Written by: Daniel Haurey on 11/02/17

KRACK, WannaCry, Bad Rabbit – The constant appearance of new cyberthreats has smart business leaders seeking to beef up their data and network security. So those looking to purchase a SonicWALL firewall are clearly on the right path. Today’s firewalls offer more protection and cover more threat vectors than even a few years ago.  But even the best firewalls, including SonicWALL, are only as good as how well they are managed. That’s why a growing number of businesses are skipping the big capital outlay and instead signing up for managed firewall-as-a-service.

Firewalls once employed a “set it and forget it” approach to IT security. But the aggressive cat-and-mouse approach taken by hackers hungry for sensitive data they can monetize means firewalls must be proactively managed to deliver a high level of protection. Firewall developers including SonicWALL are constantly modifying their product to stay up to date, but several steps still require action on the part of the user. Managed firewall-as-a-service ensures all of these critical requirements are taken care of, so you maximize the value – and the protection.

Here is how a managed firewall-as-a-service from a qualified SonicWALL Partner like Exigent offers clear advantages over the direct purchase of a SonicWALL firewall.

  • You pay only for what you use. Companies grow and needs change. So those purchasing a firewall are forced to invest in one that will fit their anticipated growth – and pay for that unused capacity from day of purchase, well before it’s needed.

 With Exigent’s BOUNDARY firewall-as-a service, our experts assess your current needs and recommend the right-fit firewall product. Then as you grow, we take the time to understand your needs and circumstances and upgrade you to a new firewall, at a new monthly cost. You only ever pay for what you need right now.

  • Your licenses are always up to date. Failure to keep the license up to date is one of the most frequent errors made by those who directly purchase firewalls. It’s easy to overlook that bill, but the cost of doing so can be high.

The day the license lapses, your business instantly becomes vulnerable to all sorts of attacks. At Exigent we are often asked to come in and help remediate after companies’ firewall license lapsed and they suffered a breach. The pain those breaches inflicts can be extensive. The latest figures from the Ponemon Institute put the average cost at $3.62 million in 2017.

  • You receive meaningful reporting and alerts. SonicWALL and other next-gen firewalls generate all sorts of reporting, but these can be pretty dense for the average user to slog through. At Exigent, we comb through those reports for you, looking for patterns and discrepancies with our first-hand knowledge of your business in mind.

So if there is a sudden increase in activity directed at your network from Russia, for example, we will check with you to see if you have a new client there, then act to enable your legitimate business to carry on while the firewall protects you from illicit activity.

  • You get Exigent best practices. Because we’re a certified SonicWALL reseller deeply trained in using SonicWALL features, we have developed best practices that maximize its value. For example, if we discover a new threat vector attacking one client, we act fast to spread the fix to our other customers. We do things like monitoring the nature of data leaving your organization, to detect and prevent unauthorized transmission of files we know are critical to you, such as medical records or legal documents.
  • Your business gets platinum protection without capital outlay. SonicWALL and other next-gen firewalls are sold at various price points, with varying levels of protection. Often businesses hesitate to select the premium package due to the large capital investment required.

Exigent’s BOUNDARY service enables you to attain top-level protection for a low monthly subscription fee instead of a big upfront cash outlay. The combination of a top-shelf product and Exigent’s value-added BOUNDARY managed firewall-as-a-service provides you with important benefits that are not available with lower-level SonicWALL firewall products. These include:

  • Automated firmware updates. Firmware must remain up to date in order for your installation of SonicWALL to receive new features. Automatic firmware updates are only available in the premium package – or via BOUNDARY firewall-as-a-service.
  • Automated backup of your firewall settings. Exigent performs this task regularly to ensure easy restoration of your firewall if an issue occurs. Purchased, lower-level SonicWALL firewall products do not include this feature.
  • Capture Advance Threat Protection. This is a recently added feature of SonicWALL’s premium environment. It establishes a sandbox environment in which SonicWALL identifies unrecognized downloads, sends it to a sandbox for testing, and only permits virus-free, unadulterated content to penetrate the firewall and enter your network. This is what prevented Exigent BOUNDARY Firewall-as-a-service customers from being impacted by the recent Bad Rabbit attack.
  • Deep packet SSL. This service, which captures encrypted traffic, opens and checks it, and re-encrypts it for safe delivery, offers a high level of protection.

The premium level of security afforded through Exigent’s BOUNDARY Firewall-as-a-service is increasingly being required of anyone doing business with larger enterprises. You many need to prove this level of protection to retain these customers, especially in legal and banking.

Choosing today’s next-gen firewalls is a smart move to protect your business and your customers. But purchasing a firewall outright not only demands a big investment, but requires extra steps or additional investment. Subscribing to a managed firewall-as-a-service from Exigent, a certified SonicWALL partner, is the smart way to get maximum protection at an affordable price to protect your business and your customers. Visit this link to learn more.  Finally, here is a short firewall-as-a-service video for your viewing pleasure.