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Do you need managed network security? Find out with 5 questions

Posted on by Trevor Jones
Fortigate UTM

A Fortigate 110D UTM Appliance Used in our Managed Network Security Service

A managed network security service provides your business with a network security appliance that is actively maintained and supported by a managed services provider. Depending upon the level of service you purchase, these services can provide anything from basic firewalling to sophisticated unified threat management. If you’re like most business managers though, you probably just read that sentence and have no idea what it means. So, given that most of us aren’t techies, how do we figure that out?

First, let’s make two assumptions:

Almost every business these days stores sensitive data on their computer network, so let’s assume that you have something you need to keep safe. This includes your financial records, information about customers, trade secrets and anything you don’t want unscrupulous people getting their hands on.

We’ll also assume that you have some kind of firewall or other device protecting your network. If you don’t, or if that device is a broadband sharing router or wireless router that you bought from an electronics store, you don’t need five questions – you need better protection.

So, given that you have data on your network worth protecting and some kind of device to protect it, how then, do you know if a managed network security service is right for you? Try this little quiz:

[Quiz] Can you answer “No” to any of the following questions?


  1. Did you purchase your current firewall within the last three years?
  2. Do you keep a backup of your firewall configuration?
  3. Do you actively update your firewall to protect your company from emerging online threats?
  4. Do you have a support agreement with guaranteed timely replacement of your firewall if it fails?
  5. Is someone monitoring your firewall for performance, uptime and mitigation of threats?

If you answered “No” to 3 or more of these questions, your network could be vulnerable to a security breach or unexpected downtime, and it’s time to upgrade your protection.

How Managed Network Security Services Help Protect You

Threats are changing every day, so even the best security devices on the market quickly become ineffective if they aren’t kept up to date. You also need to be prepared for a quick recovery if the device fails, because failure of your firewall often results in lost connectivity for not just your data applications and cloud computing, but also your IP business phone system.

A managed security service ensures you are protected by:

  • Ensuring that device firmware and threat definitions are up-to-date.
  • Providing for next business day replacement of failed hardware.
  • Providing for full backup and restoration of your device configuration.
  • Helping you avoid potential issues with 24×7 monitoring of your security appliance.
  • Facilitating changes in your business model with support for configuration changes.

In many cases, managed network security service providers can offer support for your existing device or provide a new, state-of-the-art Unified Threat Management appliance that will protect you against an even wider range of threats including viruses, malware, intrusion, and even abuse from the inside.

Are you a business owner or manager that feels overwhelmed when you need to make IT related decisions? I’ve written a 33 page guide, The Business Manager’s IT Handbook just for you! Even better, it’s free! Learn more.


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