best firewalls for small businesses

Businesses and individuals need to secure their information because the number of cyber crimes is rising daily. Now, to do that, they require specific tools. One such security tool that might assist in protecting your network and device from outside interference is a firewall. A firewall’s primary goal is to prevent harmful traffic and data packets from entering while permitting genuine traffic to flow through. In order to stop attacks, firewalls thoroughly examine incoming communication following pre-established criteria and filter traffic originating from untrusted or dubious sources. Firewalls are an essential part of network security for businesses. While most operating systems come with a simple firewall, better security is offered by using a third-party firewall application. In this blog, we will look at all things firewalls, along with listing the top 12 small business firewalls.

What Is a Firewall?

A firewall is a type of network security device that keeps an eye on all incoming and outgoing network traffic and uses security rules to determine whether to allow or prohibit data packets. Its goal is to create a barrier to stop harmful traffic, such as viruses and hackers, from entering your network from outside sources (such as the Internet). There are two broad categories of firewalls: hardware and software firewalls. The first one is a physical firewall that is placed between your network and gateway. In contrast, a software firewall is an application that is installed on the computer and controls traffic via port numbers and applications.

Types of Firewalls

There are very many types of firewalls preset. The options begin with a simple choice of hardware or software firewalls extending to NGFW, NAT, etc. All these different firewalls are segregated based on their capabilities to filter traffic, structure and other functionalities. To be clear, there are no small business firewalls, but there most definitely are small business-friendly firewalls. We will discuss them in detail. For now, mentioned below is a list of different types of firewalls:

  • Packet Filtering Firewalls
  • Proxy Service Firewalls
  • Stateful Inspection Firewalls
  • Next-Generation Firewalls
  • Network Address Translation (NAT) Firewalls
  • Unified Threat Management (UTM) Firewall

Why Do Small Businesses Require Firewall?

The Internet is full of dangers, and every business needs protection. Small and medium-sized enterprises need safeguarding more because, in recent years, they have become the top targets. A firewall can prevent businesses and their users from visiting particular external websites in addition to preventing unauthorised outside users from accessing their network. A firewall acts as a barrier for one’s internal network and the rest of the Internet. Most importantly, without a firewall, it is feasible for unauthorised users (threat actors) to access your confidential business information. The best firewall software for small businesses will be the one that protects them without being hard on the pocket.

12 Best Firewalls for SMBs

Purchasing a firewall is a proactive move that improves a company’s overall security posture by lowering the risks brought on by cyber threats and guaranteeing business continuity. Small organisations need specific firewall software concerning configuration, features, installation, and cost. So, to help you out, here is a list of the best smb firewalls:

1. FortiGate Next Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Company: Fortinet

Overview: Fortinet is a well-known cyber security company worldwide. It offers the best network firewall for small business. FortiGate is perfect for the majority of enterprise settings; it provides ideal convergence, which is scalable to any place, including remote offices, branches, campuses, data centres, and the cloud. With FortiManager for unified management and consistent security across complex hybrid settings, the company consistently delivers on the concept of hybrid mesh firewalls.

Key Features:

  • Most Deployed Network firewall
  • 500+ Ecosystem integrations available
  • 36X better performance claims in comparison to competitor firewalls
  • Rich macro- and micro-segmentation capabilities
  • AI/ML-powered security and innovative convergence

2. Check Point Quantum

Company: Check Point

Overview: Check Point Quantum is an advanced technological solution that delivers premium threat prevention and security. With the assistance of machine learning and cutting-edge threat intelligence, it is able to subdue cyber attacks in real time.

Key Features:

  • Proactive threat prevention via ThreatCloud Intelligence
  • Full threat prevention, including SandBlast
  • Highest calibre prevention with unified security
  • On-demand expansion with Hyperscalability
  • Excellent threat prevention against GenV attacks

3. Cisco Secure Firewall

Company: Cisco Systems

Overview: With the Cisco Secure Firewall portfolio, your network is better protected against a complicated and dynamic range of threats. You can confidently safeguard your company both today and in the future with enhanced security and performance that maximises uptime and protects your investment. By choosing Cisco, you can invest in the most robust security posture by laying an agile and integrated security foundation.

