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How a firewall audit can enhance your security posture.

Apr 18, 2024

We considered the multifaceted advantages that firewall audits bring.

Where cyber security threats and data breaches continue to be a risk for businesses, it is vital to safeguard your digital assets. Firewalls serve as a first line of defence to external threats, malware, and hackers trying to gain access to your data and systems.

In this blog, our Head of Networks and Security, Ashley Le Hegarat, delves into the pivotal role firewalls play in modern cybersecurity practices and considers the benefits of conducting regular audits.

From enhancing security posture and regulatory compliance to optimising network performance and empowering incident response capabilities, Ashley considers the multifaceted advantages that firewall audits bring.

Why you need a Firewall:

The importance of firewalls as a crucial line of defence in cyber security cannot be understated. Firewalls act as a fundamental shield, safeguarding networks and devices from potential threats. Their primary function is to establish a barrier between secured internal networks and potential untrusted external sources.

Cyberattacks don’t just lead to downtime or data breaches. They can significantly tarnish an enterprise's reputation, erode trust, and lead to financial repercussions. For businesses, firewalls ensure data protection and prevent unauthorised access.

Monitors Network Traffic

The benefits of firewall security start with the ability to monitor network traffic. Data coming in and out of your systems creates opportunities for threats to compromise your operations. Monitoring network traffic prevents harmful data or patterns from entering the system, maintaining the security of the internal network.

Stops Virus Attacks

Nothing can shut your digital operations down faster and harder than a virus attack. With hundreds of thousands of new threats developed every single day, it is vital that you put the defences in place to keep your systems healthy.

One of the most visible benefits of firewalls is the ability to control your system's entry points and stop virus attacks. The cost of damage from a virus attack on your systems could be immeasurably high, depending on the type of virus.

Prevents Hacking

Unfortunately, the trend of businesses moving more toward digital operations invites bad actors to do the same. With the rise of data theft and criminals holding systems hostage, firewalls have become even more important, as they prevent hackers from gaining unauthorised access to your data, emails, systems, and more.

A firewall can stop a hacker completely or deter them to choose an easier target. By leveraging access control mechanisms, these firewalls ensure that only trusted sources can communicate with the system.

Promotes Privacy

An overarching benefit is the promotion of privacy. By proactively working to keep your data and your customers' data safe, you build an environment of privacy that your clients can trust. No one likes their data stolen, especially when steps could have been taken to prevent the intrusion.

Additionally, upgraded data-protection systems can be a competitive advantage and a selling point to customers and clients. The benefit increases the more sensitive the data your company deals with.

By scrutinising every piece of data that enters or leaves a network, firewalls prevent unauthorised access and ensure private data remains confidential.

Supporting Regulatory Compliance

For many organisations, especially those in regulated industries, adherence to data protection standards isn't just about securing data—it's a legal requirement. Firewalls play a dual role in this context.

They enforce stringent data protection measures by controlling and logging access to sensitive data, ensuring that only authorised individuals can access and modify critical information. Firewalls also maintain comprehensive logs of these activities, which is a crucial feature for audit trails. When regulators or internal auditors need evidence of security measures and activity histories, these logs become invaluable.

By ensuring data integrity and providing verifiable logs, firewalls assist organisations in maintaining compliance, thereby preventing potential legal complications, and ensuring continued trust from stakeholders.

Why you need a firewall audit:

It is clear your firewall plays an important role in protecting your business from cyber security threats. Auditing your firewall security improves the enterprise security capability of detecting security posture weaknesses.

Security Enhancement

A firewall audit helps identify any misconfigurations, vulnerabilities, or gaps in security policies. By addressing these issues, you can strengthen your network security and reduce the risk of unauthorised access or breaches.

Compliance Adherence

Many industries and regulatory bodies require organisations to comply with specific security standards and regulations. Conducting regular firewall audits ensures that your network security measures align with these requirements, helping you avoid potential fines or penalties for non-compliance.

Risk Reduction

By identifying and addressing potential security weaknesses, a firewall audit helps mitigate the risk of data breaches, network intrusions, and other cyber threats. Proactively addressing vulnerabilities can significantly reduce the likelihood of security incidents.

Optimised Performance

Firewall audits can also uncover inefficient or outdated firewall rules that may impact network performance. By streamlining firewall configurations and removing redundant or unnecessary rules, you can optimise network performance and ensure smoother operations.

Improved Network Visibility

Firewall audits provide insights into network traffic patterns, application usage, and potential threats. This enhanced visibility allows you to better understand your network environment and make informed decisions about security policies and controls.

Cost Savings

Identifying and addressing security vulnerabilities proactively through firewall audits can help prevent costly data breaches, downtime, and damage to your organisation's reputation. Investing in regular audits can ultimately save money by avoiding the potentially significant financial and reputational costs associated with security incidents.

In summary, strong firewalls are essential in protecting your business and conducting regular firewall audits is important for maintaining robust network security, ensuring compliance with regulations, reducing risk, optimising performance, enhancing incident response capabilities, gaining better network visibility, and ultimately saving costs in the long run.


Ashley Le Hegarat

Head of Networks and Security

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