All the gear, but no idea?
Paul Roach, Director at Verus Solutions, shares his thoughts on firewalling:
Time and time again we walk into a new or potential client’s premises and straight away we can see that significant investment has been made in all the expensive toys you could possibly hope to see. High-end firewalls, switches and routers. The best antivirus…
At face value, it’s fantastic. And then we actually begin a healthcheck. And we cry a little inside.
Imagine a customer who pays a couple of thousand pounds for a firewall solution. They assume that, because it’s got a recognised logo, it’s protecting them – doing everything that they’ve paid good money for it to do. Sadly, as we dig into the policies on the device, we’re often disappointed to discover that all the expensive kit is doing no more than the free router that the client’s ISP send out with the connection.
Good antivirus and web filtering software have a tonne of features – but generally aren’t cheap, and configuration needs to happen to ensure its efficacy. It’s distressing that the majority of potential clients we come across have it just installed, with no extra care paid to the configuration and protection it could provide.
Likewise with network switches – spending a couple of thousand per switch, but then effectively implementing none of the features (network segregation, spanning tree protection being the simple and obvious ones) causes us endless frustration.
Obviously it’s great for us as a consultancy and support business, as 9 times out of 10 we can put in place the policy changes or redesign the network for the cost of a few days (or sometimes even hours) of professional services, without the client needing to invest in more expensive hardware or additional licencing. But it’s also a huge source of frustration that so many businesses trust that they are doing the right thing because they’re writing cheques for stuff and assume that everything will just work and keep on working.
Whenever we quote for a project, we try to find the right product for our client’s current and future requirements, at the most economical price. But please don’t be surprised when we offset the savings you’re making on the less-expensive device, with our time configuring your solution. As the old saying goes, “it’s not what you have, but how you use it”.
If you want to be sure that your equipment is being used to its full potential, give Paul and the team a call on 01756 707896 to arrange a Healthcheck.