Key Features:

  • Advanced IT and OT threat detection and protection
  • Easy to configure and manage
  • Cisco Talos delivers the latest threat intelligence in real-time
  • High-performance firewall with greater flexibility
  • Improves hybrid work performance by adapting to evolving needs

4. PA-Series-by Palo Alto Networks

Company: Palo Alto Networks

Overview: Palo Alto continues to dominate the NGFW market that it created. They offer NGFW firewalls ranging in price from the PA-7000 to the low-end PA-220. Palo Alto Network’s next-generation firewalls provide unparalleled features for your security infrastructure, a recognisable policy administration interface, and a solid networking base.

Key Features:

  • Application-based policy enforcement in Next-Generation Firewall
  • Unique user-ID feature that configures and enforces firewall policies
  • Excellent malware analysis and reporting with WildFire
  • Centralised management system through the Panorama
  • The GlobalProtect software for secure login from anywhere in the world

5. Sophos Firewall

Company: Sophos Ltd.

Overview: Sophos is a global supplier of cutting-edge application security solutions. Sophos Firewall offers comprehensive next-generation firewall protection driven by synchronised security and deep learning. This firewall provides unparalleled insights by revealing hidden applications, users, and threats on the network. It is exceptional in that it can react to security incidents immediately by isolating compromised computers using Security Heartbeat.

Key Features:

  • Best Unified Threat Management (UTM) protection
  • Full protection with high-performance IPS and ATP
  • Flexible SD-WAN and VPN options
  • Sophos MDR and Sophos XDR for Automated Threat Response and Synchronised Security
  • The Xstream Deep-Packet Inspection (DPI) engine for high-performance traffic scanning

6. SonicWall NSa Series

Company: SonicWall

Overview: The SonicWall Mid-Range Firewall (NSa) is a next-generation security system created especially for companies with 250 users or more. The SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform’s cutting-edge deep learning algorithms are used by the NSa series to provide enterprises with automatic real-time breach detection and prevention. You can work with the assurance that you are safe from both common and sophisticated threats, such as ransomware, attacks on non-standard ports, and firewall breaches.

Key Features:

  • Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI™) proactively detects and blocks threats
  • Built-in Secure SD-WAN technology in NSa firewalls
  • High performance and port density
  • Easy deployment, setup and ongoing management
  • Reassembly-Free Deep Packet Inspection engine

7. Firebox

Company: WatchGuard Technologies

Overview: WatchGuard Firebox provides flexible security solutions when it comes to hardware firewalls. Its top-notch technology makes safeguarding networks against internal and external attacks easy. In addition, it is utilised for vulnerability management, routing, multi-factor authentication, and dividing corporate and industrial networks. Moreover, it has enterprise-grade security at every level, making it the fastest, wisest, and most successful network security defence in the market. This physical firewall will serve as an excellent investment for any SMB.

Key Features:

  • A fully integrated platform via WatchGuard’s Identity Framework
  • WatchGuard Cloud for centralised security administration, visibility, and advanced reporting
  • Built-in SD-WAN and excellent application control
  • Comprehensive Protection
  • Intrusion Prevention Service (IPS)

8. Azure Firewall

Company: Microsoft Azure

Overview: Azure Firewall offers best-in-class threat prevention for your cloud workloads hosted in Azure. It is an intelligent network firewall security service that is cloud-native. It provides monitoring, filtering, and traffic examination. In order to leverage Azure Monitor’s logging and analytics capabilities for stringent security, Azure Firewall is also linked with Azure Monitor.

