The one security item every company needs is a firewall, a security appliance that attaches to your network and acts as the protective shield between the outside world and your wired and/or wireless network. A firewall continuously inspects traffic and matches it against a set of predesigned rules. If the traffic qualifies as safe, it's allowed onto your network. If the traffic is questionable, the firewall blocks it and stops an attack before it enters your network.


Many organizations are still struggling with making educated decisions about defining network usage policies to ensure a proper balance between securing and optimizing performance of business-critical applications. It is important to ensure that the network usage policies are in place to protect a company’s network and data from malware, spyware and other security threats. At the same time, however, the security policies that are developed should not have a detrimental effect on the quality and consistency of the end-user experience. End-user organizations often get into a position where they have to decide which is more important: protecting the data being delivered over the WAN or achieving the optimal level of end-user experience for applications being accessed by remote users. This should not be a dilemma, as both of these goals can be achieved if the right mix of technology and internal processes are in place.