5 things to consider when choosing the right Firewall for your SMB

Oct 3, 2017 9:09:00 AM

It's an understatement to say that network and data security is now an essential part of every business. Not a day goes by without news of another data hack our cybersecurity breach. Even small to medium-sized organizations are at significant risk and are oftentimes without adequate defense. For some, it starts with choosing the right firewall and one of the most important decisions is determining the right sized device. Istonish can help! The following considerations are critical to choosing a firewall that will work for your business:

  1. Plan for growth, be forward thinking.

When you’re considering what size firewall is right for your business don’t make the mistake of basing your decision on your company’s current size and needs. Choose your firewall based on your companies expected growth and projected technology changes over the next 5 years so that your device will be effective throughout it’s lifetime. Beyond expected company growth, consider trends like the increase of internet based or cloud applications. This will also impact the size of firewall you need. You can count on the fact that the amount of data your company uses will continue to grow year-over-year as cloud solutions continue to gain popularity and ease of use.

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2. Consider how SaaS heavy your environment is.

Web based applications such as MS Office 365 will impact what size firewall your business needs. Consider how much of your environment is hosted on premises vs. cloud hosted. The more cloud hosting you use, the more data your firewall will need to be able to process. This ties into the growth considerations mentioned above as cloud applications become more robust. The more SaaS applications you use, the more your firewall needs to process.

3. Company Size.

This consideration may seem obvious but it is critical nonetheless. The size of your business is a major consideration when you are deciding on a firewall. The more people you have and the more applications you use, the more powerful a firewall you need. Also, consider how many employees are on-site and how many users are remote and leverage VPN.  

4. Circuit Size.

Circuit size is an important metric when you are sizing up a new firewall. With your desired security features enabled, your firewall must be capable of more throughput than the size of your circuit. While there are more factors at play, consider a firewall throughput of 2x to 3x your circuit bandwidth.

5. What security features are you going to run?

Last, but most important, the security features you use will drastically impact your firewalls throughput. Make sure that you know what security features you are going to use and how they impact the throughput of your firewall. For example, using intrusion prevention (IPS) will drop your firewalls effective throughput 90%, or about 1/10 of its throughput without that security feature. The more security features you have the more work your firewall will do. Make sure it can do it’s job without choking data flow.


Managing your company’s security can be a heavy lift and full time security monitoring and maintenance can be difficult to achieve. At Istonish, we offer small- and medium-sized organizations an enterprise-grade managed firewall solution at an affordable price. With our 24x7x365 Security Operations Center (SOC) we offer around the clock monitoring and protection delivered by our certified, expert security engineers who can not only monitor and report on security breach incidents, but also remediate the problem. We can configure a solution that works for you and fits in your budget. Let us know how we can help, today! 

Matt Stephenson

Written by Matt Stephenson

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