premises application software, searching for the threat signatures of compromised applications.
The Content Filtering feature allows businesses to set up Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) for staff and customers utilizing their network. AUPs can include a mixture of broad categories like social media as well as specific websites. This is particularly useful for businesses with many users, such as schools or churches, and can also help with liability insurance policies.
Finally, the Country Blocking feature completely blocks traffic to and from "bad-actor" countries like Russia, North Korea, and China. While this may be a requirement for companies involved in defense or government procurement, it also provides a significant reduction in the "attack surface" for larger businesses at risk of ransomware attacks or spear phishing exploits from foreign countries.
While the Advanced Security subscription is not required for all small businesses, it is an optional package that should be considered by larger businesses who wish to elevate their security posture.
Uplevel Systems, as a small business IT infrastructure managed service provider, enables any of these options. Uplevel’s subscription offering is the most popular with SMBs, but some prefer Uplevel’s new equipment purchase program and use a CapEx model.