Do I need a firewall if I sometimes work from home?

firwallIn the war against cyber crime, no one gets to avoid the battle. That’s why it’s crucial that each of us is proactive in understanding the innovation and advancements being made on both sides of the cybersecurity arms race.

Telecommuters, sales professionals and employees who need to stay home for the day often connect to their office networks over insecure networks. The need to secure these remote networks has never been greater. In fact, 2016 was a highly innovative and successful year for both security teams and cyber criminals.

Perhaps the area where cyber criminals advanced the most was in the deployment of ransomware. According the SonicWall GRID Threat Network, ransomware attacks grew 167 times since 2015, from 3.8 million in 2015 to 638 million in 2016. The reason for this increase was likely a perfect storm of factors, including the rise of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and mainstream access to Bitcoin. Another reason might simply be that as cybersecurity teams made it difficult for cyber criminals to make money in other ways, they had to look for a new paycheck.

The use of multiple layers of protection is the driving security principle in protecting any network. It includes firewalls, authentication/encryption, security protocols and intrusion detection/intrusion prevention systems. These are well-established and proven security principles. They should also be considered for your home network only scaled down a little.

You can achieve UTM (Unified Threat Management). Sonic Wall manufactures a SOHO (Small Office Home Office) firewall that is not only affordable but also a business class firewall. It can do Intrusion Prevention, Internet Content Filtering, Virus Protection, SSL, and be used as your end appliance for a virtual private network (VPN) should you ever need it when connecting to your office network.

Sources-Wall Street Journal, Sonicwall, Icon Labs, Hooks Systems