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With our range of security products and services, we provide continuous protection for websites and applications. When it comes to keeping your business secure online, the most obvious place to start is with websites and company networks.

Firewalls and VPNs are both essential tools to protect your business against unwanted attempts to access the network or individual computers. After Google started flagging up websites that were not encrypted, SSL certificates have become one of the most important security assets to have on your website.

Secure your network with a firewall
Firewalls are network security devices that monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic. They prevent unauthorised use and access to your network and decide which traffic to block or allow based on a set of rules. They also provide a protective barrier against attacks and are the first line of defence in securing sensitive information online.

Firewalls can be either hardware or software based, with many companies choosing a combination of both. Software firewalls are installed on individual computers on a network and are configured with the OS. They protect individual computers against outside attempts to gain access to your computer and can closely inspect data and block specific programs from sending data to the internet.

Hardware firewalls are physical devices that filter incoming and outgoing traffic for the entire network. They act as a gatekeeper between the office network and the internet, with one or two devices used to protect the entire network. There are several different types of firewalls, including packet filtering firewalls, application-level gateways and web application firewalls (WAF).

Virtual Private Networks
A VPN (virtual private network) is a service that allows access to the internet in a safe and private way by routing your connection through a VPN. This connection method adds a layer of security when connecting via a public network like a Wi-Fi hotspot.

VPNs are often used by businesses to protect sensitive information as they encrypt data. The VPN connects to the internet on your behalf, so that your private information is not exposed to potential risks or other people watching the network. The destination site sees the VPN as the traffic origin and not the individual user. This means that no one can identify you or your computer as the source of data, which websites you are visiting, or what kinds of information you are sharing.

There are two main types of VPN – client to site and site to site.  A client to site VPN is an application that you connect to from your PC or laptop to securely access your files or browse the internet. This is a useful solution for anyone who needs to securely connect to their company network remotely or from a public place.

A site to site VPN is an encrypted VPN between your office network and the data centre. It works as a connection between your computer and the VPN server, which is essentially a tunnel that protects the data being transmitted within it.

SSLs for your website
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are the standard security technology for an encrypted link between a web server and a browser.

The link ensures that all data that is passed between the web server and browsers remain private and secure. If a website doesn’t have a SSL certificate, a secure connection can’t be established. SSLs ensure that your website is secured and encrypts all sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and any sensitive information. SSLs are vital for all websites for security reasons, but especially sites that take payment card information.

Google now penalises websites for not having SSL certificates and therefore not being secure and encrypted. Sites are flagged as ‘unsecure’ and affect the way that site visitors perceive the brand.

Follow the rest of our security solutions blogs this week to find out more about our range of security services. Or get in touch with our sales team on 0800 612 2524.