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How A Firewall Makes Your Network More Accessible – And Invulnerable [Cisco]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on August 11, 2012 by Melissa Alvares

From business to politics, it’s a given that openness tends to create opportunity, while tighter central control tends to bolster security.

Take your network. You naturally want to promote increased productivity and an exchange of ideas by making it more accessible to your partners, suppliers or customers. But doing so runs the risk of exposing proprietary business information and confidential data, inappropriate use of company resources and productivity loss – not to mention the very real threats of worms, viruses and malware.

For most enterprises in the Internet era, striking the right balance between openness and security can mean the difference between success and failure for a variety of endeavors. When it comes to networks, it really is possible to mitigate the high cost of risk with effective and reliable traffic control – providing stateful traffic inspection to restrict unwarranted traffic while maintaining the integrity of business-critical traffic. In other words, a firewall. Find and implement an integrated and manageable  firewall solution to do this and your company can go a long way to maintaining the kind of secure, reliable network environment essential to today’s interconnected business.

With its rich feature set, simple deployment and relative low cost, Cisco IOS Firewall’s single, software-based platform is an obvious choice for businesses looking for both the openness that can keep operations agile and competitive, as well as the robustness and scalability that will keep their network secure.

Cisco IOS Firewall:

  • Protects network resources — uses existing routing capabilities to offer distributed threat mitigation of worms, viruses and other network and application-layer threats and exploits
  • Helps lower total cost of ownership — reduces equipment footprint and minimizes power consumption
  • Increases deployment flexibility — offers options for transparent and virtual firewall policies on wide variety of WAN, WLAN, LAN and VLAN interfaces
  • Helps achieve regulatory compliance — provides policy-based access control to help meet Payment Card Industry (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), and other regulations
  • Improves the integrity of Cisco Unified Communications —elps ensure that critical unified communications services, such as gateways and other UC network resources, remain available and resistant to potential intrusions.

In fact, Cisco Firewall’s integrated and software-based features are key to helping enterprises manage internet connectivity by backhauling Internet traffic to a central data center over costly WAN connections. Plus, the ability to maintain a single, pervasive defense system across small offices, large campuses and everything in between allows employees and customers to conduct business over the internet with confidence. And it also allows organizations to maintain their entire secure network with a smaller team.

What’s more, it doesn’t hurt that over half of integrated router deployments – six million worldwide – have shipped with Cisco IOS Firewall, making it one of the most widely deployed firewalls in the world. With this broad footprint and flexibility, it may just be the most cost-effective way to deploy the firewall services you need to increase productivity and keep your network safe.

Learn more about the Cisco IOS Firewall  and zone-based policy firewalls, and visit the Cisco Brand Store at Softchoice if you have any questions. Feel free to comment below and we’ll respond as quickly as we can.

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