The History of the Firewall A firewall is the centerpiece of your organization’s security. Today, having a network that’s protected behind a firewall, as well as an elaborate network configuration, is a necessity, and can be the difference between being hacked and being safe. Most organizations have a firewall, but not all of them are using it to its full potential. A firewall is the foundation to protecting your network from unauthorized access. If you have an enterprise firewall, it can perform additional services like blocking dangerous or unproductive websites, displaying which websites your employees are visiting, showing bandwidth consumption, and providing other information that can impact productivity. Over the years, firewalls have evolved as technology has advanced, becoming more complex and secure to accommodate for growing cyberthreats. Looking back at how they began and where they are now can help you evaluate the proper solution for your organization. Below are the three generations of the firewall, according to Fortinet: The Changes Over Time As firewalls have progressed, they’ve gotten more advanced in their functionality and security. Today’s firewalls can help prevent many different types of cyberattacks because of their enhanced intelligence. Key features include: Intrusion detection and prevention Anti-virus Web site filtering Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Application control Load Balancing There are also options to protect different parts of your organization and network. This new wave of customization and scalability greatly benefits organizations. The Managed Firewall Some organizations may prefer to leverage a technical partner for firewall services, such as configuration, maintenance, and support. Managed firewall services allow your business to scale easily to accommodate business growth or increased bandwidth consumption needs. A managed services plan provides all-inclusive service for a fixed, monthly fee. Managed services, such as a managed firewall, are growing in popularity. In fact, CompTIA reports that 64 percent of organizations are using some form of managed services. As the managed services business grows, managed firewalls will continue to be a quality option for organizations of all sizes. It’s essential for your organization to have the proper protection in place against cyberthreats. A firewall can be a major part of your defense, and help prevent any attacks that target your business. Is your organization getting the maximum benefit out of its firewall? Scott Hardee Scott Hardee is a Business Solutions Manager at Aureon Technology. Scott's focused on figuring out what his clients issues are and working together to overcome those hurdles to provide the right solutions. With a focus on healthcare, CPA's, nonprofits/charity, and general small to medium-sized business, he's always working to build long-term relationships to help make the ever-changing world of IT easier to handle for his team and his clients. Aureon Technology provides end to end IT and communications solutions and has locations throughout the Midwest, including Des Moines, Omaha, and Kansas City.