What are Cloud-Managed Firewalls and their Benefits for SMBs?

April 29, 2024

In today's digital sphere, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) grapple with an array of challenges, with cybersecurity emerging as their paramount concern. Astonishingly, a whopping 61% of SMBs have experienced cyberattacks, and the aftermath of such breaches can entail more than a day's worth of recovery efforts.

While firewalls have long served as the primary defense mechanism, they no longer suffice in today's landscape. In this environment, cloud-managed firewall services emerged as effective security solutions, particularly for SMBs. But what exactly are cloud-managed firewall solutions?

What is a Cloud-Managed Firewall?

"A cloud-managed firewall is a security solution controlled and updated via the cloud offering businesses advanced protection for their networks." Unlike traditional firewalls that require complex hardware and IT expertise, cloud-managed firewalls are accessed through a user-friendly online interface. But why is it ideal for SMBs? Let's delve into the details comprehensively.

Advantages of Cloud-Managed Firewalls for SMB:

Here are the advantages of Cloud-Managed Firewalls services for SMBs:

1. Enhanced Security

Cloud-managed firewalls take SMB’s security a step further with key features including:

  • Real-time Threat Detection and Prevention:  Cloud-managed firewalls constantly analyze your network traffic, identifying and blocking suspicious activity and protecting SMBs from malicious attacks in real-time.
  • Centralized Security Policy Management:  SMBs can centrally manage their security policies from a single interface. This centralized approach ensures consistency in security measures across the entire network, minimizing the risk of vulnerabilities by cyber criminals.
  • Automatic Updates and Patches:  Nobody has the time to keep up with endless security updates. Cloud-managed firewalls take care of that too! They automatically download and install the latest security patches, ensuring your network always stays protected from the newest threats.  

2. Scalability

As your small business flourishes, your network must expand in tandem. Cloud-managed firewalls, designed for scalability, provide the flexibility necessary to accommodate your growth.

  • Flexible Deployment Options:  Cloud-managed firewalls allow SMBs to adjust their security infrastructure as they grow, encouraging expansions, new locations, or increased network demands without costly hardware upgrades.
  • Pay-as-you-go Pricing:  Forget about upfront hardware costs and surprise upgrade fees. Cloud-managed firewalls operate on a flexible payment system, enabling SMBs to scale security resources gradually. This ensures efficient resource allocation, preventing overprovisioning and optimizing firewall capabilities based on actual needs.
  • Handle Growing Demands:  As SMBs grow, their network traffic and user demands increase. Cloud-managed firewalls tackle scalability challenges. IT’s robust infrastructure and cloud-based design ensure uninterrupted operations, as businesses expand.

3. Simplified Management

Remember those complicated firewall manuals? Cloud-managed firewall eliminates it. Here's how a cloud-managed firewall service manages your network security:

  • Intuitive Interface: Cloud-managed firewalls offer a user-friendly web interface for effortless configuration and monitoring, streamlining operations.
  • Remote Management: With remote management capabilities, administrators can efficiently oversee firewall settings from anywhere, enhancing flexibility and accessibility.
  • Task Automation: Automation of routine tasks minimizes administrative workload, allowing SMBs to focus on strategic initiatives rather than day-to-day maintenance.

4. Cost Savings

Running a small business is all about keeping costs under control, and security measures shouldn't strain the budget. This is where cloud-managed firewalls prove invaluable, providing affordable protection for your business endeavors.

  • Reduced IT Staff Dependency: With cloud-managed firewalls handling much of the management and maintenance automatically, SMBs can minimize their reliance on dedicated IT staff for firewall management, reducing labor costs.
  • Predictable Pricing: Cloud-managed firewalls typically offer a predictable pricing structure, enabling SMBs to budget effectively and avoid unexpected expenses.

Of course, cloud-managed firewalls offer powerful advantages for SMBs, but a little planning goes a long way. Scroll down to know the key things that you should look at before taking the plunge.

Things to Consider Before Implementation

Here are a few key considerations-

Understanding Your Cybersecurity Needs

Not all threats are created equal. Take time to assess your specific vulnerabilities, such as:

  • What kind of data do you store?
  • What are the potential security risks for your industry?

Identify your needs to choose a firewall with the features that best suit your business.

Find the Right Firewall Provider

With countless options available, selecting the perfect solution can be overwhelming. But beware: the wrong choice can lead to serious consequences. That's why it's crucial to partner with trusted platforms like Uplevel Systems. Renowned for offering tailored cloud-managed firewall solutions, Uplevel promises a commitment to delivering the features you need, intuitive interfaces, and dependable customer support. With Uplevel Systems, rest assured your business is seamlessly protected.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure

Make sure that the cloud-managed firewall you select seamlessly integrates with your current IT infrastructure. Discuss any potential compatibility issues and develop a plan for a smooth integration process.

Scalability is Crucial

Consider your growth projections. Choose a firewall that scales easily to accommodate future increases in network traffic and users.  A flexible solution ensures your security grows alongside your business.

Implementing Training and Education

Proper training and education are essential for maximizing the effectiveness of cloud-managed firewalls. So, SMBs should invest in educating their IT staff about the features, functionalities, and practices associated with the firewall solution.

Finally, SMBs have found a powerful ally in the form of cloud-managed firewall technology. Choosing a trusted partner with years of expertise and advanced defenses is essential. Uplevel, with its extensive experience and cutting-edge security features, empowers SMBs to effectively protect their networks from diverse cyber threats. With tailored and robust security solutions, Uplevel Systems integrates advanced features like intrusion detection, content filtering, and automatic threat updates. Its cloud-based management platform simplifies firewall management, enabling SMBs to maintain a strong security posture without extensive technical expertise. With Uplevel you can stay ahead of cyber threats and focus on what you do best: growing your business.

About Uplevel Systems

Uplevel Systems is a small business IT infrastructure provider that sells exclusively through managed service providers. Uplevel’s subscription offering is the most popular with SMBs, but some prefer Uplevel’s new equipment purchase program and use a CapEx model.