Key Features:

  • Unrestricted cloud scalability
  • Application FQDN filtering rules
  • Outbound SNAT and inbound DNAT support
  • Multiple public IP addresses
  • Azure Monitor logging

9. Barracuda CloudGen Firewall

Company: Barracuda Networks

Overview: Businesses can protect themselves from sophisticated malware and zero-hour threats with the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall, which also lowers expenses, complexity, and administrative burdens. The purpose of the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall is to maximise the availability, security, and performance. A complete security stack, robust SDWAN features, and easy centralised control for hundreds or thousands of firewalls are all included in the Barracuda CloudGen Firewall.

Key Features:

  • Secure SD-WAN connectivity
  • Stateful packet inspection and forwarding
  • Application control and granular application enforcement
  • Antivirus and web filtering in single-pass mode
  • Self-Healing SD-WAN

10. Forcepoint Next-Gen Firewall

Company: Forcepoint

Overview: Forcepoint NGFW connects and safeguards users and their data across a variety of dynamic business networks by fusing industry-leading security with quick, adaptable networking (LAN and SD-WAN). Consistent security, functionality, and operations are offered by Forcepoint NGFW for physical, virtual, and cloud systems. Its built-in features include high availability, scalability, and centralised management.

Key Features:

  • Advanced Malware Detection and Protection (AMDP)
  • Smart Policies, 1-Click Updates
  • Zero-Touch Deployment
  • Multi-ISP Secure SD-WAN Clustering
  • Resilient Management with Forcepoint Security Management Center(SMC)

11. pfSense

Company: pfSense

Overview: pfSense is an open-source network firewall built on Free BSD Linux. The web interface of pfSense is easy to use, and you can quickly customise and manage it through GUI. pfSense is a fantastic alternative if you’re looking for a firewall with a different feature set.

Key Features:

  • Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)
  • GeoIP filtering to block web traffic
  • Captive Portal Guest Network
  • NAT Mapping (Inbound / Outbound)
  • Connection Limits and time-based rules

12. Zscaler Cloud Firewall

Company: Zscaler

Overview: Zscaler is a cloud based firewall for small businesses that offers comprehensive, integrated control over outbound TCP, UDP, and ICMP traffic for the company. Zscaler Cloud Firewall offers advanced cloud security and cutting-edge firewall controls to any user, everywhere, across all protocols and ports. Zscaler runs entirely in the cloud; no hardware is needed. It is the most comprehensive cloud native zero trust platform in the market, protecting both web and non-web traffic for all users, apps, and locations.

Key Features:

  • Centralise policy management for all users and traffic
  • DNS performance and security
  • Ease of connection to SaaS applications
  • Advanced attack detection
  • Always-on cloud IPS and custom signatures

How to Choose a Firewall for Your Business?

How to choose a firewall? Well, it is a question that needs proper answering. After all, your company’s security depends on the firewall you select. A wrong or inadequate firewall can leave you and your small business exposed to threats. These days, firewalls need to do far more to protect us. The complexity of firewalls has increased, making it extremely difficult to select the best one for your company’s needs. However, there are a few factors to take into account while choosing the correct firewall because they come in a range of sizes and shapes, along with different functions.

Here are a few points you must consider while choosing a firewall:

  • Size of your team
  • Distribution of on-site and remote workers
  • Manageability and ease of use
  • Skill level of in-house IT team
  • Types of devices protected by the firewall (IT, OT, IoT)
  • Different features provided by the firewall
  • Your company’s budget

Once you consider all these points, you will easily shortlist the firewall that is best for you and your business.

Make an Informed Decision for Your Small Business with Us

Every organisation must pay attention to the need for a good cyber security posture in the modern era. Since a firewall plays a significant role in that configuration, you must pick one that best suits your network, security guidelines, installed solutions, and budget. We can help you choose the one that best meets your company’s requirements. Our team understands that firewalls are constantly developing and adding new features and functionalities. We will factor in your business’s size, scope, and scale during firewall selection. GoAllSecure can be your security partner. You will receive the best cyber protection to strengthen your digital assets with us. Feel free to contact our team for security requirements, such as network penetration testing and red team exercise. We have all the resources to defend you against threats. For more information about us, kindly call us at +91 85 2723 7851 or +44 20 3287 4253.