Contrary to the name, firewalls are nothing to be afraid of; in fact, they offer you excellent protection against internet traffic. However, like any tool, firewalls are the most effective when used by the right craftsman. Firewall managed services take the skill and experience of a security expert and combine it with your top-end firewall to create the most secure environment for your organization.
What Are Firewall Managed Services?
The cybersecurity industry has witnessed a massive boom in the past decade. With cyber attackers and data loss reaching critical levels, it is no surprise.
Along with the boom came Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP). These specialized security providers are the bridge between your business and the information security world.
One of the services you can expect from an MSSP is firewall management. Buying a firewall is easy; making it effective takes some time.
And this is where a qualified MSSP will step in.
In-House vs. MSSP
You may wonder why you would need an MSSP to manage my firewall, is a firewall not just plug and play?
Installing a firewall might be easier for the more technically inclined type of person. The problem comes in the maintenance. Generally, if you don’t dedicate time to the management, an in-house team, which will often be filing multiple roles within the organization, will fail at fulfilling some key responsibilities those being:
- Multiple firewall environments: larger organizations might require more firewalls. A single firewall might not cover enough internet traffic to protect it sufficiently. But managing numerous firewalls could be challenging for the organization, both in terms of time and resources.
- Firewall knowledge: understanding how technology works helps to get the most out of it. An in-house team might not have sufficient knowledge to configure the firewall correctly, leading to headaches later on.
- PCI DSS firewall compliance: most qualified MSSPs know the compliance requirements for PCI DSS. Within the regulation, there are firewall requirements of which an in-house team might be unaware.
These are some of the concerns you should consider when deciding whether to keep your security in-house or outsourced. In most cases, outsourcing specialties is the right decision, especially when it comes to security matters.
What Services Can You Expect?
An MSSP will take care of all firewall management. But how does that look? Well, let’s explore.
Here are some of the services you can expect
The most critical aspect of firewall installation is the correct configuration of the firewall. Different businesses have different needs, and a firewall that is too strong could slow down business operations. At the same time, one that is too weak could compromise the IT infrastructure.
An MSSP can configure it with balance in mind. For example, a digital marketing firm requires a connection to social media websites to fulfill their job function. But personal data does not have to be kept on the same information system.
Meaning, a separate firewall with more substantial restrictions might be required to achieve adequate protection and compliance with the specific regulations.
After a firewall is installed and configured, most organizations would leave it be. But in an ever-evolving security environment, it could be dangerous to leave a firewall in its initial state.
Attackers are constantly scanning systems for vulnerabilities, and they will often share what they have found with each other. If an attacker has discovered a vulnerability in your firewall configuration, you can bet that other attackers know about it.
An MSSP stays one step ahead by conducting firewall audits. Through these audits, they can tell if configurations need updating or if vulnerabilities need patching.
The firewall then becomes a shield with a guard standing behind it, rather than just a shield.
Lastly, the MSSP will be updating rules regularly that will reflect the worldwide web’s behavior—matching the changing environment of bad websites or malicious traffic.
Firewall Monitoring and Alerts
Another service that comes with hiring an MSSP is monitoring and alerts. If you don’t know what you are looking at, a firewall might ping you about malicious traffic, but you wouldn’t recognize it.
The MSSP can identify the issue and eliminate any false positives. Meaning that you are not wasting time figuring out whether a breach has occurred.
The MSSP can also guide you in the correct course of action. A firewall alert might be the first indication of a breach, and the faster you can notice it, the better your response will be.
These are some examples of the more “generic” firewall management services that an MSSP might provide. When deciding to onboard an MSSP, understanding your business will be vital in making the right decision.
Service Level Agreements: Keep in mind that not all service level agreements are equal when engaging with an MSSP. Depending on the MSSP, you may want to discuss how often they will audit the firewalls, the breach reporting timeframe, and how they will monitor the system.
These agreements should give you an indication of whether that particular MSSP is suitable for you.
Benefits of Firewall Management, Why Engage an MSSP?
When it comes to managed services, most businesses tend to ask how much it will cost. The right way to frame that question is to understand what managed firewall solutions will save you.
As we briefly mentioned above, a business can lose productivity if legitimate internet access is blocked due to the inexperienced use of firewalls.
Overly aggressive firewalls can end up damaging you more than protecting you. When deciding, always refer to a cost-benefit analysis.
Would it end up costing more if poor configuration leads to a full-scale cyberattack? For most organizations, the answer would almost certainly be yes. Lastly, getting the skills in-house through hiring a cyber expert can be costly.
Cost analysis aside, there are benefits to hiring an MSSP that you may not have considered.
Building a Security Partnership
Most MSSPs will not only specialize in firewalls. If you have engaged their services for firewalls, they can likely offer extra services that you might require. Such as:
- Incident response management, in case of breach
- Cyber risk management
- Threat and vulnerability management
Building trust is the basis of any business interaction, and onboarding an MSSP for any job is sure to bear fruit beyond the initial service offered.
How RSI Security Can Help You
As we have seen throughout the article, firewalls are not a fire-and-forget tool. They do require upkeep and management, or your security may fall behind.
As a recap, the kind of services you can expect from firewall management are:
- Firewall Configuration
- Firewall Auditing
- Firewall Monitoring and Alerts
Finding the right MSSP for your business can be challenging. So to make it easier, try RSI Security. We have a proven track record as a top-quality MSSP and have years of experience under our belt.
So if you are looking for firewall managed service, contact us today. One contact could be the beginning of a great partnership.
Speak with an MSSP expert today – Schedule a free consultation