Firewalls are an essential part of your IT security ecosystem. Whilst antivirus software can prevent malware from being installed on your devices, firewalls prevent dubious network connections from being made without your knowledge. In being less obvious than overt malware, these connections can sometimes fly under an antivirus’ radar – which is why firewalls are so essential.

With threats evolving all the time, it makes sense to get the best firewall option available to you and your business – so what should you look for?

Know your devices

First of all, it’s worth taking the time to identify all the devices you want to be protected – to ensure there are no weak links across your network. This isn’t just office desktops, but laptops, tablets and work mobiles. Many enterprise solutions offer protection across numerous devices and operating systems, so be sure to seek a provider that will cover your entire IT network.

Know the dangers

Though cybercriminals will target any business they think will prove profitable, some industries are more susceptible to certain attacks than others. Businesses that collect large volumes of user data, for example, could be at greater risk of ransomware attacks.

Therefore, think about the most potent threats to your business and seek a firewall option accordingly. Several prioritise anti-ransomware, others have top-of-the-range file encryption, and some have great protections against phishing scams. Choose the right one for your needs.

Know your budget

As you’d expect, firewall solutions come at a range of different prices, depending on the level of cover offered and the number of devices you can licence. For a business owner, the free tools available online are highly unlikely to offer sufficient protection, so it’s worthwhile paying for a more quality solution.

You can also determine the money you’re willing to spend by the features you want or need. If cloud-based sandboxing, network traffic analysis and VPN integration are essential, it may cost a touch more, if not you can scale back.

The good news is that firewall systems are not particularly expensive, with the majority of providers offering a monthly subscription offer so there’s no major cost outlay. And of course, any money spent on a firewall now would pale in insignificance compared to the cost of dealing with security breaches if you become a victim in future.