Think your business is too small for a serious security appliance? The truth may surprise you. For less than $500, a simple unified gateway device can protect even tiny offices from the very real threats posed by malware and hackers.
Network intrusion is no joke. Trojan horses and other malware, or even direct break-ins by hackers, can compromise your company's private data, as well as that of your clientele. But with a hardware firewall installed between your computers and your broadband connection, you can breathe a little easier.
For offices of up to 25 people, an inexpensive unified threat management (UTM) appliance like the ZyXEL ZyWALL USG 100 deploys in minutes, even without the assistance of a professional network administrator. Its friendly browser-based interface makes it easy to configure for one Internet connection or two, and supports LAN, WAN, and DMZ connections right out of the box. Two USB ports allow for secure connection through a wireless data adapter, as does a rear-mounted PCMCIA port.
The ZyWALL USG 100 also includes VPN support for both SSL and IPSec VPNs, giving remote workers the ability to join the network without compromising security. So now your small office can support workers at even smaller satellite offices efficiently.
You can even set user-aware network policies in the UTM that set bandwidth limits based on user logins, so that one guy who's always watching YouTube videos after lunch will have to actually get some work done in the afternoons.
To get the most out of a device like this, it's advisable to consult a seasoned security professional. But if you're on a shoestring, the basic quickstart installation will lock your network down quickly.